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The Best Vegetables That Grow in Shade (and Small Outdoor Spaces)

Shade Vegetables: Tips and Tricks to Grow Them SuccessfullyWhile most veggies grow best under full sun — tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, to name a few — certain varieties prefer the cooler conditions provided by partial shade. Be Mindful When WateringUnlike classic vegetable gardens — which thrive under full sun and require frequent watering — vegetables that grow in shade don’t suffer from extreme water evaporation issues.

Look Out for Hungry BugsVeteran gardeners agree: one of the most frustrating things about vegetables that grow in shade is annoying pests. Some good examples of root veggies that love shady patios include:BeetsKohlrabiParsnipsRadishesRutabagaTurnipsSalad GreensTogether with root vegetables, salad greens are among the best vegetables that grow in shade.

To learn more about growing vegetables with low-light conditions, check out our guide about starting an indoor vegetable garden. .

26 Vegetables To Grow In The Shade

Even tomatoes prefer a little shade in the hottest of summers, a little something to prevent sunscald. Vegetables that thrive in partial shadeAnother way to look at this label of “partial shade” is “partial sun”. For the moment, however, let’s focus on annuals that grow abundantly in partial shade.

Peas will also perform well next to other vegetables in partial shade: potatoes, turnips, parsnips and lettuce. Vegetables that grow well in shadeBy shade, we mean garden areas with access to approximately 2-4 hours of sunlight each day. .

Vegetables that Grow Well in the Shade

Shade grown vegetable garden image via Grow VegVeggies and greens that thrive in partial shade:Arugula, endive, watercress: 3-4 hours of sun per day. Partial shade may actually extend the harvesting life of your lettuce by 2 or 3 weeks, if not longer.

Chives, cilantro (expect leggier cilantro) garlic, chives, mint, oregano, lemon balm and parsley will all do well with partial shade. Consider growing bush variety beans in partial shade conditions as they seem to need less sun than their viney counterparts.

I have also heard tell of broccoli and cauliflower producing in partial shade, but have not had success with either of them myself. .

16 Vegetables You Can Grow in Partial Shade

Most plants do best growing in a sunny location, and this is especially true of vegetables. Most species of edible vegetables need at least six hours of daily sun to produce at optimal levels.

Vegetables grown for the leaves, stems, or buds often do quite well without full sun. Many vegetables can produce nicely with three to six hours of sunlight per day—or with constant dappled sunlight for the entire day.

While ornamental gardeners have choices for plants to grow in full shade, that's not the case for vegetable gardeners. .

28 Vegetables That Grow in Shade For Gardens Without Sun

If you find your gardening areas have more shade than sun-loving vegetables can tolerate, trying planting this list of vegetables that grow in the shade. All vegetables need some light to grow, so a full shade area is not suitable for growing vegetables. However, leafy greens, some veggies that grow underground, and cold weather-loving vegetables can grow well in shady areas. Leafy GreensThis family of greens includes:LettuceSpinachSwiss chardCollardsMustard greensKaleOf all the vegetables that grow in the shade, this vegetable family does the best in shade.

ArugulaAsparagusBeetsBok ChoiBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCabbage (loose varieties like Chinese cabbage are best)Collard greensEndiveKaleKohlrabiLeeksLettuceMustard GreensParsnipPeasPotatoesRadishRhubarbRutabagaScallionsSpinachSwiss ChardTurnipsTips to Help Vegetables That Grow in the Shade ThriveGrowing vegetables in shade can present its own unique set of challenges. .

Vegetables and Herbs for Growing in Shade

Shade in the garden can be described as deep or full shade, light shade, or partial or dappled shade. A garden with deep or dense shade is not a good site for growing vegetables. Vegetables and Herbs for Shady GardensRather than choose crops that will struggle in a shaded garden, choose crops that are adapted to shade.

Tips for Growing Vegetables in ShadeChoose vegetables and herbs adapted to shade; don’t try to grow crops that demand full sun. Advantages of Growing Vegetables in ShadeLeafy crops grown in partial shade will be succulent and free of bitter taste. .

Shade-Tolerant Vegetables and Herbs — Seattle's Favorite Garden

Many gardeners don’t have the opportunity to grow in the ideal 8+ hours of full sun, especially in the city. However, many veggies can tolerate partial shade; a few even appreciate it! “Partial shade” refers to areas that are exposed to 3-6 hours of sunlight. Areas that receive dappled sun or filtered sunlight for most of the day are also considered to be in partial shade.

Try these shade-tolerant vegetables in your garden:Salad greensarugula, endive, lettuce, sorrel, spinachSalad greens generally do well in cooler weather and they welcome some shade! .

Growing Vegetables in the Shade

No matter what kind of sunlight challenge your yard may present, take heart: You can still enjoy delicious, homegrown food by choosing vegetables that grow well in the shade. If you struggle with a complete lack of sunlight, consider growing mushrooms, like shiitakes—they’re easy to cultivate and grow in full shade. Many vegetables grow beautifully in containers, too, providing a pretty and practical addition to your patio, balcony, or front porch.

Vegetables That Grow in Part Shade (3 to 6 hours of sun per day):Vegetables That Grow in Shade (less than 3 hours of sun per day*):* The vegetables listed above will also thrive in partial shade. Along with vegetables, many herbs grow well in partial shade or shade, including mint, chives, parsley, cilantro, lemon balm, thyme, and tarragon. .

44 Nutritious Vegetables That Will Grow in Shaded Areas in Your

So if you would like to put those shaded spots to use, then consider growing some of these vegetables that grow in shade. They too make many great dishes, and since you can grow them in partial shade, why not grow them? So it should be no surprise that it prefers partial shade as this may help keep it cooler.

You might want to give it a try if you decide to create a garden bed in partial shade this year. We grow ours in a partially shaded garden and it has done very well in our experience.


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