Tuesday , March 28 2023
12 Best Vegetables in the Shade

12 Best Vegetables in the Shade

A little shade should not stop you from enjoying a rich harvest of homemade vegetables.

Most vegetables grow best in full sun – more than six hours a day in direct sunlight. But if your garden is like mine, shade is the norm, and the sun is the exception. Even in the brightest corner, four to five hours of sunshine is the best I can expect.

Fortunately, there are many plants that thrive partly in the shade, with three to five hours of direct sunlight or bright sunshine throughout the day. So don’t let a little shade stop you from growing vegetables, just be sure to choose the right shade.

Most shade-tolerant vegetables are grown on their leaves or roots. Unlike tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, cucumbers and most other fruit-bearing plants, they don’t have to be disposed all day to ripen.

In fact, a small shade can prolong the harvest by delaying pulling (flowering and access to seeds). Some legumes and many herbs are very happy to get into a half-shaded vegetable patch.

The best vegetables in the shade

1. Lettuce

Like most leafy greens, lettuce grows well with only three to four hours of direct sunlight. Loose leaf varieties are the best option for partial shade. Dilute young plants so you can use them as young vegetables and give more space to the remaining plants.

Full-size plants can be harvested whole or with leaves. There are many varieties of lettuce that offer different colors and shapes of leaves, so grow more to add pizza to your garden and salads.

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2. Spinach

Spinach is a cold season plant that can be planted for spring or autumn harvest. The spring harvest will likely last longer in a shady garden, partly because it rotates more slowly.

Sub-shade is more useful for the autumn plant, as it is planted at the end of summer, when the temperature is high – the shade keeps the soil cool and promotes germination and early growth.

3. Herbs

Many herbs thrive very well in the shade when they receive direct sunlight for about four to five hours. Basil, chives, rosemary, parsley, cherries and coriander are good candidates.

You can plant several of them together in a large pot, like a barrel of half whiskey, to save space and use a well-preserved pot mix. Harvest as needed to add flavor to your dishes throughout the summer.

4. Peas

Garden peas, peas, and snow peas are all cool-season plants that start in early spring — often even before leaf dropping, which can give you a little more sunshine at the start of the season. As spring progresses and peas ripen, the shade of nearby trees can help prolong fruiting.

5. Bush beans

Bush beans can thrive well in partial shade with at least five hours of sunshine. It may take a little longer for the crop to ripen, but once the beans develop, the plants will resume production for several weeks.

6. Radishes

Radish is another cool-season plant — it grows best at temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be planted in the spring before the trees open, giving them more sunlight in the early stages of their growth cycle.

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You need about four or five hours of sunlight to make delicious onions. Due to the warm weather, they get seeds, so a little shade can keep them cooler and prolong the harvest.

7. Turnips

Like radish, beets bloom at cooler temperatures, so they can be planted for the spring or autumn harvest. When the seedlings are three or four inches tall, the thin plants are two to four inches apart. Do not forget that beet greens can also be eaten.

8. Beets

Although their roots are not as large as those in full sun, beets bring a good harvest with only four or five hours of sunshine per day. And don’t forget that its leaves can also be eaten – young leaves are a great addition to salads and stirring.

Beet seeds are sown directly into the ground two to three weeks before the last expected frost, for the autumn harvest again at the end of summer. Thin seedlings at a distance of about three inches from each other.

9. Green Onions

Green onions, also known as shallots or bundles of onions, are easy to grow as long as you sunbathe for at least four hours a day. They can be started indoors or planted directly into the ground.

Thin seedlings when they are young, so that the plants are two centimeters away – use thinning in salads, omelettes or as a side dish. Sow every few weeks from early spring to summer for a continuous harvest.

10. Kale

Kale is a really good buyer – it blooms in cooler temperatures and can survive the winter in temperate regions and provide a very long harvest. There are several types of kale to choose from, with a variety of colors, including light green, dark purple, and almost blue.

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Sow outdoors in early spring, then again in summer for fall/winter harvest. By harvesting each outer leaf, the plant continues to produce new leaves from the center.

11. Swiss chard

Closely related to beetroot, chard leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked. Although it is a cold seasonal vegetable, it is more heat tolerant than most leafy greens.

It grows well with four to five hours of sunshine per day. Since there are many attractive and colorful varieties, they are good candidates for mixing in an ornamental garden or container planting.

12. Arugula

The taste of pepper of this fast-growing green is useful from the shade and prevents it from getting too hot. Watercress can be sown in early spring and autumn: many plantations are planted at intervals of two weeks to prolong the harvest. The leaves taste best when harvested small — less than three inches.


The above plants are the best choice for any semi-shaded vegetable garden. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are other plants that often grow well in less than full sun, including cabbage, broccoli, carrots, leeks, kale, and potatoes. Don’t let a little shade stop you from enjoying your homemade vegetables.

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