Shade Tolerant Vegetables

You don't need full sun to grow certain vegetables


As a rule, vegetables grown for their leaves and for their roots can take more shade than vegetables we grow for their fruit. Also, look for vegetables that prefer a cooler season for growing. If your yard has a lot of shade, consider growing some of the following vegetables in your yard. Whether you have a spot that gets a few hours of morning sun and then shade the rest of the day, or whether your yard has dabbled shade all day long, you are sure to find several food crops that will thrive in your environment. Just remember that harvest may take longer or your harvest will be smaller, especially in the case of root vegetables. Consider using a hoop house to warm the soil sooner so that you can plant sooner. (Find out how to make your own hoop house here).

Shade tolerant vegetables you can grow

  • Arugula - Grows best with only 3-4 hours of sun per day, prefers shade during the hottest part of the day.
  • Asian Greens - Grows best with at least 2 hours of sun per day.
  • Beets - Need at least 4 hours of full sun a day but smaller crops can be harvested when grown in partial shade. If larger crops are desired, harvest will be delayed if grown in partial shade conditions. Afternoon sun is best, although more hours of morning sun works well also.
  • Broccoli - Since broccoli prefers cooler temperatures to grow, they can grow very well with only 3-4 hours of morning sun. Dabbled shade works well too.
  • Carrots - Need at least 4 hours of full sun a day but smaller crops can be harvested when grown in partial shade. If larger crops are desired, harvest will be delayed if grown in partial shade conditions. Afternoon sun is best, although more hours of morning sun works well also.
  • Chives - Grows best with only 3 hours of sun a day and can handle dabbled shade as well.
  • Cilantro - Grows best with only 3 hours of sun a day and can handle dabbled shade as well.

  • Golden Marjoram - Grows best with only 3 hours of sun a day and can handle dabbled shade as well.
  • Green Beans - Bush and dwarf varieties will grow in as little as 4 hours of sun per day, 5 hours is best.
  • Kale - Grows best with 3-4 hours of sun a day.
  • Lemon Balm - Grows best with only 3 hours of sun a day and can handle dabbled shade as well.
  • Lettuce - Grows best with 3-4 hours of morning sun and shade during the hottest part of the day. Will also grow well in dappled sun all day long.
  • Mesclun - Grows in as little as 2 hours of sun per day and can handle dappled shade as well. Read more about growing Mesclun here.
  • Mint - Grows best with only 3 hours of sun a day and can handle dabbled shade as well.

  

  • Mustard Greens - When harvested as small baby greens, these will grow well in only 3 hours of sun per day.
  • Oregano - Grows best with only 3 hours of sun a day and can handle dabbled shade as well.
  • Potatoes - Need at least 5 hours of full sun a day but smaller crops can be harvested when grown in partial shade. Afternoon sun is best, although more hours of morning sun works well also. If larger crops are desired, harvest will be delayed if grown in partial shade conditions. Use a hoop house to warm soil sooner and plant as early as April depending on where you live to allow plants to grow longer to produce larger potatoes.
  • Parsley - Grows best with only 3 hours of sun a day and can handle dabbled shade as well.
  • Peas - Bush and dwarf varieties will grow well in as little as 4 hours of sun per day. Morning sun is best.
  • Radishes - Need at least 4 hours of full sun a day but smaller crops can be harvested when grown in partial shade. If larger crops are desired, harvest will be delayed if grown in partial shade conditions. Afternoon sun is best, although more hours of morning sun works well also.
  • Scallions - Will grow in as little as 3 hours of sun per day, and thrives in partial shade throughout the day.
  • Spinach - When harvested as small baby spinach, these will grow well in only 3 hours of sun per day.
  • Swiss Chard - When grown for the tender leaves only, chard can grow in as little as 3-4 hours of sun per day. If large stalks are desired, they should be grown in full sun.
  • Turnips - Need at least 4 hours of full sun a day but smaller crops can be harvested when grown in partial shade. If larger crops are desired, harvest will be delayed if grown in partial shade conditions. Afternoon sun is best, although more hours of morning sun works well also. If you are harvesting the turnips for their greens only, then a few hours of sun a day is fine.

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