15 Vegetables That Grow in Shade
Think you can’t have a garden because your yard has a lot of shade? Think again! When you choose some of these best vegetables that grow in shade, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the benefits of gardening and have a thriving garden that puts food on your table.
Related: How to Start a Garden for Beginners
Different types of plants have different growing requirements. Some vegetable plants prefer the cool temperatures of winter, while other vegetable plants can handle the heat of summer. Some plants need full sun to grow, and other plants don’t mind being in the shade.
If you have a shady yard, you can still have a garden that produces when you plant these best vegetables that grow in shade.
Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family that’s pretty easy to grow in shade. It can handle partial shade and prefers rich, moist soil.
If you live in a hotter climate, you’ll definitely want to keep your broccoli in the shade. You might even consider planting it in the fall for a winter harvest.
While a lot of root vegetables need plenty of sun to grow, beets are one exception. Just keep in mind that beets grown in shade might come out slightly smaller than those grown in sun.
If you prefer your beets to have a more mellow flavor, then you’ll definitely love growing them in the shade. The nutritious and edible beet greens also turn out delicious when grown in the shade.
Plus, not only are beets a good vegetable for container gardens, but they’re also ideal for continuous harvesting. Simply plant a few seeds every week and you’ll always have some you can use in your favorite recipes.
Since too much overhead sun can cause the outer leaves of cabbages to dry out and grow smaller heads, planting them in the shade is a great idea.
Cabbage is also a cool-season crop, so if you try to grow it in temperatures above 80°F (26°C) it will prematurely turn to seed. Planting it in partial shade will give it a chance to grow in warmer temperatures.
If you’re looking for one of the best vegetables that grow in shade that’s also one of the best fast growing vegetables for a quick harvest, you need to get some radishes.
Radishes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that can tolerate shade. Plus, don’t forget that radish leaves are edible and tasty when they’re young and tender.
Arugula is another quick-growing vegetable that can easily tolerate shade. It has a peppery taste that a lot of people love in their salads. Plus, since arugula prematurely turns to seed when the weather warms, growing it in the shade can extend the harvest.
If you have a shady garden, kale is absolutely perfect for you. It thrives with just a few hours of sunlight a day. It can even tolerate very cool temperatures and some frosts. Plus, it’s super nutritious!
Since I like having a salad every evening with dinner, lettuce is one of my favorite crops to grow. I save a good amount of money being able to walk right into my backyard and pick the ingredients for my salad instead of buying them from the grocery store.
Even though lettuce is traditionally a cool-season crop and I live in Florida, I’ve actually had a lot of success growing this lettuce. Part of the reason why I’ve had so much success is because I have it growing in a spot where it gets some shade.
Carrots are one of those vegetables that you can pull right from the ground, give them a wash, and immediately start eating them. While carrots that grow in the shade will come out slightly smaller and take a few weeks longer to mature than those grown in full sun, it’s still possible to grow a nice crop.
Garlic is one of those crops that we always try to have growing at our house. It’s a great natural remedy for fighting colds. We also love to add it to pretty much every dish we cook. Plus, since it’s expensive to buy garlic at the grocery store, we save money growing it ourselves.
If you want to grow this shade-tolerant plant, you have two choices: softneck garlic or hardneck garlic. Softneck garlic doesn’t require a winter chilling period to grow, which makes it ideal for places that have a mild winter. You can also store it for up to a year.
On the other hand, hardneck garlic does require a winter chilling period, so it doesn’t grow as well in areas with a mild winter.
Peas will do just fine in a partially shady spot in your garden. They’re also great if you don’t have a lot of space. Simply give them a trellis or other type of support to climb, and they’ll grow vertically instead of horizontally. This also makes it easier to harvest them.
If you want to get your kids interested in gardening but you have a shady yard, you need a vegetable that doesn’t require a lot of sun and one of the best plants for a children’s garden. Beans can fit both of these requirements.
Like peas, beans don’t require a lot of effort to start growing. Simply give them a trellis to climb, full sun or partial shade, and let them do their thing.
Related: Best Vegetables to Grow in Full Sun
When you’re picking out the right beans for your garden, you can choose from bush beans or pole beans. Bush beans produce earlier but not as often, and pole beans produce later but over a longer period of time.
12. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts don’t just tolerate shade, they thrive in it. They’re also cool-season crops that prefer lower temperatures, which means you’ll be able to harvest them well into the winter months. In fact, frost actually improves the flavor of Brussels sprouts.
Spinach likes cool weather and can handle 2 or 3 hours of sunlight a day. If you get this variety of spinach, you can even grow it indoors, which means you can enjoy the nutrient-packed leaves throughout the year.
Related: Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors
14. Swiss Chard
If you’re looking for a vegetable that’s low-maintenance, extremely easy to grow, shade tolerant, and productive, Swiss chard is exactly what you need.
In addition to offering brilliant color in the garden, Swiss chard also gives you calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium. Plus, when you harvest the older leaves, new ones will grow back in their place.
Turnips are a staple crop that have fed people around the world for thousands of years and have grown in gardens even when other vegetables have failed.
Plus, not only can turnips handle some shade, but you can also eat them in a variety of ways, including fresh, roasted, and mashed just like potatoes.
Vegetables That Grow in Shade
A shady yard doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden that produces food for you and your family. If you’re interested in having a productive garden in a part of your yard that doesn’t get a lot of sun, all you need to do is choose some of the best vegetables that grow in shade.
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Now that you’ve learned more about the best vegetables that grow in shade, are you interested in even more great tips to help you live a more eco-friendly life? Then be sure to check out some of our other popular posts:
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