Growing In The Shade – Tips & Tricks

If you live in a very shady area and think that it’s impossible to grow vegetables there, then read on. There are vegetables that prefer more shade than sun, the trick is finding out which ones do vs which ones don’t. There’s a general rule of thumb that people more experienced with home growing use; herbs or vegetables where you use their stems, leaves or buds can be planted in light shade.

Below is a small but useful list on which vegetables can be planted and grown in mostly shade, as well as how to.


Cooking greens, such as kale, collards, mustard greens and Swiss chard can be grown with minimal light. Super nutritious greens like spinach, Swiss chard, collards, mustard greens and kale only need about three or four hours of sun each day to thrive.


Lettuce, specifically the soft, loose-leaf types. Don’t pull the plants up after your first harvest. Removing leaves encourages more to appear, which yield repeat harvests.


Salad greens, including sorrel, endive, cress and arugula. These tasty additions to a salad mix will expand your options for flavor and texture.

Spinach, a cold-hardy vegetable that has growing requirements similar to lettuce.

Broccoli , a great choice for growing in the relative coolness of partial shade rather than full sun. After cutting off the large central head, leave the plant in the ground. Smaller heads will form along the stem in the leaf axils.

Herbs, such as mint, chervil, coriander and parsley actually prefer partial shade. Here’s a mint hint worth taking to heart: It is an aggressive spreader. Plant it in a container or you may spend years pulling it from places you didn’t plant it and don’t want it to grow.


Keep in mind that veggies and herbs grown in constant dappled or filtered shade or those grown in partial shade will not be as large as those grown in full sun. The yields won’t be as much, either. However, the taste will be every bit as good and so will the satisfaction of having grown your own food.

Root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips and beets, fall somewhere in the middle regarding light requirements. In general, they need more hours of sun than leafy vegetables but not as much light as full sun for all or most of the day. If you are the adventurous type, why not give them a try in your shade garden?


Hopefully this has helped you as much as it has me, it opens up more of the garden for planting, and also gives some great new ideas as what.. and where.. to plant, without too much effort, especially if the object causing the shade can’t be moved.

For more info, and a few more tips and tricks, follow this link here.


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