18 Vegetables to grow in the shade.


Lets face it - we all have that annoying bit of garden or allotment, or even patio or a balcony that doesn't get that much sun and that we don't really know what to do with, so why not put it to some productive use.

We're all taught that garden crops want as much sun as possible, but what you may not know is that there are actually a few crops will do quite well with limited sunshine. A quick rule would be that veg grown for their stems, leaves or young immature fruits generally do tolerate shady areas to a certain degree. Saying that, many more crops will also tolerate light shade, just expect a smaller harvest.

The following crops will grow with as little as six hours of sun per day, or constant partial shade. Harvest size will be smaller,but taste will be just as good.

Shady - 3 to 4 hrs a day Partial shade 5 to 6 hrs a day
  1. Lettuce Green Leaf Types
  2. Spinach Missippi
  3. Pak Choi
  4. Radishes
  5. Chard Bright Lights
  6. Kale
  7. Mizuna
  8. Garlic
  9. Rhubarb
  1. Mange Tout Peas
  2. Beetroot Boltardy
  3. Salad Onions
  4. Summer Cauliflowers
  5. Kohl Rabi
  6. Brussels Sprout Bosworth
  7. Early Potatoes
  8. Dwarf French Beans
  9. Cabbage Greens

One thing we have noted is that morning shade and afternoon shade have different effects on growing. For instance some veg grown in gardens with partial shade in the afternoon is better for crops such as lettuce, mizuna and pak choi that are prone to bolting during hotter conditions.

And as a bonus extra - here are 6 Herbs which will grow in the shade.....

If you think all herbs need warm sunny growing conditions then it's time to think again, as there are a few which will give an ok crop when grown in a shady spot. This is particularly the case with softer leaved herbs, that can alsobe grown in containers on patios or balconies.

  1. Chives
  2. Coriander
  3. Mint
  4. Parsley
  5. Sorrel
  6. Lemon Balm

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Gerald H
20 January 2014  |  14:23

thanks for your updates on growing early.

11 September 2014  |  11:39

I have had an allotment for more than 20 years , but am still picking up some very good tips on this 'Simply Seeds' site .

Daphne E
11 March 2016  |  17:17

Many thanks for your most helpful (and free) advice.

Helen Davis
08 July 2020  |  7:01

Great information just need to ask about corgettes and growing in semi shade, late morning and mainly afternoon .

Caroline Weedon
01 March 2021  |  11:50

This was really helpful - thanks

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