It is not every gardening enthusiast that is blessed with a spot, which is located in an area that receives an optimum amount of sunlight, and this sometimes makes vegetables growing a challenge.
However, despite vegetable gardening sometimes tend to be challenging in full shade, there are still some awesome vegetables that grow in shade. In this article, I will provide you with a list of 21 good shade-tolerant vegetables that you can grow in shade.
But, before we proceed, here are the vegetables that can grow in the full shade: spinach, Beets, Broccoli, Arugula, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Kale, Lettuce, Radish, Potatoes, Leek, Brussels sprouts, Turnip, Rhubarb, Parsnip, Carrot, Mustard greens, and so on.
Read on to find out detailed information about these vegetables to grow in the shaded regions.
What Vegetables Grow Best in Shade?
Understanding the different garden spots can help you know what type of garden spot you have beforehand. Generally, there are three main areas or garden spots recognized in agriculture. And they are classified base on the amount of direct sunlight each of them receives.
- Full shade
- Partial shade
- Full sun
A full shade area is a garden spot that receives little to no direct sunlight. Plants generally do not thrive well in an area that does not receive direct or reflected sunlight. However, if the spot can receive even 2 hours of reflected or direct sunlight, there are some important leafy greens and root vegetables that can grow in such an area. And these are the types of vegetables we want to talk about in this article.
A partial shade area refers to a garden spot or an area that receives 3-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. This type of area is also not suitable for fruit vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and garden eggplants. However, if you can invest in extra garden maintenance, you can even the fruit vegetables in a partial shade area.
A full sun region is a garden spot or an area that receives 6 or more hours of full direct sunlight daily. Most if not all fruit vegetables prefer this kind of area. However, root and leafy green vegetables do not grow and produce well in full sun areas.
Here are some good vegetables that you can grow in full shade area:
Spinach is a common flowering plant that is scientifically known as Spuricia oleracea. It is believed to be native to western and central Asia. It belongs to the family Amaranthaceae.
Spinach mainly is grown for its leafy green vegetables, which are enjoyed either fresh or in cooking. Spinach is an annual vegetable, which can thrive well in areas that receive 2-4 hours of sunlight. Learn more.
Read also: 15 Best Vegetables To Grow In Wet Soil
Beet is a common vegetable crop in Canada and the USA. The plant is scientifically known as Beta vulgaris and it is cultivated for its edible taproots and leaves.
Other common names of beet include red beet, table beet, and garden beet. Beet is another easy to grow vegetable that you may consider growing in full shade. The plant does tolerate shade or a short supply of sunshine.
Broccoli is scientifically known as Brassica oleracea. It is an edible vegetable that is in the same family as cabbage. Broccoli is mostly cultivated for its large flowering head, stalk, and leaves.
It was shown to be a good source of vitamin C and K. These vitamins make broccoli a good additive in salad dressings and many other recipes. Broccoli is also another good vegetable that thrives well in shade. Learn more.
Read also: 12 Easy Vegetables To Grow In Full Sun
Arugula is an edible annual vegetable, which is scientifically known as Erica vesicaria. It belongs to the family Brassicaceae.
It is mainly cultivated for its leaves, which found a place in many dishes in Australia, Britain, Ireland, South Africa, and New Zealand. Arugula is commonly known with other names around these countries such as rocket, rucola, and ruchetta. Consider adding Argula to your list if you are looking for vegetables to grow in full shade.
Cabbage which is scientifically known as Brassica oleracea (or specifically a cultivar of the Brassica) is a common biennial flowering plant that is cultivated as an annual vegetable for its edible dense-leaved heads. The dense-leaded heads can be eaten fresh or in salad dressings.
Cabbage is also considered a shade-loving plant, which can tolerate 2-4 hours of sunlight in a day.
Cauliflower is also one of the cultivars of the Brassica, which is in the family Brassicaceae. It is also grown as an annual vegetable just like cabbage. The edible part, which is commonly known as curd is made up of white inflorescence meristem.
Cauliflower is another good shade-loving vegetable to grow in shade alongside other vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli. Learn How To Grow Cauliflower From Scraps
Read also: How To Grow Vegetables From Scraps
Celery is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, which is cultivated for its long fibrous stalks and leaves. The leaves, stalk, and hypocotyl are used in herbal medicine and in cooking. Celery is also a good vegetable that adapts shade with 2-6 hours of daily sunlight.
Kale is another cultivar of Brassica, which is also cultivated for its edible leaves. Kale unlike other Brassica cultivars, AHS green to purple leaves with central leaves that do not form a head like that of cabbage and cauliflower. Kale can be enjoyed in cooking or in recipes such as salad dressings.
Lettuce belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is an annual vegetable, which is scientifically known as Lactuca sativa. Lettuce is mainly grown for its edible leaves and sometimes seeds and stems. The leaves of lettuce are widely enjoyed as salad greens and in cooking.
Radish is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, which is scientifically known as Raphanus raphanistrum. Radish is mainly cultivated as an edible root vegetable just like onions and garlic.
Radish is commonly eaten raw as a salad vegetable. It has a pungent flavor. It can be grown as a cover vegetable in a shade cold winter.
Potato is a perennial flowering plant, which is grown as a vegetable for its tubers. It belongs to the Solanaceae and is scientifically known as Solanum tuberosum. It is one of the common vegetables utilized in Europe and is enjoyed in different dishes.
Potato is one of the good vegetables that does not require too much sunlight and prefers shade for the rest of the day.
Leek is one of the cultivars of broadleaf or wild leek, which is cultivated for its edible vegetable leaves. Leek grows well in soil that drains water well and it is a shade-loving plant. Other relatives include onions and garlic.
13. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are one of the members of the Brassica, a group that contained vegetables such as cabbage.
Brussels sprouts are mostly grown for their edible buds. The plant can be cultivated at a temperature that ranges from 7-24°C (45-75°F). However, Brussels sprouts grow well between the temperature range 15-18°C (59-64°F).
Turnip is scientifically known as Brassica rapa. It is a common temperate climatic vegetable, which is cultivated for its edible taproots.
Turnips are different varieties. The small tender turnips are cultivated for human consumption and the large variety are grown for feeding animals or as livestock feed.
Turnip is also a good vegetable that you may consider cultivating around the microclimate of your garden or backyard.
Rhubarb is a herbaceous perennial vegetable that is gotten from cultivated species in the genus Rheum and family Polygonaceae. The edible fleshy stalk can be taken in cooking.
Parsnip is a biennial vegetable in the family Apiaceae. It is scientifically known as Pastinaca sativa. Parsnip thrives well in cold winter, which produces mid-green leaves that release a good fragrant aroma. Parsnip is just like carrots and can be enjoyed in cooking or eaten fresh.
Carrot is scientifically known as Caucus carota. It is a root vegetable, which is native to Europe and southwestern Asia. It belongs to the Apiaceae family. Carrots are mainly grown as biennial root vegetables, which can be used in cooking or eaten raw.
18. Mustard greens
Mustard green is a species of mustard plant which is scientifically known as Brassica juncea. Common names of mustard greens include brown mustard, vegetable mustard, Chinese mustard, Oriental mustard, Indian mustard, and leaf mustard.
Broad bean is a flowering plant that is scientifically known as Vicia faba. It belongs to the family Fabaceae. It is widely grown as a vegetable for human consumption. Common names of broad beans include. It is a shade-loving vegetable, which is cultivated as a cover crop.
20. Swiss chard
Swiss chard is another good vegetable that can be grown in partial shade area. It is a green leafy vegetable and one of the cultivars of flavacense.
Swiss Chard, just like other green leafy vegetables has highly nutritious leaves, which make swiss chard a popular ingredient of healthy diets. Swiss Chard has been utilized in cooking for many ages, but due to its resemblance with beets and some leafy green vegetables like cardoon, the popular names that cooks and cultures have used for swiss chard may be confusing.
Swiss chard has gotten many names and includes silverbeet, perpetual spinach, beet spinach, seakale beet, or leaf beet.
Asparagus is a flowering plant, which is scientifically known as Asparagus officinalis. It is a perennial vegetable that is grown for its edible young shoots. It is called commonly garden asparagus and sparrow grass. Asparagus also thrives well in sandy soil and partially shaded regions.
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In this article, I provided a list of vegetables that can be grown in full shade areas or a microclimate around your backyard. I hope you will find the article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.