Today let’s talk about shade loving vegetables. As gardeners, we all want to maximize the productivity of our gardens. If it were up to us, every part of our yard would be teeming with healthy crops that bask in the golden light of the sun.
What Vegetables Grow In Shade?
But the truth is even the best-tended gardens can’t have sunny spots all over. Chances are there are shaded and partially shaded areas in your yard that you might think aren’t great for growing anything.
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But hold up because today, we’re going to change all that. Some shade tolerant vegetables that can thrive in areas that don’t receive a lot of sunshine. Let’s talk about what What Vegetables Grow In Shade!
Why Grow Vegetables in the Shade
Let’s get one thing out of the way first, not all plants need full sunlight to grow healthy, that’s why we’re talking about vegetables that grow in partial shade.
So even if your garden has a lot of shaded areas you can still grow lush crops. There are quite a few advantages to growing certain plants in the shade.
Among other things, you can grow cool-season crops for a longer period, the shade can protect your plants from the sweltering summer sun, and your leafy crops will grow to be succulent and not bitter.
A Few Things to Keep In Mind When Growing Plants in Partial or Full Shade
When discussing shade garden vegetables, you need to remember a few things. For starters, you need to choose vegetables and herbs that are adapted to the shade. Some plants only need as little as 2 hours of sunlight per day so if there are shaded areas in your garden, you can place these crops there.
You also need to start crops for shade gardens indoors. Doing so helps with seed germination and seedling growth and will help your crops thrive in a shaded site.
It’s also a good idea to grow these crops in containers so you can move them into sunnier spots as the seasons change.
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Remember as well that vegetables that don’t need sun to grow may take longer to mature and your crop yield might not be as optimal as with plants grown in full sun.
To help plants receive more sunlight, you may want to try painting nearby walls and fences with a lighter color so they can reflect more light to your crops. Light-colored pavements can also reflect more light to shaded gardens.
Vegetables For Shady Areas
- Arugula, endive, and watercress tend to bolt and become bitter when exposed to too much sun. They only need 3 to 4 hours of sunshine per day.
- Asian greens enjoy the bright shade with ambient light. They can only tolerate up to 2 hours of sunlight per day.
- Mustard and mesclun can be grown for its baby greens and will only require 2 to 3 hours of sun per day. The flavor of mustard intensifies depending on the sunlight it produces so if you want delicately-flavored baby greens, grow them in partial shade.
- Lettuce grown in the shade with 3 to 4 hours of sun exposure per day does not bolt and can be harvested for up to 2 to 3 weeks more.
- Scallions only need 3 hours of sun per day and can be grown all season long.
- Spinach can also be grown in the shade and exposed to only 3 to 4 hours of sun per day to avoid bolting.
- Most culinary herbs like chives, garlic chives, mint, oregano, lemon balm, and parsley do well in partial shade.
- Peas and beans that grow in bushes can take partially shaded conditions. They can take as little as 5 hours of sun per day.
- Root vegetables can be grown in partial shade conditions but will take longer to mature. You can also grow baby carrots and new potatoes more economically this way.
- Similar to root vegetables, you can also grow Brussels sprouts in partial shade. They’ll be smaller in size but they will produce beautiful and tasty veggies.
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I hope that this post about What Vegetables Grow In Shade opens you up to be able to grow more in the shaded areas of your yard, or even indoors.
Do you have veggies that you grow int he shade? Share the details with us, we’d love to hear about them.
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