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30+ Vegetables That Grow in Shade

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Do you have an area of your garden that is shaded part of the day? If you think you can’t grow anything there, you are wrong. There are many vegetables that grow in shade. Some even thrive when sheltered from the intense rays from the summer sun.

leafy greens growing in a shady area of the garden

Trees and buildings in and around your yard can make it difficult to choose a garden location. The shadows cast by objects change throughout the day and with the season as the sun shifts. Luckily, there are many edible plants that can thrive in partial shade, dappled shade, or in as little as 3-6 hours of sunlight a day.

I have trees all around the yard that shade different parts of the garden during the day. The south end of the vegetable garden starts out as full sun in the spring, and then changes to different degrees of partial sun as the sun shifts throughout the growing season.

I try not to look at the shaded areas as obstacles. Partially shaded places can provide a perfect microclimate for vegetables that prefer to avoid the strong midday sunshine of summer.

Understanding Sun Exposure:

There are three basic sunlight conditions that are used to describe the amount of sun during the prime-growing season:

Full Sun: Full sun areas receive direct sunshine for 6 or more hours per day between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm. In northern climates where the sun strength is weaker, plants requiring full sun do better with 8 or more hours per day.

Partial Shade: Partial shade or partial sun both refer to areas that obtain 3-6 hours of sun each day. Partial sun areas receive 3-6 hours of direct sunlight but are shaded the rest of the day. Partial shaded spaces are moderately shaded during part of the day or receive filtered or dappled sunlight all day. Dappled sunlight is where the light is filtered through the leaves of trees.

Full Shade: Full shade areas receive no direct sun or reflected light during the day. An area with deep shade is not a good place for growing vegetables. All plants need some light to grow.

Do you have an area of your garden that is shaded part of the day? If you think you can’t grow anything there, you are wrong. There are many vegetables that grow in shade. Some even thrive when sheltered from the intense rays from the summer sun.

Tips for Growing Vegetables in Partial Shade

A partially shaded section of your yard is different than one that receives full sun all day long. A shady spot is a microclimate that can be ideal for growing some vegetables that wither in direct sunlight.

Partially shaded garden areas provide an opportunity to extend your cool-season crops from spring into early summer. A little shade in late spring will help prevent your leafy greens from turning bitter and bolting as the temperatures rise.

Plant your fall garden under the dappled canopy of trees in late summer and the plants will be well established when the leaves fall in autumn. The extra available sunshine and cooler temperatures will catapult the growth of your autumn veggies.

A microclimate is the climate of a small area that is different from the area around it. Here are tips to help you embrace your partially shaded microclimate:

Use Good Quality Soil

If you are going to challenge your shade-tolerant crops to grow in partial shade, provide them with good-quality soil with plenty of nutritious compost. Here are 7 Tips to Build Healthy Soil.

If tree roots are a problem, consider growing vegetables in containers, or using a raised bed: How to Build a Square Foot Garden.

Adapt the Moisture Requirements

The watering needs of your shade garden will be different than a garden in full sun. Moisture doesn’t evaporate as quickly in shade so you may not need to water as often.

However, if your shade garden is near trees, you may need to water more frequently since your plants will be competing with trees for moisture. Also the leafy canopy can prevent rain from reaching your plants. Water when the soil feels dry and mulch to conserve moisture. 5 Ways Organic Mulch Helps Your Vegetable Garden.

Watch for Pests

Shady and cool areas are very welcoming to slugs and snails. Consider using a border of crushed eggshells to deter slugs or provide a hospitable living area to Attract Frogs and Toads to your garden.

Expect Slower Maturation Times

Vegetables that prefer more sunlight but can grow in shade will grow slower. Expect to wait for a little longer for the plants to mature than what is suggested on the seed package to make up for the less than ideal growing conditions.

Consider Starting Seedlings Indoors

Start your own transplants from seed indoors and plant them in your shade garden when space opens up with these 10 Steps to Starting Seedlings Indoors.

Direct Sow Seeds in Your Garden

Some crops are easy to grow from seeds planted directly in your garden. Here are 13 Easy Vegetables to Direct Sow plus tips on ways to plant seeds.

Succession Plant

Keep your garden beds producing throughout your growing season by succession planting fresh crops when space opens up. Here are 3 Succession Planting Tips to maximize your harvest.

leafy greens growing in a shady garden

30+ Vegetables That Grow in Shade

While the heat loving tomatoes, melons, and peppers prefer drinking in as much sunshine as they can get, some crops wither and die in hot, bright sun conditions. There are plenty of vegetables that grow in shade, dappled sunlight, or with as little as 3-6 hours of sunlight per day:

Vegetables that fruit from a blossom, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and squash are the least tolerant of shady areas. Plant these in full sun areas that receive the most direct sunlight per day.

Root vegetables, such as beets, carrots, and potatoes will grow in partially shaded areas that have less direct sunlight, but will appreciate at least a half-day of full sun and some partial shade.

Leafy vegetables, such as chard, spinach and salad greens, are the most tolerant vegetables that grow in shade. In fact, keeping these plants shaded as the season heats up will help them last longer. Plant these crops in areas on that are moderately shaded during part of the day or receive filtered or dappled sunlight all day.

Shady areas do present a challenge to growing a vegetable garden, but don’t let it stop you from growing food. Here are over 30 vegetables that you can grow in partial shade:

Arugula

Arugula is a cool season green that will appreciate some shade as the growing season warms up to extend the harvest. The foliage has a peppery flavor that spices up salads and soups.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in spring and fall, or plant transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: Around 20 days at baby stage and 40 days full size. Begin cutting outer leaves once they are at least 2-inches long and allow the plant to continue to produce harvests.
  • Varieties to Consider: Salad Rocket, Wild Rocky, and Dragons Tongue.

Asparagus

Asparagus is a long-lived perennial vegetable grown for its tender spears that emerge as the soil warms in late spring and early summer. Harvest yields are higher in full-sun locations, but asparagus plants will also tolerate partial shade. Plan on growing more plants to accommodate the difference.

  • How to Grow: Start from seed or from 1- to 2- year old roots.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: Plants should be 3 years old before harvesting. The first year, harvest spears that are 6-inches high and thicker than a pencil by cutting just above the soil level. Only harvest for 2-weeks the first year to allow the plant to become established. The second year, pick for 3 weeks, and the third season, pick for 4-weeks. Mature plants can be harvested for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Varieties to Consider: Jersey Knight, Mary Washington, Pacific Purple

Beets

Beets are a cool season crop grown for both greens and roots. The greens thrive in partial shade. While the roots will be a bit smaller when grown in partial shade, they will be tender tasty. Enjoy fresh greens in salads, soups, and sautéing, and earthy roots roasted, boiled, pickled, or canned.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in spring and fall.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: Around 30 days for greens and 60 days for roots. Harvest beet greens when they are 5-inches tall. You can snip a stalk or two from each beet plant without compromising the root growth. Harvest the beetroot when they around 2-inches in diameter.
  • Varieties to Consider: Chioggia, Detroit Dark Red, Touchstone Gold, or grow this Colorful Mixed Beet collection.
  • Also See How to Grow Beets for more tips.

Bok Choi

Bok Choi, also known as pak choy and other names, is a cool season type of Chinese cabbage. Growing bok choi in partial shade can help prevent it from bolting, or going to seed as the season warms. Enjoy baby bok choi braised, roasted, stir-fried, grilled, or raw in salads.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in spring and fall, or start transplants indoors.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days for baby bok choi, or around 60 days for mature plants. You can harvest foliage by cutting outer leaves allowing the plants to continue to produce. Harvest full plants by cutting stalks at the soil level.
  • Varieties to Consider: White Stem Bok Choy, Toy Choi.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a slow growing, cool season plant that will appreciate some shade as the growing season heats up. Broccoli is grown for its edible flower buds. Once the plant blooms, the flavor turns bitter. Growing broccoli in partial shade will slow the plant from blooming. Enjoy broccoli raw or cooked in salads, soups, and stir-fries.

  • How to Grow: Start from seeds indoors or plant transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 50 to 70 days. Harvest when the heads have tight, firm buds. Cut off the central head and the plant will grow side shoots with smaller heads for another harvest.
  • Varieties to Consider: Belstar, Green Comet, and Santee.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a long season crop planted in spring for a fall harvest. Partial shade will help the plant endure warm summers. Brussels sprouts taste better after frost has a chance to sweeten them a bit. Wait until after several light fall frosts to begin harvesting.

  • How to Grow: Start from seeds indoors or plant transplants after all danger of frost is past.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 90 to 100 days. After a light frost, harvest sprouts as needed for meals when they are about 1 to 2-inches in size. Begin harvesting from the bottom of the stalks and work your way up. Remove the foliage under the sprout, and twist off the sprout.
  • Varieties to Consider: Long Island Improved, Jade Cross, Rosella Purple, and Red Bull.

Cabbage

Cabbage is a cool season crop that develops as round heads of foliage that wrap around each other tightly. Cabbage will grow well partial shade especially when the season warms up. Enjoy cabbage raw or cooked in soups, salads, stir-fry, and ferment as sauerkraut and kimchi.

  • How to Grow: Start from seeds indoors or plant transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: 60 to 110 days depending on the variety. Heads will feel firm and solid. Harvest cabbage when the heads reach a usable size by cutting the head off at the soil level.
  • Varieties to Consider: Fast Ball, Early Jersey Wakefield, and Danish Roundhead.

Carrots

Carrots are grown for their sweet roots. There are so many varieties of carrots that grow roots in different colors, shapes, and maturity times. The colors range from purple, dark red, orange, to light yellow. Carrots will grow smaller in partial shade, and take a little longer to mature, but will produce a nice sweet crop even in warm weather.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days as baby carrots and 60 days full size. Carrots are edible at any size. You can begin harvesting carrots as thinnings. Harvest mature carrots as needed when the roots size up.
  • Varieties to Consider: Chantenay, Danvers, Imperator, Little Finger, and Parisian.
  • Also see Growing Great Spring Carrots for more tips.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is grown for its flower head, which is also called the “curd.” Although white is the most common, there are also a wide range of colors, including purple, orange, and green. Cauliflower grown in partial shade will grow slowly, with smaller heads, but the shade will help prevent the heads from discoloring and flowering prematurely. Enjoy raw, steamed, baked, pickled, and in stir-fries.

  • How to Grow: Start seeds indoors for spring planting, plant transplants, or direct sow seeds in late summer for a fall harvest.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 50 to 120 days depending on the variety. Harvest when the heads reach usable size, before the flower buds open. Cut the head at ground level and remove the leaves.
  • Varieties to Consider: Flamestar, Cheddar, Graffiti, Romanesco Veronica, and Snow Crown

Celery

Celery is a slow growing, cool season crop grown for its long, crunchy leafstalks. Too much heat will cause the stalks to become hollow. Although growing in partial shade may produce shorter and thinner stalks, celery prefers cooler weather and will grow healthier out of the heat.

  • How to Grow: Start seeds indoors or plant transplants in spring.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 45 days at baby stage, or 90 to 120 days for mature plants. Begin harvesting outer stalks as needed when the plants are about 6-inches tall, or harvest the entire mature plant by cutting at the soil level.
  • Varieties to Consider: Conquistador, Tango, and Utah Tall.
  • Also see How to Grow Celery for more tips.

Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage is a cool season crop that has a mild, sweet flavor. It is also called Napa cabbage has a milder flavor than regular cabbage. It grows in a tall, elongated head of crinkled leaves. Chinese cabbage will not tolerate hot temperatures. Partial shade will help keep the foliage from bolting and turning bitter.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in spring and fall, or start transplants indoors.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: 45 to 60 days. Harvest outer leaves that are about 8-inches tall, or let the cabbage mature and harvest whole heads.
  • Varieties to Consider: Nikko, Merlot, Minuet, and Rubicon.

Garlic

Garlic is grown for its large bulbs that are made up of cloves. Garlic is grown from cloves rather than seeds and is planted in fall, allowed to over winter, and harvested in summer. Garlic grown in partial shade will produce smaller cloves, but they will be just as flavorful.

  • How to Grow: Plant garlic seed 4-6 weeks before your estimated hard frost date in fall. Zones 5-8 should plant mid-October through mid-November.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: Harvest garlic at any stage for fresh eating. Garlic is mature when the foliage begins to turn brown at the bottom of the plant.
  • Varieties to Consider: There are so many varieties of garlic to grow. Consider trying German Extra Hardy, Music, Purple Glazier, Inchelium Red, and California Softneck.
  • Also see Tips for Growing Great Garlic and Harvesting, Curing and Storing Garlic for more info.

Horseradish

Horseradish is a cool season crop grown for its pungent roots that are used as a condiment. Although it is a perennial, it is best to grow as an annual because the roots become tough and fibrous the second year. Horseradish thrives in partial shade if planted in moist, rich, well-drained soil.

  • How to Grow: Plant crowns or root cuttings in early spring. Keep horseradish from spreading by growing in its own area or in a container.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: Dig roots in fall after the foliage is killed by frost.
  • Varieties to Consider: Bohemian, Common, and Big Top Western.

Kale

Kale is a cool season crop grown for its slightly bitter leaves. Warm weather can cause kale to become tough and very bitter. Grow kale in partial shade and it will produce leafy greens all season long. Kale is very cold tolerant, making it a great crop for fall.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in spring and late summer for fall crop or plant transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days for baby greens, and 60 days at full size. Harvest the bottom leaves as needed once they reach 6-8 inches long. Let the plant continue to grow and produce more foliage. Kale sweetens after frost.
  • Varieties to Consider: Dwarf Blue Curly, Nero di Tuscana Lacinato, Red Russian

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is an easy to grow cool season crop that forms a ball above the ground. It is in the Brassica family and tastes like a combination of cabbage with a mild spicy kick like a radish. Kohlrabi will grow smaller bulbs in partial shade, but will appreciate cooler temperatures when the summer heats up. Enjoy raw in salads or coleslaws, roasted, or added to soups and stews.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in spring and fall, or plant transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 55 days. Cut the bottom of the plant at the soil level once the bulb is about 2 to 3-inches in diameter.
  • Varieties to Consider: Early Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Sweet Vienna

Leeks

Leeks are related to onions, but have a mild, sweeter flavor. They also don’t form a bulb like onions do making them a great candidate to grow in partial shade. Expect leeks to be a bit smaller when growing in partial shade. Use leeks in soups, meat, and vegetable dishes.

  • How to Grow: Start seeds early indoors or plant purchased transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 70 to 120 days depending on the variety. Leeks take a long time to mature and are best harvested in fall after frost. Leeks are ready to harvest young once the stalks reach about 1/2 -inch in diameter, or leave to mature fully. Harvest before the ground freezes.
  • Varieties to Consider: King Richard, Poncho, and Takrima.

Lettuce

Lettuce is a cool season vegetable that will bolt, or go to seed in warm temperatures. Growing lettuce in partial shade will help keep the roots cooler allowing you to harvest longer as the summer heats up. Plant fall lettuce under a canopy of trees in late summer, and it will thrive once cooler weather arrives. All lettuce varieties can be harvested as baby greens, or left to mature fully.

  • How to Grow: Start from seed indoors, direct sow outside, or plant transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days for baby greens. Pick leaves as needed from the outside and allow the plant to continue to produce leaves. Looseleaf and butterhead lettuce mature in 45 to 50 days. Romaine lettuce matures in 65 to 70 days. To harvest mature lettuce, cut entire heads at the soil level.
  • Varieties to Consider: Romaine, Simpson, and Freckles
  • Homemade Seed Mats: Sowing small seeds can be difficult. Instead of scattering seeds then thinning later, creating seed mats allows you to space out the seeds before planting. Visit for the full tutorial.

Mizuna

Mizuna is a Japanese green with a slightly bitter, mustard flavor. It is best grown in cool weather, but unlike other leafy greens, it is slow to bolt when the weather turns warm. Growing with some shade may yield a generous crop even in the summer months. The texture of the lobed leaves blends well with salad greens and is crisp enough to hold up to steaming and stir-frying.

  • How to Grow: Start from seed indoors, direct sow outside, or plant transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 20 days for baby greens, and 50 days for mature heads. Clip young leaves when they are around 3 inches tall or cut the head at the soil level when mature.
  • Varieties to Consider: Mustard Mizuna and Early Mizuna.

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are a fast growing, cool season green enjoyed for it pungent, mustard flavor. Growing in shade will slow the plant from turning bitter and bolting. Harvest young for a peppery addition to salads, or enjoy mature leaves sautéed, boiled, or added to soups.

  • How to Grow: Start from seed indoors, direct sow outside, or plant transplants.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days as baby greens, and 60 days for mature leaves. The flavor intensifies as the plant matures.
  • Varieties to Consider: Red Giant, Ruby Streaks, Osaka Purple, and Florida Broadleaf.

Parsnip

Parsnips are a long seasoned crop grown for their slightly nutty flavored roots. They grow best in cool temperatures and are harvested in the fall after frost sweetens their flavor. Parsnips will tolerate partial shade, which will help keep the roots cool and help prevent the soil from drying out. Enjoy parsnips roasted, pan-fried, and in soups and stews.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in spring after danger of heavy frost is past.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 120 to 180 days for mature roots. Parsnips are edible at any size. You can begin harvesting as thinnings or small roots as needed when the roots size up. If you can, wait until a frost before harvesting for a sweeter flavor.
  • Varieties to Consider: Gladiator, Hollow Crown, and Javelin.

Peas

Peas are a cool season vegetable that will appreciate a partial shade as the weather heats up. Snow and snap peas are enjoyed for their crunchy pods and immature peas. Garden peas, also known as English or sweet peas are shelling peas that are removed from the inedible pod.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in spring after danger of heavy frost is past.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30-65 days depending on the variety. Harvest peas frequently to encourage the plants to keep producing.
  • Varieties to Consider: Oregon Sugar Pod, Super Sugar Snap, Garden Sweet Shelling

Potatoes

Potatoes prefer cooler weather. While potatoes will thrive in full sun, the plants will also tolerate partial shade as well. Expect a lower yield and smaller tubers when growing potatoes in partial shade.

  • How to Grow: Plant seed tubers as soon as the ground can be worked in the early spring, once the soil temperature reaches 45˚F.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 70 to 120 days depending on the variety. For baby or new potatoes, you can begin harvesting as needed once the plants bloom. Dig carefully beneath the soil, pull out what you need, and allow the plant to continue growing. For mature potatoes, allow the foliage to die back before harvest.
  • Varieties to Consider: Too numerous to list! I have enjoyed growing Dark Red Norland, Kennebec, and Rose Fin Apple Fingerling.
  • Also see 6 Ways to Grow Potatoes and How to Harvest, Cure and Store Potatoes for more tips. Also try Growing Potatoes in Containers.

Radish

This cool season crop will need partial shade to grow in warmer weather. Radishes are a great crop to succession sow and can be enjoyed for their roots and foliage. Enjoy raw in salads, and on a veggie platter. Try roasted, pan fried, and sautéed. The greens can be made into pesto, stir-fried, steamed, or added raw to salads.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in early spring as soil can be worked. Succession sow every two weeks.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 20 days or when the radish is around 1-inch diameter. The greens are edible too!
  • Varieties to Consider: Cherry Belle, French Breakfast, Sparkler, and Watermelon Mantanghong.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a hardy, cool season perennial vegetable grown for its tart, tangy flavored leaf stalks. It doesn’t need a lot of care once planted and will continue to emerge from the ground and produce a harvest each spring. As a kid, we enjoyed the tart leafstalks raw, dipped in sugar, or sweeten and use in pies, jelly, syrup, or baked goods.

  • How to Grow: Plant root crowns in early spring. Let the rhubarb grow for one year before harvesting so it can become established.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: At least 365 days. Harvest rhubarb stalks that are 12-inches tall by cutting the stalks off with a sharp knife and remove the leaves. Harvest lightly the first few years. Always leave at least one-third of the plant.
  • Varieties to Consider: Canada Red, Colorado Red, and Victoria.

Rutabaga

Rutabagas, also known as a Swede, or Canadian or yellow turnips are grown for its large roots. It is a cross between cabbage and turnips. The roots are larger than turnips, and yellow fleshed with a purple top. Expect slower growth and slightly smaller roots when growing rutabaga in partial shade. Enjoy the roots steamed and mashed, roasted, or baked. The greens are also edible and can be steamed or sautéed.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in early spring or late summer for a fall harvest.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days for greens, and 90 days for roots. Greens can be harvested when they are 6 inches tall. Dig up roots when they are 3-inches in diameter.
  • Varieties to Consider: American Purple Top, Helenor, and Laurentian.

Scallions

Scallions, also called green onions or bunching onions are grown for their green stalks and small bulb. They add a mild onion flavor to salads, cooked recipes, and stir-fries.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds or start transplants indoors.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days at pencil size or up to 120 days for mature plants. Pull 6-inch tall scallions at any stage and allow others to develop further. The onion flavor intensifies with age.
  • Varieties to Consider: Crimson Forest, Evergreen Long White, and White Lisbon.
  • Also see Tips for Growing Onions from Seeds

Spinach

Spinach is a cool season leafy green that will bolt, or go to seed once the weather begins to warm. Growing spinach in a partially shaded garden allows for a longer growing period for this cool-season crop. Toss spinach leaves into a salad, sauté with olive oil and garlic, or chop and add to spring soups.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in early spring and fall, or start transplants indoors.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days for baby greens, 45 days for mature leaves. Harvest the outer leaves and let the plants continue to produce.
  • Varieties to Consider: Avon, Bloomsdale, Butterflay, Space, and Tyee.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green that will produce harvests from early spring, though the summer, and on to fall. Chard is a great substitute when the weather is too hot to grow spinach. Enjoy the stalks and leaves raw, steamed, and sautéed. Toss the greens into salads, sauté with olive oil and garlic, and chop the stems and add to soups and salads.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds or plant transplants indoors.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 45 days for baby greens. Harvest young leaves at 3 inches as needed and let more foliage grow from the center of the plant.
  • Varieties to Consider: Bright Lights, Fordhook Giant, and Celebration.

Tatsoi

Tatsoi is a cool-season, Asian green with small, spoon-shaped leaves that grow in a rosette shaped plant. Growing tatsoi in partial shade will extend the harvest by slowing the plant from bolting in warmer weather. The mustard-like flavor mixes well in salads, stir-fries, and soups.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds or plant transplants indoors.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 25 days for baby greens, 50 days for full sized plants. For baby leaves, cut outer leaves once they are about 4 inches, or cut mature plants at the stem above soil level.
  • Varieties to Consider: Koji and Tatsoi Rosette.

Turnip

Turnip is a cool season crop grown for both greens and roots. Warm weather causes the roots to be woody, so growing in partial shade will help extend the harvest. Plan on harvesting smaller roots when growing turnip in partial shade. Enjoy turnips raw in salads or a veggie tray, or cooked by roasting, boiling and mashing. Greens can be steamed or sautéed.

  • How to Grow: Direct sow seeds in early spring or late summer for a fall harvest.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Harvest: About 30 days for greens, and 90 days for roots. Greens can be harvested when they are 6 inches tall. Dig up roots when they are 3-inches in diameter. Harvest fall crop after frost sweetens the flavor.
  • Varieties to Consider: Golden Ball, Purple Top White Globe, Red Round, and White Egg.

Experiment with a small shade garden and see which vegetables succeed. Also try growing in containers that can be moved to different locations. Knowing the type of vegetables that grow in shade will help you make the most out of your gardening space.

Do you have any other tips for growing vegetables in partial shade?
Did you find any of these tips worked especially well for you?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Do you have an area of your garden that is shaded part of the day? There are many vegetables that grow in shade. Some even thrive when sheltered from the intense rays from the summer sun. Read on for over 30 vegetables that will grow in partial shade.

25 Comments

  1. Very helpful article, many thanks. I have a South facing garden in Arizona but the wall at the end of it is North facing. Do you think a large reflective surface directing the sunlight to the base of the wall where I would like to grow some of the salads you have mentioned will help? By the way this is for the Fall and Winter growing seasons only.

      1. Thank you for your advice. I have been trying several different varieties of salads and so far Arugula and Mizuna are the best for growing in the shade of the wall. The problem with directing sunlight using a reflective surface is at this time of year is the position of the sun is so low that there are frequent interruptions from trees and the reflector has to be adjusted very often. So I am going ahead with planting in moveable containers as you suggested and intend to try a ‘vertical planting tree’ using lengths of metal gutters fastened to a SE facing wall. I will sow more salads here since they have shallow roots. There are some useful Youtube videos on this subject.

        1. Tony, Thanks for the update! Arugula and Mizuna are extremely hearty greens and tend to grow very well in shady spots. Winter sun can be challenging. It sounds like you are on the right tract by using containers and experimenting with gutter gardening.

  2. Hullo. Thank you for your article. Just wanted to ask, for plants like broccoli and cabbage, what is the minimum amount of sunlight that they can thrive on? Also, in terms of soil, I simply get the bags of soil from a garden center, is that sufficient? I do compost an amount of vegetables, but not sure if that’s enough.

    Thanks you.

    1. Ibrahim, Both Broccoli and Cabbage will grow in partial shade, 3-6 hours per day. As far as bagged soil goes, look for nutrient rich “garden soil” that is formulated for growing vegetables. Usually these blends include compost right in the mix. Avoid anything that is called “top soil” or says it is used for landscaping or yard fill.

  3. Hi. Thanks for your article. I have a shady area that I tried to grow cabbage and carrots and radishes. The radishes have grown and I can’t wait to harvest. But the other veges didn’t catch. I realize that the radishes are in partial shade while the remaining veges were in full shade. Help! Are there veges that grow in full shade?

    1. Renu, Unfortunately, an area with full deep shade all day is not a good place for growing vegetables. Light moves throughout the year, so maybe watch and see if the sun reaches this area and try planting something then.

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