For vegetable gardeners on mature lots, deciding what to plant can be tricky. Most vegetables need a minimum of six to eight hours of sunlight per day and the more sun the better, especially for things like tomatoes, squash and green beans. If your lot has lots of trees, it may be hard to get that amount of sunlight. But don’t despair! There are shade tolerant vegetables, especially if you have partial shade or dappled shade.
Here are a few of the shade tolerant vegetables experienced gardeners with shady lots recommend:
Fruits: Most fruits prefer full sun, but some can tolerate partial shade. Raspberries, currants, blackberries, gooseberries, huckleberries or alpine strawberries will work if you have a spot that is sunny part of the day, but not quite six or eight hours.
Greens: Many greens grow well in slightly shady areas, especially during the hotter months of the summer. They are among the most shade tolerant vegetables. Greens like cool weather and soil, so the shade may keep them productive longer. Best greens for shady spots include kale, spinach and Swiss chard.
Other vegetables: Broccoli, peas, radishes, beets, turnips and carrots can also grow well in lower sun areas.
Herbs: Some of the hardier herbs also do fine in partial shade, including thyme, mint (keep it in a pot unless you want mint groundcover!), parsley and garlic chives.
Is shade a problem in your vegetable garden? What do you grow in your shady spots?