Vegetables for part shade

Tue. Feb. 18, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Vegetables for part shade

Yes, it’s possible to grow some vegetables in part shade! Wahoo!  Certainly warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and melons need full sun (8 hours of direct sunlight), there are plenty of delicious options for less sun!

Jeff Gillman (former U of M Hort Professor and currently Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens in Charlotte North Carolina) points them out in his book ‘Decoding Gardening Advice’.

Gillman says these vegetables/herbs need as little as 2 hours of direct sunlight (I would encourage dappled sun too):

  • Arugula
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Mustard greens
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
Kale is king
Brussel sprouts

Worth a try in light shade – 4 to 6 hours of sunlight:

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Coriander aka Cilantro
  • Leek
  • Onions
  • Pea
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnip
beets from the garden – nothing like fresh beets!… except tomatoes… and peppers and …

Plants that tolerate less sun, tolerate light frost. Warm season vegetables should not be planted in soil any  cooler than 60 degrees for the best chance at thriving. I live in zone 4b and don’t plant them until Memorial weekend at the earliest. Unless you have a row cover!

Must have full sun of 6 to (preferably) 8 hours of direct sunlight:

  • Cucumber
  • Egglplant
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • melons