Vegetables in part shade? YES

Fri. Feb. 22, 2019

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

Not every vegetable has to have full sun.  Yes, tomatoes and peppers and melons do, but there are many other choices for, in some cases, less than a few hours of direct sunlight!

In his book, ‘Decoding Gardening Advice’, Jeff Gillman (former U of M Hort Professor and currently Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens in Charlotte North Carolina) shares the number of hours for certain types of vegetables.   I found a new project Jeff is doing along with a lot of other garden professors you may enjoy hearing about!  Click on this LINK.

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

These can handle 4 to 6 hours of sunlight (some of the light can be dappled)

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Coriander aka Cilantro
  • Leek
  • Onions
  • Pea
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnip

Full sun choices – that means 8 hours of sunlight:

  • Cucumber
  • Egglplant
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons

The vegetables that grow in less sunlight are also generally frost tolerant too, so can be planted earlier than our last frost date of May 15th in Zone 4b.

 If you truly don’t have any sunlight, except maybe in the driveway or on a patio, then plant in containers with wheels so you can move them around.  Just remember, they’ll need more watering as those containers dry out much quicker.

The really warm season veggies like tomatoes, peppers, squash and melons must have about 8 hours of direct sunlight to produce well and shouldn’t be planted in soil temperatures of less than 60 degrees.  I plant these around Memorial weekend.