Veggies in part shade? Yes

Wed. Feb. 21, 2018

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

Most people believe you must have full sun (about 8 hours) to plant all veggies.  And while I agree that full sun is optimal, it’s not necessary.  So says Jeff Gillman (former U of M Hort Professor and currently Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens in Charlotte North Carolina) in his book ‘Decoding Gardening Advice’.

I highly recommend this book!

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
Swiss chard 'Bright Lights'
Swiss chard ‘Bright Lights’
Brussel sprouts – Octia

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

MUST have full sun 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight:

  • Cucumber
  • Egglplant
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
dried cherry tomatoes, pepper, heirloom tomato
dried cherry tomatoes, pepper, heirloom tomato

The plants that tolerate less sun also tolerate some light frost.  The warm season veggies shouldn’t be planted in soil temperatures any colder than 60 degrees, some books say 70!  I don’t plant my tomatoes or peppers before Memorial Day in zone 4b.