Vegetables That Grow In The Shade

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Did you know there are vegetables that grow in the shade? There’s actually quite a few, as a matter of fact. I believe it’s critical we learn to garden as soon as possible. Here’s the deal, if you are new to gardening, that’s okay. Or if you are not interested in growing any of your food, that’s okay too.

If you have been watching the news you are probably aware of the storms that have ravaged areas where so much of our food is produced. This means there may be some of the basic food items we use every day that will escalate in price. One of the items will be meat.

I would recommend stocking up on meat as soon as your budget allows. By the end of the year, I’m afraid meat prices could double or triple. They have to rise to meet supply and demand. You may want to go see these posts if you missed them: What to Plant In March or What To Plant In April

If you want more information on growing any of these vegetables I have listed below, please check out the two posts above. I walk you through how to plant all of them. Plus, I have the pH levels needed for each vegetable listed below in those posts.

My biggest fear is how the vegetables are being grown around the country. I don’t know about you, but I’m am really tired of hearing some different food is being recalled almost EVERY week. Good grief! One week it is spinach, the next week it is chicken or salad greens. Then the FDA announces fruit is contaminated. Are you like me and think twice before you pick up a head of lettuce?

This is why I feel strongly about raising our own food. Do you want to use up as much of your yard to grow your food? We all have areas that are shady or maybe have partial sunlight during the day. Some of these vegetables will require some sunlight, but at least we can grow something in those “darker” areas of our yard, either front or back. This is where I buy my seeds for the garden. SeedsNow

Vegetables That Grow In The Shade

I like to list things in alphabetical order, so here we go. These are just a few of the vegetables you can plant in the shade. There are more, but this gives you an idea of how many work with less sunshine.

1. Asparagus

I may have mentioned I just planted 40 crown asparagus roots. I have never planted it before and I’m super excited! They are two-year male sprouts and they will produce for 20 years, if properly cared for in the garden. If you think about it, you plant the crowns in the dirt and wait for it to grow. We hopefully can harvest some next year if my dog, Bailey, stops digging in the soil. Yes, it does need some sunshine, but will thrive with less, so the partial shade will work.

2. Basil

I love basil, it actually grows like a weed, so be prepared because it spreads out. We have grown basil for 20 years and it’s one of the easiest plants you can grow from seed. It will thrive in the shade and does not need sunshine all day long. If you can think of a spot in your yard that could start producing food, you may want to try growing it. It’s a wonderful addition to your homegrown tomatoes with some fresh Mozzarella.

3. Bush Beans

You may think that bush beans need full sun, they do not. What’s nice is the leaves are actually protecting the beans from being overheated, so to speak. These are really easy to grow, and very easy to can with a pressure canner.

4. Beets

I love beets, so I plant them every year. Just think about it, they are root vegetables, as in the ground. They can survive with very little sunshine. They are super easy to plant, grow and harvest.

5. Broccoli

The great thing about broccoli is that it’s a cool season vegetable. It can grow very well with less sunshine than you may think. It will do very well in the shade, so try it if you have room. Please remember, it’s all about growing our own food, we can do this!

6. Cabbage

Cabbage loves cooler weather and shade fills that need. You can grow it with partial shade and harvest it in the summer, if you work it right. You typically plant cabbage in the fall, but hey, why not try growing it in Spring and harvest before the heat is sweltering.

7. Carrots

Carrots are a root, so they grow in the ground or in the pot, whatever you have. They will thrive very well in little to no sunshine because they prefer cool weather. The shade fills that need.

8. Cauliflower

Cauliflower will do very well in partial shade or very little sunshine. Some plants like cauliflower prefer cooler weather so therefore you can plant it where it has limited sunshine.

9. Chives

These work very well when grown in shady locations. We have grown them for years and I use them in my recipes when freshly picked. I also freeze some, but dehydrate even more of them.

10. Garlic

If you missed my post on growing garlic you may want to go check it out. Garlic grows very well in partial sunshine because it’s a root, as in the ground. They also do well in raised garden beds, and even in pots. Yes, you can do this! Planting Garlic

11. Kale

If you love to make juice with Kale, why not grow your own? I love freshly picked YOUNG kale, stir-fried with a little oil. Yummy! You can grow it in the shade because it prefers cooler weather compared to the hot summer. It has so many important vitamins our bodies can really use. Grab some seeds and get some planted. You will love it!

12. Lettuce

Oh my gosh, I love growing my own lettuce. Remember to grab a good pair of scissors to cut the leaves off for that next salad. Lettuce loves cool weather and the shade makes it possible to grow more of our own food.

13. Mint

When you decide to plant mint, make sure you want it where you plant it. It spreads like crazy. And be ready to make some tea and cold drinks with fresh mint.

14. Peas

Peas can easily be grown in partial shade. It’s so fun to grow because there is something about the first vegetable of the season sprouting and peaking through the earth. Who doesn’t love peas and shelling them as a family, right?

15. Potatoes

I think I have mentioned I grow Gold Yukon potatoes in some pots that are about 20-inches tall and 18-inches in diameter. They are roots and will do very well in partial shade. They are so easy to grow. Once you plant potatoes it’s so hard to bake a store bought potato. Fresh potatoes are so moist and fluffy when you bake them, compared to store purchased ones.

16. Radishes

Here again, these are root plants. They grow in the ground and can thrive with less sunshine compared to other plants. You can grow these in the ground, raised garden beds, or pots.

17. Spinach

Spinach is so easy to grow, you practically just sprinkle the seeds and you have a bowl full of spinach very soon. Just kidding, but it will thrive in partial shade or very little sunshine. They love cool weather so the shade keeps the plants cooler. You cut the leaves and they keep on growing back.

Final Word

I hope today’s post gets you excited about having a garden in the ground, in raised garden beds, or in pots on your balcony or patio. It’s awesome to know about all the vegetables you can grow in the shade. May God bless this world. Linda

12 thoughts on “Vegetables That Grow In The Shade

  • April 19, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Great post, Linda ~
    I sometimes wish I had a yard to convert into a lush bed of food! Unfortunately, I do not and it looks like that will be the way for the rest of my life.

    Next week, I plan to get the potting mix needed to fill my grow boxes and start getting things planted. I think I did mention that I am also going to fill a couple of plastic bins with potting mix and grow some other things. I am planning to grow a roma tomato plant, bush cucumber, herbs (basil, cilantro, peppermint, and some others I cannot name right now), lettuce and radishes. The tomato, cucumber and herbs will be in the grow boxes and the lettuce and radishes in a plastic bin. I saw an interesting technique to grow potatoes in plastic pots (you take 2 pots the same size, cut one of the pots leaving large gaps in the side – where you will then harvest the spuds), place the cut pot inside the other and fill it with dirt and seed potato(es). It looked interesting and pretty inexpensive in the short run!

    This fall I am going to start some garlic in a 5 gallon bucket for harvesting next year.

    I am eager to get these things started and have some fresh veggies and salads.

    Just call me “Farmer Leanne” as I am going to figure out how to grow a garden on my 5’X8′ balcony!!

    • April 19, 2019 at 9:08 am

      “Farmer Leanne” you go girl! I planted 2 cloves of garlic I had in the fridge into a potted dwarf peach tree I have about two weeks ago just for fun. Wouldn’t you know it I cut a shoot off already yesterday to put in a salad!

    • April 19, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      HI Farmer Leanne, I love that name! I think we will be farmers sooner than we realize!! I can hardly wait to hear from you on your Grow Boxes! Keep me posted! Garlic is easy to grow! I love it! Farmer Linda

  • April 19, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Leanne, recycled Rubbermaid totes also make sturdy container gardens that are long lasting and deep enough to grow root vegetables and deeper rooted plants.

    I just saw a video last week on a simple self waterer made from a soda bottle with the bottom removed and the mouth sealed into a piece of PVC. The PVC had a cap on the other end, with holes drilled close to the cap.

    Marjorie Wildcraft of The Grow Network just had her spring gardening week of seminars. Several of this year’s presentations dealt with containers and limited space for gardens.

    Good luck with your grow beds!

    • April 19, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      Hi BDN, I think more and more people with limited space are going to figure out how to garden “outside the box” so to speak. We all want to have fresh vegetables and save money at the same time. I need to check out that Grow Network! Linda

  • April 20, 2019 at 10:41 am

    A few yrs ago I wanted to make a birthday present for my older (by 16 yrs, lol) sister. Even in the ‘burbs while raising her 2 boys, setting up her biz, etc, she had a compost pile, a good sized garden. Life changes put her into a real shady spot, no time for garden relaxation. But, boy, she was a tremendously great advice resource for what I was doing. Still is. But, what I did for her birthday was to make ‘fresh food’ gardens. In 2 very large round planters. Outer ring was radishes, mini lettuce, onions dry. Next ring was radishes, lettuce, peas. Next ring, same things but add carrots. In one pot, I did an heirloom tomato, in the other I did 2 seeds for green beans. My sis said this scheme gave her fresh garden salad makings almost all summer. She continues to use my plan/pots as she may be city but loves country too. Lol, she just called and asked what I thought about replacing the lettuce with kale. Even I don’t know how to respond. Yes, I know kale is good for us, mostly. (Um, it’s not good for me with my blood thinners.) Whatevuh…anyway, a container garden doesn’t have to be just one big plant. I think what I did for my sis is something called ‘succession gardening’…

    • April 20, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Wendy, oh my gosh!! I love your comment! This can open up so many ways for people to garden with limited yard space!! Bravo! Linda

  • April 20, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you for this gardening post! I always look forward to your posts!
    I am getting some containers ready to plant vegetables this weekend.
    We have a lot of shade with all of the large cedar & Douglass fir in our yard, so am glad for the varieties that like the NW shade!

    • April 20, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Jan, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so excited to work out in the garden this year because I added two more raised garden beds! I can grow more food! I bet your large trees are so beautiful!! Linda

  • April 20, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    I am kind of a seed hoarder. To me, seeds are as comforting to have as a house full of prepped food because I know that means I can get more food.

    With this list of vegetables that will grow in the shade, people should know they can have full bellies without the need for the perfect plot of land. These can all be container grown as well, double the blessing.

    Thanks for another great article.

    • April 21, 2019 at 7:58 am

      Hi Des Moise Daisy, I guess I’m a seed hoarder too! LOL! I love your comment! It’s so true, they mean more food we can grow for ourselves. Happy Sunday! Linda


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