Plants love sunlight like people love a delicious meal. That’s why many, if not most varieties of plants do best in full sun. So what’s a gardener with shady growing space to do? Truthfully, if heavily shaded areas are all you’ve got to work with, you won’t be able to grow everything. But you will be able to grow certain veggies with success.
Get Your Greens … And Carrots Too!
The most shade tolerant vegetables are leafy greens and root crops, as well as peas and beans. These kinds of vegetables will grow well with only 3-4 hours of direct sun a day. Many of them can also be harvested while they’re young, which is another bonus, leading to more frequent harvests. If your garden space is heavy on the shade and light on the sun, try growing:
Most Peas & Beans
The following root crops need more sun – about 6 hours a day. However you may have success with slightly less sun, depending on your climate.
Other Tips For Growing In The Shade:
1. If you want to grow sun-loving plants such as tomatoes, try growing them in pots or containers. This way you can hopefully move them to a sunnier location, where space may not allow you to put in a traditional garden or raised bed.
2. Try growing herbs. Many herbs need only 3-5 hours of sunlight a day. Again, you may want to plant them in a pot so you can move them to more sun if possible.
3. Consider reflective mulch. Red plastic mulch, while not organic, has a reflective quality that may help your sun-loving veggies grow better in shadier spots.
4. Plant near a wall. If you can plant near a garden wall, porch, or even the side of the house that gets some sunlight, you may be able to take advantage of reflected light and heat.