For growing vegetables in shady areas, you should select those varieties that can tolerate partial sunlight. Some of the vegetables that grow in shade include herbs, brassicas (cruciferous vegetables), and other green leafy vegetables.
Maintaining a vegetable garden is not just a recreational hobby, for you can also enjoy garden-fresh, healthy, and pesticide-free vegetables.
However, the most common problem is the planting site, as not all of us are lucky to have proper gardens that meet the necessary requirements for growing vegetables.
Apart from healthy soil, vegetables require sunlight (at least for some hours) for their proper growth and development. Many show poor and stunted growth with disease infestations if they are planted in partial sunlight.
You can still maintain a shade garden with healthy vegetables, provided that you select the types of vegetables carefully. Do not grow them based on what you and your family members enjoy eating, rather, choose the ones that easily grow in partial sunlight.
If you research about shade-tolerant plant varieties, you can find a number of vegetables. Hence, with a little effort, you can provide your family with healthy and nutritious vegetables all year round. Like any other gardening project, selection of correct varieties is an important step in maintaining a healthy vegetable garden.
While speaking about these vegetables, you will find that most of the green leafy varieties perform well in shade conditions. Depending upon whether the planting site receives partial sunlight or not, you can consider growing the following vegetables.
Lettuce, the most tasty and healthy ingredient for salads, grows well in partial sunlight. The advantage of lettuce and other leafy vegetable is that you can harvest them at any stage. Grow lettuce in areas that receive sunlight for 4 - 6 hours a day.
Beets and beans are nutritious vegetables that grow in partial shade. Grow beets in rows, and make sure to plan the rows in east-west length. By doing so, the vegetables can harvest maximum sunlight for better growth.
Vegetables belonging to the family Brassicaceae thrive well in shaded areas. So, you can grow healthy broccoli, even if your yard does not receive sunlight at all. The only hurdle is to control weeds and supplement the soil with farmyard compost.
Cauliflower is also a shade-loving vegetable and can tolerate partial sunlight. If trees are the reason for shade, consider thinning of branches to increase light penetration in the garden. Check for powdery mildew and other diseases infesting cauliflowers.
Onions are another vegetable, growing well in partial sunlight. Use healthy bulbs of onions in your shady yard.
If regular watering is done, these bulbs grow well. You can harvest the onion leaves regularly for flavoring soup recipes and salads.
Culinary herbs, like cardamom, parsley, garlic, mint, and chives grow well in partial to complete shade. So, plant these herbs and harvest their fresh leaves for seasoning soups. You can also dry these herbs for prolonged usage.
Many hobbyists ask if they can grow tomatoes in shade or not. Crops like tomatoes, corn, and pepper require at least six hours of sunlight daily. Hence, if planted in complete shade, you may not succeed in harvesting healthy tomatoes. One way is to grow tomatoes in pots and containers so that you can transfer them in sunlit areas for better performance.
There is no doubt that all vegetables grow better in sunlight. But with a little planning and selecting the right vegetables that grow in shade, you can still enjoy fresh vegetables in every season.