Apr 18

Best Vegetables to Grow in Light Shade

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Do you enjoy growing vegetables?  Do you have ‘Light Shade’ areas in your garden? If so, here are some wonderful vegetables you should consider growing.

‘Light Shade’ vegetables do well with less sunlight (2-4 hours).  These ‘light shade’ vegetables are the focus of this article.

Vegetables that are ‘partial sun’ need at least four hours of sunlight per day and often do best with less than six hours of sunlight per day.  These same vegetables are also sometimes labelled as ‘partial shade’. Partial shade vegetables will be the focus of an upcoming post.

From a frugal living perspective, I don’t think I’ve ever actually saved any money growing my own vegetables, but it sure is fun for me and my daughter and the taste is simply unbeatable.

Here are some terrific ‘Light Shade’ vegetables:

Aragula

Best Vegetables to Grow in Light Shade

Aragula or Rocket

Also commonly known as salad rocket, rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, or roquette.  It is normally called Aragula in the United States. Aragula has a strong peppery flavour which is unusual in leafy greens.  Baby leaves are often used in salads while larger leaves are often cooked.  In ancient Roman times, it was believed to be a potent aphrodisiac (you’ve been forewarned).  You might want to consider an heirloom variety.

 

Bok Choy; Pak Choi

Best Vegetable to Grow in the Shade

Bok ChoyBok Choy; Pak ChoBok Choy; Pak Choi 

An easy to grow vegetable that is delicious steamed or in a stir-fry. There are lots of varieties available.  Most prefer ‘light shade’ conditions and will wilt like mad if exposed to too much sun. Check the seed package to make sure you are getting one of the shade-loving cultivars. Planting these in planters will enable you to move them around as needed.  Some cool season varieties include ‘White Stem’‘Toy Choy’, and ‘Tatsoi’.

Brussels Sprouts

Best Vegetables to Grow in the Shade

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts enjoy sun to light shade conditions.  They grow best in moist, neutral soil with cool weather. The Brussels Sprouts plant looks very unique and is worth trying to grow just for the interest value it will add to your garden. The sprouts themselves are delicious when roasted or steamed and they are very healthy for you. ‘Jade Cross’,  ‘Churchill’, and ‘Long Island Improved’ are all early sprouting varieties that you might consider.

 

 

Endive

Best Vegetables to Grow in Shade

Endive

A leafy vegetable which is part of the daisy family.  It has a bitter taste and can be cooked or used raw in salads. Endive is often confused with Belgian Endive, which is a common form of cultivated chicory.  It is, perhaps, the most shade loving of all the leafy lettuce-type plants.  ‘Tres Fine Maraichere Endive’ is one of several varieties.

 

Kale

Best Vegetables for a Shade Garden

Blue Scotch Curled Kale

A popular leafy green, Kale is considered to be a superfood due to its excellent nutritional value.  It is a cool season vegetable that enjoys light shade.  It is a very hardy plant, and can be harvested even into winter. Popular varieties include ‘Lacinato’‘Vates Blue Scotch Curled’‘Red Russian’and ‘Red Winter’.

 

 

 

 

Spinach

Best Vegetables to Grow in the Shade

Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach

One of the most popular and healthy of leafy greens. Spinach loves cooler temperatures and less sun. It also grows very nicely in planters which makes it easy to move the plants out of direct sunlight (or for any other reason) when desired.  Commercial spinach is also one of the most contaminated by pesticide use, so growing your own organically at home makes a lot of sense. The ‘Bloomsdale’ is good to plant in early autumn for winter harvest. ‘Whale’ is bolt resistant, making it a good choice for spring planting.

 

Swiss Chard

Best Vegetables to Grow in Light Shade

Swiss Chard

This beautiful leafy vegetable ranks second only to spinach in nutritional value.  It is a healthy food powerhouse.  Swiss chard is often boiled to remove some of its bitterness (and to remove some of its high level of oxalates).  It grows best in loose, rich soil that is high in organic matter.  Seeds are normally sown directly a couple of weeks before your region’s last frost date. Popular varieties of Swiss Chard include ‘Five Color‘ and ‘Fordhook’.  

 

Other good choices for the ‘Light Shade’ areas in your garden also include Leaf Lettuce and Mustard Greens

You might also be interested in reading my posts about the best shade loving flowering perennials, low light house plants as well as finding out about my favourite gardening book.

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Author: Jason Milburn Google


Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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