Looking for some shade tolerant vegetables to grow in your backyard? Look no further! These are 35 of our favorite shade tolerant vegetables that we plant year after year. These are really easy to grow and perfect for the beginning gardener who wants to make use of the shady places in their yard to grow food for themself and their family.
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Can You Have A Garden In The Shade
Can you even have a garden in the shade? The answer is a resounding yes! No, you can’t grow everything you could in a full sun garden but there are quite a few shade tolerant vegetables out there that you can grow to feed your family.
What Do You Need To Start A Shade Garden?
Starting a shade garden isn’t all that different than starting one in full sun,
- You’ll need a spot to plant that is well-drained.
- If you are planting directly into the ground, try to fertilize the soil and remove weeds before planting.
- Just like any garden, you’ll need the proper tools for the project, check out our list of gardening essentials to help you decide what you need.
- Seeds! As with any garden you are going to need something to plant in your new garden beds. Need help deciphering what terms like Non-GMO or Heirloom mean or just where to order seeds? Check out our resources on where to buy seeds!
Starting A Garden In The Shade
The first step in starting a shade garden is figuring out exactly where you are going to put it. If your yard has even a shred of light some of these veggies would do better off. If at all possible maximize the ability for light to reach your vegetables by:
- Pruning trees so light can get through.
- Painting fences, walls or even sheds a lighter color. Light colors reflect light better which will give your seedlings a little more light.
- Consider using containers to grow shade tolerant vegetables so that as needed you can spin them so that all sides get a little light.
What You Need To Know Before Starting A Shade Garden
Not all of the vegetables on this list love growing in the shade, it’s really important to remember that and let them get as much sun as possible. If it’s not available don’t worry about it, you still should be able to grow and harvest these with no trouble.
Before you go any further now is the time to decide if you are doing garden beds the traditional way by tilling up the soil, no-till or raised beds. We’ve been experimenting with lots of different method’s of starting a garden and preparing your soil for planting, check out these resources:
- How To Build Raised Beds
- Our Raised Bed Garden
- Using Prebuilt Raised Beds
- No-Dig Gardening
- How To Make Your Own Garden Soil
Shade Tolerant Vegetables You Can Grow
These shade tolerant vegetables can be split up by growing season and planted in your shady garden. Many of these are quite quick growing vegetables as well.
- Brussel Sprouts
- Swiss Chard
- Chinese Cabbage (Bok Choy & Bak Choy)
- Leaf Lettuce
- Mustard Greens
- English Peas
- Bush Beans
- Snow peas
- Glacier Tomatoes
- Green Onions
Tips For Growing Shade Tolerant Vegetables
Growing strictly in the shade will slow down how quickly these veggies grow, but you should still be ok. To help give your plants a head start it’s best to start them under grow lights or on grow pads. This will give them a warm environment and help speed up their growth. Make sure you harden off your plants before transplanting them to the garden.
Before you go, check these out!
- 20 Quick Growing Vegetables To Grow
- Preparing Your Garden For Spring
- How To Plan A Garden In 4 Steps