Rob_NZ
Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:23 am
Location: New Zealand

Vegetables in degrees of shade?

I am thinking of expanding the area used for growing vegetables. This will mean that some beds will be going into areas of either

a) Dappled shade under trees
b) Areas shaded for most of the day, maybe four hours full sun
c) Shade

Can I get some help please making a list of vegetables which may suit these levels? I'm thinking it will be a short one.

Cheers

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

vegetables for shade

Well you can forget number 3. If the area is in full shade all the time, it is not a spot to grow vegetables. But there are plenty of things that will do fine with four hours of sun a day or constant dappled shade. In fact if your climate is hot and sunny during the growing season, all the cool weather crops will benefit from the shade. That would include:

Beets, swiss chard (I only fairly recently discovered those are actually varieties of the same species, just one is cultivated more for the root and one for the leaves, but we also eat beet greens.) All the brassicas can handle shade pretty well and don't like the heat. That includes broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts. All the salad stuff-- lettuce, spinach, kale, etc. Peas.

Some that are a little more borderline, but might do ok in the 4 hrs sun are bush beans, potatoes, onions, garlic.

And of course mint will grow pretty much anywhere. Put it in the full shade area, that will slow it down enough that it won't take over your yard!

joshbuchan
Senior Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:40 am
Location: Clevedon, UK

maby u could grow runner beans in the shade,so they grow over it... that would only work if its likr a fence shadeing and not a house... or somthing with a miror pointing abouve with a slight angle to the side, which hits anouther miror on the floor which is on a slight angle from the sun... but yea thats gunna be realy trickey... maby use it for compost or a shed or a place to put a water borwl running froma foot guttering. theres loads of other things u could use it for.

but yea, good luck and i i hope everything works out for you.
25 Chickens ^^
Zone 9

GardenGeek
Cool Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:03 pm

Most vegetables need more than 4 hours of sun light daily but Only LETTUCE and SPINACH are the one which will do good in only hours of sunlight daily.
So you may try these.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Sorry, GG, but since you are flat out contradicting me, I stand by what I said. All of the cold weather crops including brassicas that I named above can be grown in dappled shade or 4 hrs direct sun. They may not thrive quite as well as they would with a little more sun, but they do not like it too hot and sunny and will do better with some shade than they would with full summer sun.
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27664
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

It's going to also depend on your location. Closer to the Equator you get, the stronger the sun is and a lot of even full sun veggies do better with a bit of shade, evidence all the posts about pepper and tomato productions grinding to a halt in mid-summer. It also depends on what's around the shade -- white walls? light colored mulch? My garden on the NE side of the house brightens up considerably after the westering sun hits and is reflected off the neighbor's house.

And then, it also depends on HOW you're growing your plants.
I keep saying cucumbers can take a bit of shade, and every time I say that, somebody jumps up and down that cucumbers can only grow in full sun. Well, one factor is that I always grow my cukes up a vertical trellis. But the fact is that, last year, my cukes were growing against a picket fence (66% privacy = 66% shade) from noon on, and full shade after the sun goes behind the neighbor's house. Morning sun was dappled from about 8AM~10AM.

So, really, more veggies can grow in less than full sun than you might think. You may not get as many fruits or as big, or it may take a little longer to mature, but you can still grow them.

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Wow.... I am doing something wrong...
My garden is mostly dappled shade. I actually use fabric to cover my beds, I cover them from about 10 am to 1 or 2 pm...
I worry all the time about something being in full sun! Full sun kills my plants, makes them too hot to set fruit. Leafy plants shrivel.
I actually look for areas where I only get morning or afternoon sun... I don't even put cactus in full noon sun!
My garden seed starting table is in full shade... and I have pots of flowers growing there all the time... they get about an hour in the early morning, and maybe an hour at sunset.
But they get daylight all day.
When I clear for a garden. I plan to leave trees. My worry is the roots getting into place that I don't want them... but I want light shade. I want some protection for my plants.
It simply has to be a matter of the intensity of the sun that you get.
And I do have very long, hot, humid summer days... and lots of them.
But, too much sun is my enemy.
See, it goes right back to variables, and what works for one...

Hey, my begonias in the west window... just went into full bloom... Cool, feels like spring is coming... the snow is almost all gone today!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

YUP!! There are no general rules, every garden situation is different. The farther south you get (in the US-- I think the OP is in New Zealand, so whole different set of variables) the more shade things are going to need, so the more things will be able to grow in some shade.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Well said as usual, RBG...

S
Scott Reil

wolfie
Senior Member
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:45 pm
Location: Chester, VA

wow, i was just wondering this question this morning and was going to post tonight but someone beat me to it!!

I had blueberries in my front yard, partial shade last year. they grew great but the birds always got em all before i could get em!! I think this year I am going to do lettuce out there and maybe beets.

Then, where I had raspberries on the side where the birds got all those, it has partial shade, I am going to do cukes along the fence where the most sun is. This gives me a ton more space and maybe i will even plant my extra peppers and toms there too!

WHOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO bring on the spring!!!
Shan -
Who is learning to garden and loving every minute of it!

Sasha
Cool Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:17 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada

For what it's worth, I successfully grew beans last year in dappled shade. If I can do it, you should be able to too!

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Year before last I grew cucumbers in an early morning sun only area, to keep the plants from wilting in the heat of the afternoon. From experience and from research, I later found that when grown in the shade the cucumbers are much more likely to be very bitter. So I now limit shade grown cucumbers to the sweet, non bitter types. I also grow arugula, other greens, and green beans in the afternoon shady area.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Yes, I forgot to mention herbs in the morning sun area. Almost none of the herbs that we grow do well in the hot S.C. sun once the temperatures reach 90 degrees or so.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Especially true of cilantro, I find; afternoon shade can delay bolting as well...

HG
Scott Reil

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

If you want to be in lettuce all year, you might be able to orchestrate a succession from full sun early on to shade in july.

OL, when I use fabric covers it gets hotter under there...
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I experimented, when the plants were in full sun, they wilted. I tried using fabric over the top of my tunnels, and within 15 minutes, the wilt is gone... If it takes an hour to un-wilt (is that a word?) then they need to be watered, once the sun is not so high and they have real tree shade.

The fabric covers were my true indicators of the status of my plants...
It really worked very well for me. But, the covers did not go to the ground, and allowed air flow... They were cotton fabric, and breathed...

I have photos that demonstrate the difference in only 15 minutes.

Think of a table on your patio... why do you have a sun umbrella over it? Is it really hotter with the umbrella shading the table than without it? Then why are they so popular... just for rainy days?
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

GrandMomMom
Full Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:36 pm
Location: Everett, WA

It seems that all of this good info from experienced gardeners comes from the Southern US, where days are now longer (but will be shorter) and the sun hotter than here in the Pacific Northwest!

My daughter is off to buy organic beet seeds for the partial sun raised box. After looking here I am thinking that a sheet of plywood painted white bight be just the ticket!

Wish us luck, but is she pushing it? She is a very new gardener with one very successful year behind her.
GrandMomMom - Zone 8b – Love your Planet, your World, and your Life!

User avatar
mrsgreenthumbs
Senior Member
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:26 pm
Location: Santa Maria, California

I didn't stop to read all your reply's so excuse me if I'm wrong but in my house were trying a few new things this year. I have a tiny yard to grow in and it happens to have very little direct sun light. First I plant cooler stuff like spinach and broccoli on the end that get's shade first every day then I also ask my DH to save the tin foil I use to wrap his breakfast burritos and sandwiches for lunch I take those after a few uses and lay it on the soil around the base of the plant shiny side up. Theoretically I should be able to reflect some of the light back up to the plant. Now if this does not work I have also built a hoop house structure out of PVC pipe that I use in the winter as a hot house. I will take some clip lamps clip them to the pvc and put in UVA/UVB bulbs (I raise reptiles as another hobby so for me I all ready have a lot of the bulbs and lamps just laying around but for others that may not have this opportunity this may not be a financially sound option) Either way I have two options. Hope this helped
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”