13 vegetables that best grow in the shade

As a general rule of thumb, a bountiful vegetable garden requires a lot of sun. This is especially true of the fruit-bearing vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, squashes, and the like. But veggies that are grown primarily for their leaves, stems or buds can usually tolerate a fair amount of shade.
When planning your garden, consider these vegetables for those areas that get less than six hours of full sunlight every day.
1. Spinach
Spinach is one of the most shade-tolerant vegetables, needing only 3-4 hours of full sun each day, according to Mother Earth News. Harvesting young leaves encourages more growth, so the plant will provide for you throughout its growing season.
2. Lettuce
Use the same young-leaves-only technique for lettuce to extend harvest time. The looser the lettuce leaves are, the Mother Nature Network (MNN) says, the more shade-tolerant it will be. Tightly compacted head lettuce will require the most sun.
3. Kale
While kale thrives in full sun, a growing location with only a few hours of sunlight per day will not have much effect on its production. Give it a try, and experience fresh kale smoothies!
4. Broccoli
Grow your broccoli in partial shade. MNN advises leaving the plant in the ground after harvest the head of broccoli to allow smaller heads to form along the stem, extending your harvest.
5. Cauliflower
Most people think of broccoli and cauliflower as cousins, due to their similarly shape heads and florets. Cauliflower, however, is a little less tolerant of shade -- much sure your cauliflower has at least filtered sunlight all day long.
6. Root vegetables
Carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes and radishes like a lot of sun, but will still produce their vegetables if grown in some shade. The rule of thumb is that the more shade they have, the longer they will take to produce their crop, according to Mother Earth News.
7. Scallions
Needing only three hours of sun per day, scallions are a welcome addition to any shade garden. They are also a welcome addition to many salads, for their mild onion-y flavor.
8. Arugula
Arugula does especially well in cool climates, Mother Earth News says, because once the weather turns warm it is prone to bolting. Bolting is when a vegetable goes to flower, usually resulting in inedibly bitter leaves.
9. Beans and peas
Rather than the pole varieties, try bush or dwarf varieties of beans and peas when growing them under shady conditions. They may take a little longer to produce, so be patient!
10. Bok choy (Chinese cabbage)
Bok choy is a cool-season vegetable that can be grown all summer long in partially shady areas, according to Natural Living Ideas. Because it contains quite a bit of vitamins C and A it should be included in any healthy vegetable garden.
11. Mustard greens
Mustard greens are "especially good for growing in the shade if you are growing them for baby greens," says ReclaimGrowSustain.
12. Chard
Chard will grow well in partially shady conditions, but the leaves will be smaller than chard grown in full sun. These baby leaves are excellent eating whether cooked or served raw in salad.
13. Mesclun
Mother Earth News describes this salad mix as "one of the best crops for shady gardens." It needs as little as two hours per sun each day, and should produce up to three harvests!
When considering your garden plot, keep in mind the differences between total shade and shade that has sunlight dappled or filtered through a nearby tree or bush. These can make a world of difference to a light-sensitive plant, so if one vegetable doesn't seem to be thriving in a particular location, try moving it to one with a little more light.
Share these shade garden tips with your friends on Facebook and ask them, "How does your shady garden grow?"

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