Phil DudmanTop vegies for shady gardens

Many of us picture the perfect vegetable garden in full sun. Fair enough; most vegies perform at their best when they are exposed to around ‘six hours full sun a day’. If you’ve got a small backyard that is surrounded by buildings and trees, it’s difficult to find a spot that gets six hours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be enjoying a fresh home harvest.

Radish

Radish

Through my own shady backyard experience, I have found lots of vegetables that perform well in less than ideal light conditions. On an even more positive note, a little shade can be a real bonus, particularly if it’s afternoon shade because sensitive plants don’t get as stressed and the soil doesn’t dry out as quickly.

It’s important to remember, no vegie will grow in all day shade. For the crops I am going to suggest, you’ll need at least three hours full sun a day, or a bright spot with reasonably constant dappled light throughout the day. Keep in mind too, fruiting plants such as tomato, eggplant/aubergine, cucumber capsicum/peppers and zucchini are the most sun needy, so reserve them a space in your sunniest spots.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens

Don’t feel restricted by having to have a formal vegetable growing area; you can always spot a few herbs and veg amongst your sun loving ornamentals, which look great, or grow a few things in pots and window boxes that can be moved from time to time to capture more light. Don’t be shy about growing vegetables in the front yard either, or even out on the verge.

Red cabbage

Red cabbage

Beans

Beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top choices for vegetables to grow in shady gardens

1.    Leafy greens – lettuce, Mizuna, English spinach, silverbeet, rocket/aruglia, kale, Asian greens
2.    Leafy root vegetables – radish, beetroot/table beet, carrot, turnip and swede
3.    Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts
4.    Onions – garlic, shallots/scallions and chives
5.    Peas and beans
6.    Herbs – mint, coriander/cilantro, parsley and dill

Parsley

Parsley

Green onions

Green onions/scallions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like this post? Why not share it with a friend?


4 thoughts on “Top vegies for shady gardens

  1. Phil, excellent post, I have learnt which vegies will tolerate some shade. But in Australia we call it the NATURE STRIP, the verge really bugs me and so does Costa in Gardening Australia, it is the natural strip.

    • Thanks Sandra. I promise never to say verge again!! After all, NATURE STRIP sounds so much better, and is more in line with what we should be aiming to do with those spaces. Phil

  2. helen mckerral on said:

    Rhubarb does great in my garden in almost full shade – stems are longer than the ones in more sun!

  3. And the cauliflower I planted in March doesn’t have much sun and it seems to be flourishing ….. so far…

Leave a Reply (no need to register)