What can you grow in a permaculture food garden that’s mostly shaded? An important permaculture principle is to plant things where they are going to do their best. Although most vegetables are usually grown in full sun, listen while I find out from permaculturists Lucinda Coates and Margaret Mossakowska about a range of edible plants that will grow in the shade, like leafy vegetables, bush tucker plants and shade-loving herbs like the many types of mint.
Some of the leafy vegetables you could try are kale, chicory and different varieties of spinach or you could think about understorey plants like Davidson’s plum and finger lime. Fruit trees usually require sun but there are some fruiting plants that grow naturally in deciduous forests that will cope with more shade.
You can also look at any utilities you have in your garden, like water tanks or compost heaps and make sure they’re not using up sunny spots you should reserve for plants.
If you’re in a warmer zone, Australian native bees from warm areas prefer their hives in shade and also plants from tropical zones often prefer some protective shade like tumeric, ginger and bananas.
And learn about what tricks you can play with mirrors, surfaces and even shadecloth to increase light and make warmer microclimates within your garden.