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All about creating abundance by gardening!

   Jul 29

Disheartened with the Amount of Light in the Garden? Take Heart! Here’s Edibles You Can Grow in the Shade

Salad greens in a grow bagI have a lot of shade in my yard so I’m always open to new ideas for things that will grow in the shade. Here’s a bunch of ideas for edibles to grow in the shade.

This is a cool idea too in the photo. Take a bag of potting mix, cut some slits in it, sow your salad greens in the slots and grow your greens right in the bag which can be placed anywhere.


Lack of sun is one of the most common challenges you can face growing in a city.

Surrounding buildings, walls, pylons and trees, can all conspire to cast shade on your growing space for much (or even all) of the day.

The amount of sun you get is critical – it determines what crops you can grow successfully and productively. As long as your space gets at least three to four hours sun, you’ll have a good choice. Less and it gets more challenging –but do give it a try – some ideas below.

If you’re not sure how much sun your space gets, you’ll need to observe if first to find out.

3 – 4 hours sun

If your space gets 3 – 4 hours sun, your choice is restricted but there is still a lot you can grow. Good choices include:

Leafy crops

Most leafy crops (and there is a huge choice now  in many seed catalogues) grow well in less sun including

  • chard
  • kale
  • spinach
  • sorrel
  • most Asian leaves, including Chinese cabbage, the mustards, pak choi and mizuna.
  • most salad leaves including lettuce, rocket, winter purslane, land cress, and lambs lettuce.
  • Herbs

    These herbs are all well suited to less sun:

    • parsley
    • mint
    • chives and garlic chives
    • lovage
    • coriander
    • chervil
    • wild garlic

    While the following herbs, traditionally grown in full sun, will grow OK in less. They will still taste good, if not quite as full flavoured as full sun.

    • rosemary
    • dill
    • basil
    • sage
    • thyme
    • bay
    • oregano


    Most shoots or microgreens (ie harvested when just a few inches tall) will grow productively in less sun including

    • pea
    • fava bean and broad bean
    • sunflower
    • chickpea
    • sweetcorn
    • wheat
    • buckwheat
    • radish


    Most fruits require plenty of sun to develop and ripen. The exceptions tend to be the woodland fruits that have evolved to ripen in dappled shade. Professional growers will grow many of these fruits in full sun for a sweeter fruit, but they will ripen fine in less sun – and, depending on your palette, the slightly less sweet fruit can be a bonus. All the following can be grown in containers. The best suited are probably blueberries and alpine strawberries – so these make a good choice to start.

    • blackberries
    • cranberries
    • redcurrants
    • blackcurrants
    • honeyberry
    • gooseberry
    • blueberries
    • alpine strawberries
    • rhubarb (in a big pot)

    Less than three hours sun?

    Go to the Source of this Article: Vertical Veg to find out more

  • Source of Photo:

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