There’s nothing quite like the taste of home-grown, fresh vegetables. Did you know that you don’t need a full-sun gardening space to grow them? While most veggies do require full-on sun, there are 30 varieties that thrive in a partial shade environment. This includes dappled shade, full shade and as few as 3-6 hours of sun each day. You can take advantage of these hearty vegetables and provide superior nutrition and delicious meals to your family.
However, regardless of whether the vegetables are planted in the full sun or full shade, they are always susceptible to hungry wildlife critters. Protect your precious bounty by installing durable fencing around the garden from niche suppliers like deerfencing.com around the garden. The fencing is “Earth-friendly” and lasts up to 25 years. You’ll be keeping your vegetables protected, and there’s no need to apply pesticides or worry about your plants being eaten or trampled.
Deciphering Sun & Shade Wording
Logically, it may seem that partial shade and partial sun would, well, mean exactly the same thing. However, keep in mind that partial sun means that the plant does better with a bit more sunlight than a partial shade plant would. Partial sun plants require a minimum of 4 hours of sun each day, whereas partial shade plants do best with 4 hours of sun, maximum.
The Best Sun – or Almost None – Vegetables
Imagine a world without herbs, no mint garnishing or parsley gracing your plate of steak. Herbs add colour, freshness, and depth of flavour to any dish.
- Garlic Chives
Cauliflower and Broccoli
A partial sun garden allows for cauliflower and broccoli to grow more slowly without bolting. The full-on sun will cause broccoli to flower which might be pretty, but it also makes the ready-to-harvest vegetable taste bad. Once the centre head of cauliflower is cut, smaller heads will grow along the stem, if you leave it in the ground.
These actually flourish in partial shade. Produce such as endive, sorrel, cress, arugula, and loose-leaf lettuce will also continue to generate more greens so you can harvest them longer into the season.
Some of the best nutrients for your body are found in leafy greens like mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, and kale. And guess what? They only need 3-4 hours of sun every day to flourish.
Depending on when you plant the seeds, radishes can take anywhere from 22 to 70 days to grow. You can sow radish crops every two weeks. They are quite adaptable and tolerant of shade. Full sun will cause them to bolt and turn woody. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to plant radish seeds too closely together, or they will only grow greens. Space them 1-2 inches apart for the best development.
Onions and Leeks
As part of the allium genus, leeks and onions prefer shade to the sun as they grow underground in moist soil. Leeks are similar to onions, but are milder and sweeter, and can be traced all the way back to the early inhabitants of central Asia. Leeks are a popular vegetable that has been proven to aid in weight loss, protect against various cancers, and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Turnips, rutabaga, carrots, beets, and potatoes will do well in dappled or partial shade, though it will take longer for a complete crop. However, the shade also promotes root growth over leaf growth, meaning more bang for your buck. The beet and turnip greens can also be harvested and eaten, even if the root isn’t growing.
Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage
Too much sun will cause the cabbage to produce larger leaves and smaller heads, so they do best in cooler, shadier environments. It’s prudent to plant these two plants together because they thrive in similar conditions. You’ll want to keep the cabbage crops away from tomato and other nightshade plants, as they produce a plant chemical that inhibits their growth.
Beans and Peas
Lengthen the growing season for your peas and beans by planting them in a shady spot. They appreciate the cooler weather, so once it gets to be warm; you’ll see production fade out. They only need between 4 and 5 hours of sun per day and will start developing fruit in 10-14 weeks. It is recommended for gardeners’ to use a legume inoculant, peas and beans are members of the legume family, before planting.
Clearly, even for those of us who don’t have the luxury of a continuously sunny environment, there are numerous varieties of plants to be sown and harvested that can easily go from earth to table. Remember to protect your garden with a quality deer fence to keep wildlife from enjoying your dinner before you do.