Got shade? A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine was saying that she only has a small area in her backyard for a garden, and it is not ideal because it’s mostly shady. She wanted to know what I thought she could grow in the shade.
While it’s true, most edible garden plants prefer full sun, there are a couple that will give you yummy produce and tolerate the shady areas in your yard.
Here’s a few for her and you to try:
- Celery–try this one in the heat of summer, when most gardeners can no longer grow celery. The shade can provide a cooler place for the celery to be happy.
- Asparagus–asparagus is a semi-shade plant, but I know lots of people who have been successful growing it in full shade. Keep in mind, though, that it takes a couple of years before you get a crop.
- Mint–mint is almost impossible to kill. A lot of gardeners avoid it all together because they say it is invasive, spreading like wild fire. It makes a great edible ground cover for a shady area though.
- Bush beans–they actually prefer full-sun, but they can totally be grown in shade if you don’t mind lower yields.
- Spinach–spinach loves the cooler weather, and the shade provides it long after spinach season would otherwise be over. Try the New Zealand variety for even more success.
- Arctic Beauty Kiwi–I really want these! Apparently, it’s a vine that produces 10-15 pounds of fruit per year. You’ll need 2 of them for pollination, but they are shade tolerant and cold hardy.
- Swiss Chard
- Lettuce–this is another one to try in the heat of summer. Since it will normally bolt in hot weather, the shade can provide it a cooler place to thrive.
- Honeyberries–I haven’t ever tried these, but apparently they are a cross between a blueberry and a grape. You’ll need two of these for cross-pollination, though.
What do you grow in the shade?