60+ Vegetables and Herbs You Can Grow in Shady Yards

Just because you don’t get a lot of light in your garden doesn’t mean you can’t grow good food.

But what CAN you grow in areas that might only have a few hours of sun each day?

Here are my top picks for the best vegetables and herbs that grow in shady yards.

Lettuce (2 to 3 hours of sunlight)

Lettuce is the king of shade-tolerant crops, but for best results, plant loose-leaf varieties like Black Seeded Simpson, Oak Leaf, or Lolla Rossa.

Kale (3 to 4 hours of sunlight)

Kale grown in partial shade isn’t too much smaller than kale grown in full sun, so I like to pepper the seedlings throughout my garden to fill in bare spots.

Asian mustard greens (2 to 3 hours of sunlight)

This diverse group of leafy greens includes some of my favorite vegetables: komatsuna, tatsoi, mizuna, baby bok choy, and Japanese red mustard.

Beets (3 to 4 hours of sunlight)

Like other root crops, beets will tolerate some shade but grow better (and bigger) with more sun. That said, you can harvest a healthy crop of beet greens and baby beets from a crop that gets less light.

Bush beans (4 to 5 hours of sunlight)

While bush beans are fruit-setting plants, I’ve found from experience that they’re one of the very few fruiting vegetables that can be grown in partial shade.

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