Growing your own vegetables in a garden is such a satisfying experience. From seed to table, you get to be a part of every phase of growth! Garden fresh vegetables undeniably taste better, too. In gardening, it's important to meet the growing needs of your plants. That includes the correct amount of sunlight, type of soil, amount of water, and the overall growing environment.
If you only have a low-light garden or indoor space, you may be wondering what kinds of vegetables you can grow. Lucky for you, you can still enjoy fresh garden vegetables. While full-shade conditions are not optimal for growing vegetables, there are some varieties that can grow in low-light and partial shade. Vegetables need a few hours of sunlight or at least help from artificial garden lights.
- 1. Swiss Chard
- 2. Kale
- 3. Broccoli
- 4. Cauliflower
- 5. Cabbage
- 6. Brussels Sprouts
- 7. Carrots
- 8. Turnips
- 9. Radishes
- 10. Beets
- 11. Spinach
- 12. Lettuce
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To help you out in your garden adventures, we created a list of 12 vegetables that grow in shade. Keep reading to find out more!
1. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a very leafy green vegetable packed full of nutrients. Its stems are very colorful, coming in bright shades of pink, green, yellow, orange, and more. It grows quickly and the leaves taste best when they measure around 6 to 8 inches in height.
Though it might not look like it, it's a close relative to beets. Its Latin name is Beta vulgaris.
Plant Swiss chard in rich, well-draining soil whose pH level is between 6.0 and 6.8. Water this vegetable about 1 to 1.5 inches weekly. A continuous release fertilizer will help keep it healthy and growing. Swiss chard can grow outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 10.
1,000 Swiss Chard Seeds
Kale is definitely a green superfood. It has an almost sweet, nutty taste and its texture is rather crisp. It's a non-heading, cabbage-like plant that has curly or straight bluish-green or purple leaves. The plant can even reach an astounding height of just over 3 feet. Some people grow this vegetable for its ornamental value.
Kale is actually a member of the cabbage family and is very easy to grow. Its Latin name is Brassica oleracea var
This vegetable is cold-hardy and resilient, ensuring any type of gardener can grow it. It performs best in colder weather, growing well in the fall and spring months. The soil should be moist, nutrient-rich, and well-draining. Fertilize the plant with a strong nitrogen-rich feed. Water it evenly, ensuring it gets between 1 and 1.5 inches of water each week.
Kale Seed Collection
The broccoli plant can grow 18 to 36 inches tall and has large, broad green leaves. The vegetable head grows from a thick main stalk. Technically, the "flower" of the plant is the broccoli head that you eat. It's extremely nutrient-rich, full of great vitamins and minerals.
Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family. Its Latin name is Brassica oleracea var. italica.
Broccoli is another cool-season vegetable, allowing it to have multiple growing seasons. The best type of soil for broccoli is moist, well-draining, and packed full of nutrients. You can use compost to give it those rich nutrients that it needs. Fertilize it with a nitrogen-rich feed. This plant is very sensitive to heat. It grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 10.
500+ Broccoli Seeds
Cauliflower is another vegetable that's grown for its edible head. Its large ribbed leaves grow around the head. The plant can reach between 3 and 5 feet in height. It's a shallow-rooted plant that has a short, thick stem. The edible head grows from this stem. The cauliflower head, depending on the variety, can be seen in shades of white, green, purple, and orange.
Its Latin name is Brassica oleracea var. botrytis.
Cauliflower is a cool-season crop that's relatively easy to please. The soil should be nutrient-rich, well-draining, and with a pH level of 6.5 and above. During the growing season, the cauliflower plant should receive constant moisture to ensure optimal growth. It loves nitrogen, so regularly use a fertilizer rich in that element.
Organic Cauliflower Seeds
The cabbage plant is yet another vegetable that's grown for its round, edible head. The round head grows on a short stem and its leaves are thick and alternating. Amazingly, the weight of the edible head ranges between 1 and 8 pounds. The cabbage plant has many varieties including the white, red, and savoy cabbage.
Its Latin name is Brassica oleracea.
This cool-season vegetable performs best in moist, nutrient-rich, well-draining soil with a pH level of around 6.5. To grow best, it does need around 6 hours of sunlight each day. With that in mind, you may need to supplement light supply with artificial light. Evenly water the cabbage. Fertilize the plant with an even fertilizer during its growing season.
Cabbage Seed Collection
6. Brussels Sprouts
In regards to appearance, brussels sprouts look like miniature cabbage heads. They're rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them an excellent nutrient-rich option. The stalk has smooth, leathery leaves that grow alternately. The produce grows at the base of each leaf.
Brussels sprouts belong to the cabbage family. Its Latin name is Brassica oleracea.
They're a slow-growing vegetable that bears its produce for quite a while. The small heads grow best in cooler weather. If it's too warm, the heads will end up flimsy and bitter tasting. Plant the plant in nutrient-rich, well-draining, moist soil. For optimal growth, its pH level should be at least 6.8. Water it regularly so that soil remains moist. The plant does best in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 9.
1,000 Brussel Sprout Seeds
Carrots are a favorite root vegetable among many people. You can probably picture their perfect, orange conical shape as you see in the grocery store. However, what makes garden carrots fun is their often misshapen form! While carrots are commonly orange, they can also be shades of white, purple, and yellow.
Its Latin name is Daucus carota subspecies sativus.
Carrots are a relatively easy vegetable to grow. However, they do take between 2 and 4 months to mature. Plant them in loose, sandy soil so they can easily grow. These veggies perform best in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 10. Carrots can tolerate partial shade, so don't fret. Water the carrots between 1 and 2 inches of water each week.
Garden Carrot Mix Seeds
Turnips are another excellent root vegetable to include in your vegetable garden. They grow very quickly and even their greens can be eaten. The root tastes best when it's on the smaller side. The bulbous turnip root is white, but its top turns purple as it's exposed to sunlight.
Turnips have been grown for thousands of years, both for their edible greens and root. Its Latin name is Brassica rapa subspecies rapa.
Turnips thrive in cool weather, allowing them to be great spring and fall growers. You can grow turnips in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 9. Ensure that the soil is rich in nutrients and is well-draining. Fertilize them with a water-soluble feed regularly. Water the veggies weekly to make sure the soil stays moist but doesn't get waterlogged.
1,000 Turnip Seeds
Radishes are a favorite root vegetable to grow. Amazingly, they're ready after only about 3 weeks of being planted. They're typically about the size of a golf ball, measuring around 2 inches in diameter. Radishes can be seen with their exterior in shades of reddish-purple (most common), white, yellow, green, and even black. The inside flesh is white. Quite the rainbow of color!
Its Latin name is Raphanus sativus.
These veggies are easy to grow and can be planted multiple times in a single growing season. You can plant radishes in both the spring and fall growing seasons. Radishes can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 10. The soil should be relatively loose but packed full of nutrients and well-draining. Radishes love soil that consistently moist but not waterlogged.
Radish Seed Collection
Beets are a colorful root vegetable whose green tops are also edible. There are many beet varieties, coming in shades of deep red, white, yellow, or even striped. The color diversity brings a lot of colors to your garden. Beets are tasty in a variety of stages: golf ball up to tennis ball size. As they grow larger, they will become tougher and more woody.
Beets were grown by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for their edible greens and for the rich beet color that could be used as a dye. Its Latin name is Beta vulgaris.
You can grow beets in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 10, giving you lots of options. While beets prefer full sun, you can use artificial light to supply them with the necessary light. These root vegetables do best in fertile, well-draining soil. Try to keep the soil free of obstacles so the roots can develop without disruption.
200 Heirloom Beet Seeds
Spinach is a super popular leafy green vegetable that's extremely high in nutritional value. The plant has simple leaves that are slightly ovate and extend from a single base. Harvest the spinach whenever the leaves have reached the desired size. The larger the leaves, the more bitter they'll be.
Its Latin name is Spinacia oleracea.
You can grow spinach in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 9. It's a very cold hardy crop that has multiple growing seasons each year. Full sun or partial sun is acceptable for its growth. Water the spinach regularly, enough to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. You can use mulch to help the soil maintain moisture.
300+ Heirloom Spinach Seeds
No doubt that garden lettuce tastes yummier than its store-bought alternative. The leafy green plant is grown for its leaves and has 4 botanical varieties. The plant can vary greatly in both size, shape, and color. Lettuce leaves can either form loose rosettes or tight heads and come in shades of green and purple.
Its Latin name is Lactuca sativa.
Lettuce has very similar growing needs to spinach. It's a cool-season that grows well in the spring and fall. Pant it in small amounts since it grows so quickly and you won't want to overwhelm the garden. It can grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Use a soil that's loose, nutrient-rich, well-draining, and moist. Try to supply the crop with a steady flow of nitrogen.
Lettuce Seed Collection
Let us know in the comment section below which vegetables you're going to grow in your garden! Before you go, make sure to check out these other great gardening guides: