12 Amazing Vegetables That Grow In Shade

By Joan Clark

If you want to raise vegetables, but don’t have a sunny spot to plant them, you’re in luck. There are many varieties of vegetables that grow in shade.

By shade, we mean two things. There is either partial sun or partial shade. The former implies the plant prefers at least four hours of sunshine per day but can handle more than that. And the latter applies to shade-tolerant vegetables that want less than four to six hours of direct sun.


The Best Vegetables For Shade

We’ll begin our list with plants that prefer shaded areas in your garden.

Bok choy – Chinese Cabbage

bok choy vegetables that grow in shade img

Bok choy, a type of Chinese cabbage, tastes delicious in soups and salads. And it’s effortless to grow in dappled sunlight or shade. It only needs two hours of sunlight per day to develop its characteristic green leaves.

Plant the seeds, or sprout it from roots in water in the spring or fall. Bok choy likes cool weather. And within a month and a half, it will reach to a foot or foot and a half in height. Then you can harvest it for your stir-fry.


Broccoli vegetable

Broccoli likes to grow in cold weather and doesn’t mind it if temperatures drop below freezing. Plant it in well-drained, rich soil. And choose an area with at least one or two hours of direct light. Or, instead of bright sunlight, you can make do with a few hours of indirect light, too.

While broccoli will produce in shady gardens, you won’t harvest a bumper crop. It is also excellent vegetable for companion planting next to carrots and onions. Both veggies also grow very well in shade. The heads will be fewer and smaller with less light. But that fact won’t alter the flavor at all.



Like broccoli, cauliflower prefers cooler temperatures. If the thermometer hovers in the 60s, you should get good results.

Cauliflower produces larger heads if it gets 6 hours of light a day. But it handles shaded plots, too. And when the heads are about 2 inches in size, you’ll want to aid in the blanching process.

That means pulling the leaves up to hide the heads and fastening them closed with a clothespin. This little trick makes the meaty part of the vegetable tender and white. Additionally, plant basil around your cauliflower and broccoli vegetables. These will repel mosquitoes and leaf bugs from your plants.


Garden cress

Garden cress loves moist soil, and it grows prolifically. It doesn’t mind if it lives in almost full shade. For these reasons, it’s ideal for container gardens.

Cress is so easy to grow that your child might raise some as part of a classroom project. And you could even sprout it in a tray on your kitchen countertop. Then use it to garnish a sandwich or spruce up your salad.

Green onions

green onions - vegetables growing in shade img

Also known as scallions, green onions are hardy, and they grow fast. You can sprout them from roots soaking in a container of water. Then transplant them to a soil in a plot with partial shade. In time, they will blossom. And this green onion flower is luscious in a salad.

If you leave the scallions growing in water only, they will weaken. But you can always replace them after a trip to the supermarket. Chop off the bottom about half an inch above the roots and toss that in the jar to start the next batch.


Kale - shade vegetables

Recently, kale chips were all the rage. It seemed like everyone was baking these leafy greens with a little salt and olive oil. Once you try it, you might never go back to potato chips.

To grow your own batch of kale, plant it in early spring to early summer. Even if you plant in late summer, you can harvest after the frost comes. It tastes better after it survives a cold spell. And it only needs a few hours of light to flourish.



Of the many varieties of lettuce, most thrive in indirect light. This is another plant that grows well in an indoor container garden, not only outdoors in a plot. In fact, some growers will shade their lettuce to prevent it from burning.

Lettuce also prefers cool temperatures. And watch the leaves to see when you need to water. If they appear to be wilting, sprinkle them right away. The water will slow down the transpiration rate.



Radishes evoke a reaction. People either love them or hate them. If you adore radishes, then smile because you can raise them in shaded areas. The only consequence of less light is that their roots are smaller and their leaves are more abundant.

Sow radish seeds at the end of the summer or beginning of the fall. If you space out multiple plantings two weeks apart, then you can harvest continuously for a while. It takes radishes about three to four weeks to mature. Quick Tip: Add some periwinkle plants next to your radishes, these ground cover plants will keep bugs away from the radish leaves.


Spinach organic food

Popeye’s favorite vegetable, spinach, needs a few hours of sunlight to produce healthy, green leaves. But it thrives in spring or fall temperatures. Or if your winters are mild, you might harvest spinach then, too.

If you plant spinach near radishes, the radishes will keep leaf miners away. The bugs will eat the radish foliage above ground instead of the spinach, but that won’t harm the roots. And keep your spinach growing by only pinching off the leaves you want, leaving the rest for another day.

>> Further Garden Tip: 17 Easy to Grow Perennials for your Garden


carrots grow in shade img

Carrots and other root vegetables handle partial sunlight and partial shade with good grace. If you can provide them with six hours of light, they will grow faster. If not, you’ll have to wait longer to harvest them, and you’ll get a smaller yield.

If you plant carrots in rows facing east to west, other plants are less likely to cast shade on them. And keep an eye on the ground. If you can see the orange part exposed, cover it with soil or mulch. Otherwise, that part of the carrot will probably taste bitter.

>> Did you know: Mix old coffee grounds into your garden soil. It is the perfect fertilizer for root crops like carrots and radishes.


green peas

Peas don’t mind shade in the morning or evening but give them five hours of direct sun during the day. You can sow their seeds in early spring even if you expect another frost. Typically, this planting period falls around St. Patrick’s Day.

As the peas grow, water sparingly unless they appear to wilt. They are helpful to plants around them since they add nitrogen to the soil. And picking the pods will encourage new pods to grow.

>> Further Gardening and Landscape Tip: The Aucuba shrub is one of the best plants to grow in shade. The perfect kind of evergreen shrubs to mix up your garden.



Potatoes need partial sun with five to six hours of sunlight if you want tubers of a decent size. But if you have a sun-dappled spot with four hours of direct light, give them a try. There are several methods for raising them.

Some gardeners prefer to plant potatoes in a raised bed if their soil has poor drainage. Others like using trenches. These root vegetables like soil temperatures in the 40s and 50s F. And remember to “hill” them, or heap extra soil over their roots to protect them from sunburn which makes them taste bitter.

If you are wondering what to grow in the shady parts of your garden, there are at least a dozen vegetables that require less than six hours of sun every day. Some vegetables, like bok choy and green onions, flourish on much less than that. And many of the plants that like less light also thrive in cool weather.



Designing Mini-gardens Using Potted Plants

by Bill Shores and Chicagoland Gardening

Container gardening is so enjoyable because of its possibilities for creative expression. There is an almost endless variety of ways to design and use containers. For example, in a classic design, a container is filled with a pleasing arrangement of plants with differing heights, textures and colors. This method can result in stunning arrangements; however, it does have limitations.

Why not expand on the classic container method and make a larger ensemble of plants? Something we could call a “mini-garden” made up of any number of potted plants arranged in a pleasing way. These mini-gardens offer the same creative potential as the single classic container but with added advantages: a more natural, cohesive feel, greatly increased visual impact and the option to rearrange the mini-garden as the season progresses.

Another advantage is that plants in a mini-garden have plenty of room to grow in their own container, which allows for larger and lusher growth. In addition, plants that are placed together in a cluster will create their own microclimate, protecting each other from wind and extreme heat or cold.

To make a mini-garden, start by choosing an existing feature to serve as a backdrop. Good features include a wall or corner, a large potted plant such as a tree, a column or perhaps a shelf mounted on a wall. Potted plants of different heights are arranged to form a base or backdrop. Adding potted plants around the base mimics the way that living systems build up in nature around base with features such as ponds, boulders and trees.

Choose plants with different heights, placing the larger plants towards the back with medium plants in the middle and smaller ones along the front. However, avoid rigidity in placing plants by height. Using layered plants of different types will make for a casual, naturalistic arrangement. As needed, add several containers of the same or similar plant for more cohesion and order, and to avoid an overly busy arrangement.

For a more formal look, use deliberate repetition such as a ring of potted specimens of the same plant around a larger pot. If space allows, this formal center could be flanked by more casually placed plants around the sides. Feel free to change it up, move things around or switch out plants as needed until you get the desired effect.

Pay attention to the design and colors of the containers as these will form part of the design. It can be fun to make a mini-garden using pots of the same colors. Plants that have attractive tops but long, leggy stems such as dracaena work well in mini-gardens as mid-sized plants can be placed in the arrangement to hide the bare stem. Another way to provide a pleasing layer is to place some of the mid-to-small size pots on bricks to achieve the desired height.

Be sure to pay attention to light conditions. Generally, it is best to use plants with similar light needs. For example, make a shade mini-garden using a variety of shade-tolerant plants. That said, some of the plants in the back of the mini-garden may be in partial to full shade when they’re part of larger, more complex arrangements that are ostensibly in the full sun.

Once you get started on using container designs, you will discover the many advantages and delights they provide. You may then decide to make mini-gardens a key part of your container gardening toolkit.



10 Berm Landscaping Tips: Building A Berm Or Landscape Mounds

build a berm is easy with these tips


Add berm landscaping to your garden design by building a berm or landscape mounds is an easy and attractive way to add interest to your yard especially in flat areas.

Building a berm or mound isn’t as complicated as many would think. By following simple guidelines in the design of the landscape mounds and berms, many garden troubles can be eliminated with ease.

Mounds and Berm Landscaping Ideas – Design

Before building landscape berms or mounds, a landscape designer should first plan its design. You can also design it for yourself. Always consider the mound’s overall purpose in advance as well as the drainage patterns within your landscape. One “purpose” could be a spill containment berm.

On average a garden berm or mound should be about four to five times longer than its height, progressively streaming out into the remaining landscape.

Most landscape berms have a height of 18-24 inches. The berm design can have more than one peak to give it an added interest as well as shape to perform its purpose.

Most of the berms are given a curved or crescent-looking shape, which is preferable and natural looking.

Related Reading: 37 Landscape Edging Ideas

Building A Berm Or Landscape Mounds [How To]

Berms are often constructed using fills such as plant debris, sand, asphalt, soil, or rubble. Use the fill materials to fill the major part of the berm, forming its shape around it using the soil. Firmly tamp the fills to ensure compactness.

The LandscapingNetwork has this Pro Tip:

When grading mounds near existing trees and shrubs, never alter the grade nor disturb soil within a tree’s drip line. Also be sure the berm will not interfere with water that has previously supported the life and health of the tree.

The Following are the Items You’ll Need to Have When Building Landscape Mounds and Berms

  • Graph paper
  • Landscaping spray paint
  • Garden hoses
  • Spade
  • Shovel
  • Clay soil
  • Fill dirt
  • Topsoil
  • Boulders and flagstones (optional)
  • Shredded bark mulch
  • Various plants

The Following Ten Tips of Building Landscape Mounds and Berms Will Guide You Better

Sketch The Landscape Berm Design To Scale On A Graph Paper Beforehand

Having a sketch of the berm to scale will help you become aware of the area the berm will occupy so that you can know whether you have enough room to build it.

Berms meant to showcase trees should take a horizontal slope of 5-7 feet with 1-foot height from the base while those meant to showcase small plants can do well on a steep slope of 3-4 feet in length with a height of 1 foot.

The peak of your berm should be designed to occupy one end instead of taking the center position. Also, the top of the berm should be flat to prevent water run off to the sides of the slope.

Be creative with the design, such that your berm has multiple peaks, undulant conical edges, or even crescent shape, rather than the perfect oval design

Put Down Your Layout Plan

Lay out the berm design on the ground using the garden hose; garden hoses are preferred because they flex easily to achieve perfect curves to layout an island bed and also offer flexibility in the design.

After you’re content with the shape of the berm, transfer it to the lawn using a landscaping spray paint.

Remove The Turf Layer In The Marked Lawn

Use your spade to remove the turf clutter so that the marked turf is now ready for refilling. Curve it with grass, if possible, so that you can be able to see your design as you fill it up with dirt.

Fill The Area With Clean Dirt To Build Up The Berm

Use a garden hose to spray the mound so as to moisten the soil and then tamp it tightly. The fill dirt should take up about half of the total height of your berm. The remaining part should be filled with top soil.

Fill The Remaining Few Inches With Clay Soil

Depending on the height of your berm, cover up the fill dirt with 1 foot of clay soil. Any other correction in the berm design should be made using clay soil.

Clay soil is preferred as it compresses well and it’s not likely to be eroded by runoff water.

Add Top Soil Over The Clay Layer

Bulk up the remaining height of your berm using topsoil; this will provide nutrients for your vegetation.

Use A Shovel To Flatten The Top Soil Of Your Berm So That It Can Take A Good Shape

Drag the topsoil using a bow rake down to the outlines of the berm to achieve significant slope and smooth edges. Compress the top soil especially on the sides of the hill to ensure that it’s compact.

Naturalize Your Berm

Place large boulders and flagstones throughout the berm to give it a more natural outlook. Bury one-third of the stone height to hold them firmly in the soil, and also to make them appear as natural features on the hill.

Plant Your Vegetation

Plant the vegetation of your choice be it trees, perennial and annual flowers, groundcovers and shrubs on the berm so that they can establish roots to anchor the soil, especially on the sides of the slope.

Plant the short plants at the peak of your berm; this will make them more visible. You can have several trees at the top of your berm as well, but plant them in an irregular pattern so that they can look natural.

Plant the groundcovers at the slope of your berm to help preserve the soil from being eroded.

Add Mulch Around The Plants

Add a 2-3 inches film of mulch around the plants on your berm; use mulches with uneven shapes to prevent erosion. Shredded barks can make good mulch as they interlock to resist washing down the slope.

The Bottom Line

There are no specific rules for building a berm. The landscape outlines will dictate much of the berm or mound’s design as the rest lies with the owner’s needs and preferences. Be creative and unique.

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More She Sheds


It’s official: the she shed trend is here to stay. Giving man caves everywhere a run for their money, these backyard hideaways are a cozy little place for ladies to call their own, whether it be for gardening or just somewhere to curl up with a good book. So, how does one go about staking claim to her own she shed, you might ask? Whether you have a neglected potting shed in your backyard or want to build your own from scratch (more power to ya), here are some ideas for your very own she shed.

First off, you need to choose the place within the garden or outdoor patio, where you would like to put your outdoor furnishings and glider. #outdoorremodelingbackyard

Natural wood garden shed kit Whales, 10 x 10 | Solid Build

Garden shed


A She Shed is the perfect addition to any size backyard. | She Shed Inspiration | POPSUGAR Home Photo 1


5 Tips on How to Grow Sunflowers in your Garden

Growing sunflower might very easy, even for those who are new to gardening. Not only they will look beautiful, but you will also enjoy the sunflower seeds as snacks when it is time to harvest. If you want to grow the sunflowers in your garden, here are 5 tips that you can follow.

Tips 1: Choosing the Best Site to Plant

Sunflower is basically the easiest flower to plant since it can grow in any type of soil. But, if you want to make them grow better, you can choose the acidic to alkaline or with pH 6.0 to 7.5.

Make sure that the soil drains well because if the soil is too wet, the sunflower will be rotten. You also need to make sure that the sunflower gets enough sun because it is called sunflower for a reason.

Tips 2: Planting the Sunflower to your Garden

You can plant either the seeds or plant, but the plant will grow much faster than the seeds. Before you plant the sunflower, make sure that the soil temperature is warm enough, for around 55 degrees to 60 degrees F.

Give the space for the seeds for at least 6 inches and cover them with at least ¼ inches of soil.

Tips 3: Watering the Sunflower

After you plant the seeds, you need to keep watering them in 7 to 10 days to make the soil moist. The seeds will sprout in the next 10 to 14 days. When the sprout appears, you need to regularly water it in 20 days since it will be very helpful to encourage root growth.

After the plant grows taller, water the sunflower only when the soil is dry. Make sure that you don’t give them lots of water since they won’t grow well.

Tips 4: Taking Care of the Sunflower

The sunflower doesn’t really require a great care and fertilizer. They can grow well up to 6 feet in three months. But, you need to prevent this to happen by giving slow-acting granular fertilizer to encourage bigger flowers.

Then to prevent weeds and give more evaporation, you can spread a thin layer of organic material to the soil, or about 2 to 3 inches. If the sunflower grows more than 3 feet tall, you can add some supports by using stakes. You just need to tie the sunflower loosely to the stakes with soft materials, like cloth.

Tips 5: Harvesting the Seeds

When the harvest time approaches, like when the back of the flower heads have turned into yellow or brown, you can collect the sunflower seeds by cutting the flower heads.

Place it under the sun or hang it to make it dry and you can collect the seeds easily. You can enjoy the seeds for your snacks, or you can plant them again to grow more sunflowers.

Growing the sunflower can be very easy since all you need to do is make sure that you get the perfect place to grow this flower. Besides, you also need to give the best care to the sunflower to make sure they grow perfectly in your garden.