Planting Vegetables in a Shaded Area
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated March 12, 2013)
If there is one thing that can at least make you think that you will have a more difficult time of growing any vegetables at home it is more than likely having a yard covered with a lot of shade. Well, if you are interested in planting vegetables in a shaded area, your best option is to figure out which plants will work best in that type of an area. Luckily there are plenty of different vegetables that grow quite well in areas that don't get a whole lot of sunlight.
That being said, every plant needs to get some kind of sunlight throughout the day. On the average, the following plants only need to get between three to six hours of sunlight, but can also do well with a constant source of dappled sunlight.
- Broccoli. Considering how rich the soil in shaded areas usually is, it will provide the perfect location for growing some broccoli. However, since it only does well in light shade, you will want to make sure that you plant this vegetable in areas that has more dappled sunlight than true "dark shade." This is a plant that really needs to be planted about five weeks prior to the last spring frost, so you should be planting sometime near the end of February or early March.
- Radishes. Typically speaking, radishes really only require two things to grow into a healthy plant. These are cool temperatures and water (lots of it). This makes the radish a perfect vegetable to plant in a shaded area. In fact, considering how poorly radishes do in hot weather, if you don't grow them in a shade garden you will need to make some artificial shade to help protect the plant. Generally speaking, you should plant radishes about four weeks prior to the last spring frost.
- Swiss chard. Plant Swiss chard about two weeks prior to the last spring frost, and only plant them about 1/2 inch deep, and no more than 12 inches apart (and no closer than 8 inches). Since this plant doesn't do too well in heat, the shade will help promote a faster growth cycle and allow it to grow to full maturity.
- Leafy greens. Some examples of leafy greens that can grow in the shade are such things like lettuce, sorrel, endive, arugula, cress, collard greens, and mustard greens. These individual plants all have the same basic requirements, and as such can be grown together in close proximity. Furthermore, these plants can also help provide each other with a bit of protection when grown together since not all pests will like each of these plants.
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