The trick to knowing if your plant will do OK with less sunlight is this: If the vegetable is grown to eat the leafy part, or possibly the roots, they do well without as much sun. If the vegetable is grown to eat a fruit that is produced by the plant, it needs lots of sunlight. Growing these vegetables in part shade might also help to keep the soil from drying out so quickly.
- Herbs- such as basil, parsley, and cilantro all do well with less than full sunlight. They often do well in the shade of other big vegetable plants in the garden such as the tomato plant. They can also be planted in shadier places in the yard.
- Salad- The basics for salad such as lettuce and spinach grows well with some shade. This is a good idea especially when the weather gets warmer as lettuce has a tenancy to bolt (send up a flower shoot in the middle of the plant) if grown in the heat of the summer. They also wilt quite easily if the soil drys out in the slightest.
- Swiss chard- is a great easy plant to grow in the garden, and if you grow the colorful variety, you can add a splash of color to your garden. They grow well in part shade for the same reasons as lettuce. Just harvest a few leaves at a time for using in the kitchen and the Swiss chard will last most of the year.
- Beets, carrots and radishes- they produce roots that are eaten, and can grow quite well with a bit of shade, but they might need slightly more than those others mentioned because they are producing a product to eat along with the leaves. Remember that beets and their tops can be used in the kitchen. I have also found that cutting off the tops of the carrots and beets right away after harvesting helps them to prevent them from loosing too much moisture and going limp.
- Broccoli and cabbage- These do OK in partial shade, as long as they get 3-6 hours of sun light. But if growing the the early spring, you might prefer to grow them in full sun as it might slow down their growth when temperatures are too low, which being in shade would do. But growing them closer to the summer time, a bit of shade would be beneficial.
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