In this case, growing vegetables that can survive partial sunlight is a great way to get some fresh produce on your table at home.
But before getting to know the low-light vegetables, understanding the types of sun exposure is important. Here -
Types of Sun Exposure
- Full Sun (6 to 8 hours of sun)
- Partial Sun (4 to 5 hours of sun)
- Partial Shade (at least 3 to 4 hours of sun)
- Deep Shade (No sun. Vegetables must not be planted here)
**Please note that without direct sunlight, germination and the growth of the plant will be affected. Hence, direct sunlight is a must.
Now that we know the basics, let’s move on to the list of vegetables that can grow in the shade.
List Of Vegetables That Grow In Partial Sun and Shade
Leeks are a member of the onion family that can be grown in low sunlight. They are grown for their tender, edible leaves and thick white stems (which resemble large scallions). It is a versatile vegetable that can be used in salads, fried rice, pizza, pasta, or any other dish.
- Sowing Time: August to October
- Soil: Leek seeds require well-drained soil with a pH that ranges between 6.1 and 6.8. If your soil doesn't meet this requirement, then add lime prior to planting leeks so that they may grow healthily throughout their lifespan!
- Water: Regular watering
- Harvest: 85-90 days after transplant
When people say, “Eat your greens,” they are usually referring to Spinach as it targets multiple health problems by just consuming it once a week. Rich in iron and vitamin A, it can be grown in full sun. However, it's best to grow it under the shade of some trees or shrubs.
- Sowing Time: You can sow spinach seeds year-round except in January and February.
- Soil: Spinach seeds need moist soil for optimal growth.
- Water: It needs enough water to keep the soil moist.
- Harvest: You will want to harvest your spinach as soon as possible after it has been picked so that all of its nutrients are preserved and not lost through drying out too much during storage (or worse—storing incorrectly).
Kale is a leafy vegetable that can be grown in partial sun and shade. It's part of the cruciferous family that includes broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Kale plants are hardy and can tolerate cold weather, making them ideal for planting in winter months.
- Sowing Time: The ideal time to sow Kale seeds are Sept-Nov and Mar-Apr.
- Soil: Sandy-rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.1-6.8.
- Water: Even supply of water ranging between 1 to 1.5 inches per week.
- Harvest: After 60 to 90 days of planting.
Lettuce is a leafy, green vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. The fact that it is sown across 11 million acres around the world makes it the most popular consumer vegetable crop. These plants form a large and dense bunch of leaves when grown in their natural state.
- Sowing Time: You can sow lettuce seeds September to October in plains and February to June in the hills.
- Soil: Well-drained soil with a pH that ranges from 6 to 7.
- Water: Overwatering can cause fungal infections; hence the water should be even and apt.
- Harvest: 60 days onwards.
Have some shade in your garden? Go ahead and plant these to make the best of available sunshine!
Endive is a leafy vegetable that grows in cool-season climates. It's a member of the chicory family, which includes lettuce and radishes. The leaves of Endive have a mild taste with hints of bitterness, making them perfect for salads or other dishes where you want flavour without too much saltiness.
- Sowing Time: February-April, August-October
- Soil: Endive seeds grow best in light, rich, and well-drained soil.
- Water: Regular, even watering.
- Harvest: If you choose to sow seeds directly, it'll take about 70 days for them to reach maturity (or 80 if your climate is cooler).
Komatsuna is an Asian green, the seeds of which are hard to find but easy to grow. It’s also known as Japanese mustard spinach. This leafy vegetable is part of the Brassica family, like Kale and Collards. Its flavour is more similar to mustard greens than other types of spinach. So if you’re hesitant about growing Komatsuna because you don’t like mustard, perhaps this will change your mind! Like many brassicas, it contains high amounts of vitamin C - a nutrient important for maintaining healthy vision.
- Sowing Time: February to May, September to November.
- Soil: Komatsuna seeds need well-drained, nitrogen-rich soil to grow well.
- Water: Balanced watering.
- Harvest: 35 to 45 days.
Mizuna, also known as Japanese greens, is a nutrient-rich leafy vegetable that is commonly used in Asian cuisine. The plant is part of the mustard family and has a slightly spicy flavour. This nutrient-rich plant can help improve digestion, lower blood pressure, and boost your immune system. Mizuna is also a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. If you're looking to add more leafy greens to your diet, planting Mizuna seeds will help. This versatile plant can be used in salads, stir-fries, soups, and other dishes.
- Sowing Time: Cool weather is the perfect time to sow Mizuna seeds.
- Soil: Humus-rich, well-drained soil are best for Mizuna seeds to grow.
- Water: The soil must be kept moist, so the plant should be watered well.
- Harvest: Mizuna seeds grow fast and are ready for harvest in 30-40 days.
Tatsoi is a leafy vegetable in the mustard family. It's a cool season crop that can be grown in spring and fall. Tatsoi is also high in fibre and calcium, making it an excellent choice for people who want to eat more of these nutrients without going overboard on animal products. Mild in flavour, it can be used in salads, stir-fries, and soups.
- Sowing Time: Late spring or early summer.
- Soil: Well-drained soil with a lot of organic matter is ideal for Tatsoi seeds.
- Water: The plant must be evenly watered.
- Harvest: Tatsoi should be harvested when the leaves are young and tender, which is about 40 to 45 days after sowing.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of vegetables that can be grown in low sunlight. There are many more vegetables that grow in partial sunlight and have been neglected by most gardeners. Some of these include Arugula, Chard, Hearts of palm, Radishes (beet), turnips and watercress, among others. However, the 8 low-light vegetables shared above are the easiest to grow.
Try yourself! If you face any issues, AllThatGrows, with its Non-Hybrid, Open Pollinated And Non-GMO seeds, is right here to help.
Here’s to adding members to your vegetable garden. Good luck!