Some people think that we can’t grow vegetables in the shade. It is true for some vegetables like squash, peppers, and tomatoes because they need full sun to produce healthy vegetables.
In case you don’t have a garden or the best sunny location for growing vegetables. Plenty of vegetables can easily thrive well without full sun exposure.
Trees and buildings around your yard or garden make your growing area shaded. In another case, if you are growing your vegetable plants on rooftops, windowsills and balconies then you can easily grow them in pots.
Basic Sunlight Conditions
The yield you get from a shaded area will not be as high as you get from sunny areas.
At least a few hours of the full sun must be received during the day by your plants but shade for the rest of the day then it is possible you can grow some crops. Following are the three basic sunlight conditions that clarify the amount of light.
If the location of your pot is receiving at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day it means this is a sunny location for any plant. This is the perfect place for vegetable plants.
If your location is receiving three to six hours of sunlight shade it means it is a partially shaded area for your plants. This area received light for 3 to 6 hours and it is scheduled for the rest of the day.
For such areas, you have to choose those plants that can thrive well in partially shaded locations. Some plants prefer filter-lighted areas. Filtered light means the light that is passing through the leaves of the large trees.
Full-shaded areas mean they do not receive direct or reflected sunlight during the day. Deep-shaded areas are not good for growing vegetables. At least some light is needed to produce vegetables for your plants.
20 Vegetables That Can Grow In Shade In Pots
It is a challenge for you to grow vegetables in a shady area. But it can’t stop you from growing edible plants. Sunlight is an important factor in the growth of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
But some crops are shade-tolerant and perfect for areas like patios or balconies that fall shade most of the day. For shaded areas, you can choose leafy crops.
Tomatoes and peppers don’t thrive well in shady places. As you are growing vegetables in pots so you can move them to a location where they can receive a few hours of sunlight.
Here are 20 vegetables that can easily grow in partial shade and thrive well in pots.
Beets can easily adjust in small spaces and shaded areas. The depth of the pot you need for growing beet plants should be 10 to 12 inches. Beets like to grow in cold climates.
The perfect varieties for growing in pots are Chioggia, and Detroit Dark Red. Make sure the pot you are using for growing tips must be held at the bottom.
Beets are grown for their greens and roots. The greens of beets can easily thrive in partial shade but the size of the roots will be smaller in partial shade. But partial shade will not affect the taste of beets. Fresh greens of beets can be used in soups, salads, pickled or canned.
The best time for sowing the seeds is in spring or fall. When the size of the greens is about 5 inches then you can harvest. Just snip a stalk or two from each beat plant.
You can harvest greens after 30 days and roots after 60 days. When the diameter of the beetroot is about two inches then you can harvest it.
The depth of the pot must be 8 inches for growing kale. The perfect diameter of the pot must be 12 inches. Fill your pot with a high-quality potting mix for better results.
The young leaves of kale are a good option for salads. This is a cool season crop. You should avoid planting it in warm weather because you will not get the best taste.
The best time for planting kills is in Spring and late summer. Kale easily grows in partial shade. You can harvest the baby greens within 30 days and mature live within 60 days.
When the size of the bottom leaves reaches 6 to 8 inches long then you can harvest them. The perfect for growing in pots are Dwarf Blue Curled Vates and Dwarf Siberian.
The depth of the pot must be 6 inches because lettuce has a shadow root system and can easily adjust the pot. This vegetable is perfect for growing in small and shady spaces. The ideal varieties for growing in pots are Burgundy Light and Slow Bolt Arugula.
Radish is a cool season crop if you want to grow it in summer then partial shade is needed for its healthier growth. The best time to plant seeds is in early spring. Radishes easily grow in small pots.
You have to just spread the seeds in the pot and wait for their germination. For the healthier growth of radish plants make sure they are receiving regular water.
The suitable varieties for growing in pots are Solaris and Hybrid Cherry Belly. After 20 days of planting seeds, you can harvest radishes when that diameter is about 1 inch. The greens of radish are also edible.
Spanish can easily grow in pots in partial shade; it can easily grow well on a balcony, rooftop, and even on your windowsill. There is no need for a deep pot because of its shallow roots.
But you must use a wider pot so the spinach spreads out easily. The varieties of spinach that can easily grow in pots are Bloomsdale Long Standing and Okinawa.
Broccoli is well-suited for pots and likes to grow in cold climates. You can plant it in late summer or autumn. Sow the seeds one month before the Frost.
You can plant the seeds directly in your desired pot or start them indoors. The perfect temperature for the germination of seeds is 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 23 to 27 degrees centigrade.
For plants, you can choose a 5-gallon pot or container. You must try broccoli because it prefers cooler temperatures. Some shade makes it more amazing.
7- SWISS CHARD
The minimum depth of the pot for growing swiss chard must be 8 inches. Swiss chard grows well in partial shade. You can harvest it from Early Spring to Fall.
It is a perfect substitute for spinach in summer. You can directly sow the seeds in your desired pot or you can transplant swiss chard. After 45 days baby greens are ready for harvest.
When the length of young leaves is three inches then you can harvest them. The best varieties of Swiss chard that grow well in partial shade are Celebration, Bright Lights, and Fordhook Giant.
This is among leafy greens that can grow very fast. Arugula has a musky odor and taste. It is better to plant it in full sun but it can tolerate some shade. Intense heat from afternoon sunlight is not good for Arugula.
That’s why you have to choose such a location where your pot receives sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon. The pot you are using must have 8 inches depth and 6 inches diameter. You must fill it with rich and well-drained soil.
Peas can tolerate partial shade. Although you will not get a higher yield of peas in the pot it’s a fun and low cost of growing your piece. When you grow plants in a pot they need more water. Feed your pea plants so they will produce healthy peas. For pots, it is better to choose a dwarf or bush variety.
10- MUSTARD GREENS
This is a cool-weather crop that can grow in partial shade. Fill your pot with a high-quality potting mix. After the germination process. mustard greens young seedlings need regular water and feed.
When the size of the plant is about 10 to 15 cm then you can harvest. Continuous harvest encourages new growth of the plant.
Leeks have a mild taste and you can grow more only from one leek. Leeks can thrive well in pots but you should provide rich soil and watering. The depth of the pot must be 10 inches or 25 cm.
The best time for sowing the seed indoors is 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost. When the seedlings are young and frost has passed then you can transfer them outside. Leeks can tolerate partial shade but their growth will be slow so you have to wait for the harvest.
If you want turnips for their greens then the Ideal time for growing is from August to September. Turnips can tolerate partial shade and thrive well in pots and containers.
As you know turnips are root vegetables so you should select a deep pot with a good drainage system. Drainage will protect plants from root rot and many fungal diseases. It is better to use a 12-inch pot because it will provide enough space for turnips.
The ideal size of the pot for growing asparagus is 12 inches deep and wide. To make soil richer you can add compost and rock phosphate. You can plant asparagus from seeds or propagate from roots or crowns.
If you choose to start with seeds then it will take 3 years to harvest. In case, you start from crowns or roots then your crop will be ready for harvest after a couple of years.
Although 6 hours of sunlight is needed for the healthy growth of mint, it can tolerate a little shade. The pot you are using must have 12 inches in diameter with drainage holes. Drainage holes help to remove excess water from the soil.
You should carefully examine the surface of the soil if it feels dry then it is time to water your plant. To encourage new growth you can pinch the tips of the mint regularly.
Your selected pot must have drainage holes and the depth must so the. It is better to fill your pot with a well-drained soil mix. You can apply a 1 to 2-inch thick layer of mulch on the top of the pot after planting the cloves.
It will help to retain the moisture level in the soil. When the leaves of the garlic plants start turning yellow then it means it is time to harvest.
It is a cool weather crop so it can tolerate partial shade easily. It can be easily propagated by both seeds and transplants. But as you are growing celery in pots, you must propagate it from seeds.
Due to the shallow root system of celery, you can easily grow them in small pots. 8 inches depth and 10 inches diameter of the pot is ideal.
Although cabbage plants can tolerate partial shade it can reduce their growth. This is a warm-season crop and needs regular water. You can add fish emulsion and natural compost to make your soil richer.
You must choose a disease-resistant variety for growing your desired pot because cabbages are more affected by pests and diseases.
18- BRUSSEL SPROUTS
Brussel sprouts can thrive when any type of soil but they don’t like excessive sun. They prefer partial shade but you should select certain areas where they are safe from strong winds.
The seedlings of Brussels sprouts can easily tolerate light frost and the suitable temperature for growing them is 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
The ideal depth of the pot for growing cauliflower is at least 8 to 12 inches. This is a cool weather crop and you should fill your pot with high-quality potting mix. The potting mix contains all the nutrients that are essential for the healthy growth of cauliflower plants.
This is a shade-tolerant and warm-season crop. The best time to plant parsnips is in spring or fall. The suitable temperature for growing parsnip is between 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
This plant will not grow well if the temperature is very low. The ideal depth of the pot you are using for growing parsnips must be 18 inches. Because the roots of parsnips can grow 12 inches long. It needs regular water.