There are loads of DELICIOUS and nutritious shade tolerant vegetables you can grow this autumn/winter with as little as two hours of sun.
The sun is arriving later and leaving earlier as the days go on and large parts of my garden are affected and only getting about 2-3 hours of sun a day. Fortunately, this does not mean I can’t grow anything in those spots.
The key thing is to grow vegetables where you are harvesting the leaves as opposed to any fruit.
Here is a list of my top 11:
This one is always a popular choice as it has become very on trend as one of the ‘top health’ foods as it’s jam-packed with nutrients. There are so many varieties of kale too, to keep things a little more interesting!
- Cavolo Nero
Similar to kale, this is another great choice as it’s hardy and you can pick and come again for as long as you want, as the plant will just grow taller and taller but keep producing leaves.
Considering how many recipe bases call for a few stalks of celery, having at least one or two plants you can come pick from is a real lifesaver in the garden. Celery will not grow as quickly in a shady garden but does tolerate lack of sun well.
Lettuce all just take a moment to appreciate this humble vegetable… Again there is a massive amount of choice of what lettuce you plant. I love cos lettuce to use as an alternative to a bread wrap, or in a Caesar salad, while frilly red and sweet green lettuce varieties add colour and variation.
- Silverbeet (Chard)
You can eat the rainbow with this vegetable as it can come in so many colours! This is a lovely ‘pick and come again’ staple to have in the garden and you know you’ll be getting a big vitamin boost when you eat this.
- Perpetual Beet Spinach
This one grows just as well as silverbeet does, with the added bonus that you can also eat the root once you’re done picking leaves! It’s essentially a much less messy version of a beetroot. Speaking of beetroot…
This one is another great one to eat both leaves and root! Young beet leaves in salads are just delicious, so sweet and tender while the beetroot itself is a perfect addition to a coleslaw or salad. The lack of sun will mean slower growth for the actual root but the harvesting of baby beet leaves means it’s not wasted garden space.
Technically a vegetable but really this is dessert territory. Rhubarb is nearly impossible to NOT be able to grow. Even accidentally hacking the whole top off, the roots will push through new shoots as if it were nothing.
- Chinese cabbages
Tatsoi, bok choy, pak choy…there are quite a few! Delicious in a stir-fry or as a replacement for spinach, you can’t go wrong growing a couple of these in the garden.
Eat their greens as a spicy substitute for rocket, and their young baby roots sauteed or raw. The humble turnip is a great option as the baby turnips are more delicious than their adult counterparts so slow growth by lack of sun isn’t a huge issue.
Okay so this one is a herb, but it seems people can struggle a bit growing this. In summer it bolts super quick so you have only days to harvest. Luckily a shady place in autumn and winter is the PERFECT time and place for coriander! And once summer comes and it bolts? Don’t even worry, let it go to seed and it’ll self-seed meaning you’ll never need to plant it again.
I’ve really narrowed it down, there are hundreds more that I could add to this list! What are your favourite shady vegetables to grow?