Q. We recently moved into a new home, and mature trees shade much of
the backyard. I have been a vegetable gardener all of my life, and I
know that most vegetables require full sun to do well. My new yard
offers two spots that get six or seven hours of sun. Are there any
vegetables that will be productive in so little sun?
certainly are vegetables that will produce well with six of seven
hours of sun, and there may be steps you can take to grow those
vegetables that require more. Even though direct sun does not reach
the ground, the shade cast by mature trees is much brighter than the
shade cast by buildings.
The main limitation will be those crops
that produce fruit - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, okra,
squash, cucumbers, sweet corn, and beans. They require at least
eight to hours of sun a day to be productive.
Root crops such as storage onions and garlic
require a similar amount of sunshine.
However, leafy crops such as lettuce, arugula, spinach, chard, kale,
and collards do very well in four to six hours of direct sun. Many
of these tend to bolt or go to seed when the weather heats up in
summer, and the shade may slow that process. Also, many root crops
such as carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, green onions and parsnips
should produce a good harvest. Crops in the cabbage family such as
cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi should also be fine in
the sunnier spots.