Growing vegetables in part shade?

Stephen1February 9, 2002

Have any of you experimented with growing veges in part shade, I have an area that recieved morning and very eary afternoon sun but is shady after that. I'm particularly wondering about potatoes. Any thoughts?


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I grow my potatoes in a partially shaded area. It also works well for the tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini, at least in this area. I am in Texas where the summers get hot, and no matter what some of the experts say, tomatoes don't have to have full sun to live.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2002 at 10:38PM
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Cukes, bush beans, and lettuce will tolerate shade (4-5 hours direct sun is good). vgkg

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 2:33PM
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Cate(z7b VA)

I'm on the east coast of Virginia (Chesapeake Bay area) and find that all my veggies, flowers and herbs do better in partial shade (or part of the day shade). The gardens in full sun suffer terribly. The heat and humidity in full sun are just too much.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2002 at 7:48PM
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Helen_vancouver(z8 BC)

I have rhubarb, onion and lettuce growing in a similar situation. Last year, I grew squash too and they did pretty good.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2002 at 12:03PM
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Our raised bed is in the sunniest part of our backyard, which gets sun from about 8:00 am until about 2 pm---plus a small shot at the end of the day (coming from under the trees).

Leafy stuff has all done fine. Tomatoes first ripened pretty late and then stopped ripening pretty early---but we had set them out very late.Hungarian banana peppers did well. Melons did badly. Zucchini were excessively productive until we pulled them to replant fall stuff.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2002 at 9:24PM
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KMcNeill(z6 IN)

I live in a forest. Last year, I planted a few things that only get a few hours of filtered sun. I had zucchini that produced ok, tomato and peppers grew well but the fruit even though matured were small (still edible). I tried carrots and radish they bombed. But surprisingly, the few carrots that I just left in the ground actually started growing the following spring. Those few carrots actually became big enough for my kids to pull and eat - I was surprised since the previous winter we received several below 0 days. Also husband mowed over the parsley and leeks(thinking they were weeds - just because he doesn't eat them) - they also started growing again and still look good. And I have a strawberry bed in my forest - grows well. Kathy

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 9:08PM
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tony_k_orlando(Z9 Fl)

ON the north side of my house which never gets direct sun till later in the year I planted some tomatoes which I didn't have room for in the 'official' sunny garden.

These plants are doing EXCELLENT with plenty of good sized fruit.

May I suggest that you not believe anyone 100% and simply try whatever it is you are interested in trying.

Don't leave opportunity based on someone else's opinion, try it yourself and see for yourself.

good luck.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 3:58PM
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I have lots of trees on my small lot so my sunny areas are precious and few. I have my main tomato plants in the sunniest parts of my property, but I had a leftover seedling. I plopped it in a spot in my backyard where I had a compost pile year before last because the soil there was nice and workable.

That plant now has several very nice looking tomatoes.

It's not nearly as productive as my other plants, but I'm happy to have any fruit at all on what I thought would be a throwaway.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 8:23PM
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I will plant some tomatoes, hot peppers, lettuce, onion, and strawberry in a shady area of my garden which receive like 3 hours a day of sun. I hope they grow.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 6:00PM
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How did it go?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 9:25PM
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I am going to grow my tomatoes in part shade this year. It is so hot and dry here that our tomatoes tend to stop producing just when they ought to be going full guns.
When we first moved here, we moved in july. Had to dig up my tomatoes and transplant. Amazingly the ones we put in the shade (because the ground was loose there and didn't need prepared) kept producing very well.
Big suprise when we did it right and they were very sparce producing. So back to the shade and wish us well!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 6:38PM
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I think the important factor here was moisture. Transplanting in full sun in July is very hard on the small roots and the plant would have to have had a shade cover until the plant reestablished. The tomatoes planted in the shade did not have that particular handicap and they had the warmth factor that they crave so did well. I use lots of mulch - at least 4 inches (straw-leaves) in the hot summer and the tomatoes can stand any amount of sun. ps don't over-water after the plants get going.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Woo!! nice...I am going to try tomatoes and lettuce. Is it bad to plant tomatoes and lettuce near each other? Last year my tomatoes attracted lots of bugs. I am new to gardening but I wish I had a green thumb!!! Was I doing something wrong? I am scared to plant my tomatoes near the other plants now bc of the bugs it brought...

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 11:46PM
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We are growing a vegetable garden with only about 3 1/2 hours of sun. They do tend to ripen later, and the plants themselves don't tend to be as bushy. We had some wonderful tomatoes last year. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 8:44PM
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I'm a first time veggie gardener and made the mistake of judging the sun in Feb. when I was building my raised bed. I totally forgot about the fact that the trees would have leaves on them in the spring and summer. That being said, I now only get 4 hours of direct sunlight. My lettuces, broccoli, and onions did great. Keep your fingers crossed about my tomatoes!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 6:07PM
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General rule of thumb for tomatoes is 12 light to 12 dark for the best results. Although they won't die if they don't get that exact ratio but they will have superior results.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 4:13PM
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WHAT NONSENSE I'M READING HERE! I hate all the misinformation which is pedalled by people who have never done the research to actually KNOW what they're talking about. I have grown cherry tomatoes in COMPLETE SHADE on my north facing balcony in Vancouver, Canada. They grew to about 7 ft. until I trimmed the tops, they flowered, produced tomatoes, ripened and were delicious. Now you know the facts - tomatoes can be grown with NO DIRECT SUNLIGHT - end of debate!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 3:24AM
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Well its really not nonsense... You can grow tomatoes in shade. You grew cherry tomatoes that can easily grow and mature in the shade. Larger tomatoes require more sun to grow large and mature. So as luck would have it you grew one of the few tomatoes that actually will do well in shade. If you grew them in the sun they may have been sweeter and larger, but if your happy with them then more power to you. Point is you don't have to be a prick to get your point across. The only one who thinks there is a debate is you, the rest of us are learning from each other.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 12:06PM
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A few hours of filtered sun is my situation too. Gave up on melons and dill. Peppers and tomatoes - yes, with putting in nice robust plants and not expecting very high yields. Root crops do not so bad when planted for fall. Overwintering carrot grew tolerably. Local heirloom bean seed was nice!
Tried putting reflective surfaces next to plants to increase the amount of light they receive. With correct timing, it seems to help.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:57PM
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I live in Arlington, TX and its Feb 1st. I planted broccoli in the shade back in October just to see what would happen and they are doing incredible. They obviously don't mind the erratic weather here in North Texas this time of year and actually are doing quite well in a nice shaded area.. I learned something new :-)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 5:17PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I'm happy to have discovered this thread! Wow! It's way too hot here for tomatoes, so I just planted a row of seeds in a partial shady area next to a jalapeno pepper. I know that pepper does well in partial shade because we had a (they do grow into) tree at our last house with morning sun, and afternoon shade. Produced peppers for years. I heard they can live up to 60 years.... peppers! We do have lots of areas with partial shade, and I have lots of seeds. Some I bought, and some left from a previous owner. Thanks for the info..

    Bookmark   March 7, 2015 at 3:13PM
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