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Got shade?  A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine was saying that she only has a small area in her backyard for a garden, and it is not ideal because it’s mostly shady.  She wanted to know what I thought she could grow in the shade.

While it’s true, most edible garden plants prefer full sun, there are a couple that will give you yummy produce and tolerate the shady areas in your yard.

Here’s a few for her and you to try:

  1. Celery–try this one in the heat of summer, when most gardeners can no longer grow celery.  The shade can provide a cooler place for the celery to be happy.
  2. Asparagus–asparagus is a semi-shade plant, but I know lots of people who have been successful growing it in full shade.  Keep in mind, though, that it takes a couple of years before you get a crop.
  3. Mint–mint is almost impossible to kill.  A lot of gardeners avoid it all together because they say it is invasive, spreading like wild fire.  It makes a great edible ground cover for a shady area though.
  4. Bush beans–they actually prefer full-sun, but they can totally be grown in shade if you don’t mind lower yields.
  5. Spinach–spinach loves the cooler weather, and the shade provides it long after spinach season would otherwise be over.  Try the New Zealand variety for even more success.
  6. Arctic Beauty Kiwi–I really want these!  Apparently, it’s a vine that produces 10-15 pounds of fruit per year.   You’ll need 2 of them for pollination, but they are shade tolerant and cold hardy.
  7. Swiss Chard
  8. Kale
  9. Lettuce–this is another one to try in the heat of….

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