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Shade tolerant edibles

 
pioneer
Posts: 81
Location: Sydney, Australia. Subtropics
33
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Has anyone had success growing food in very little light? Here are a few things getting going this spring in my inner city backyard, which only receives afternoon sunlight.
Fig-leaf-gourd.jpg
Fig leaf gourd
Fig leaf gourd
Chayote.jpg
Chayote
Chayote
Collards-silverbeet.jpg
Collards, silverbeet
Collards, silverbeet
Lemon-balm.jpg
Lemon balm
Lemon balm
Cilantro.jpg
Cilantro
Cilantro
Chives.jpg
Chives
Chives
 
pollinator
Posts: 260
Location: New Hampshire
43
hugelkultur forest garden chicken food preservation bee
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At my old house the back yard received about 3 hours of direct sunlight.  I found the following plants did really well in my raised beds with drip irrigation.

Red Russian Kale
pak choi
celery (needs lots of water)
bunching onions
spinach in the spring
snap peas in the spring
romaine lettuce
sage
rosemary
thyme
mint






 
pollinator
Posts: 1056
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Here in Missouri, most garden plants will do fine with just afternoon sun.  I’m not sure if your location will make a difference or not.
 
Posts: 12
Location: South Texas
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Ramps, ginger, turmeric  (these three may actually need a bit more shade)
Artichoke
Cardoon
Katuk
Lovage
Possibly longevity spinach
Elderberry

Those are all perennials where I am. There may be some annuals that will grow fine there too...

And I didn’t note your location, but if you’re cooler than my area... maybe currant or gooseberry bushes.
 
author
Posts: 21
Location: Hengelo, The Netherlands
9
forest garden foraging writing
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Hi Joseph,

It looks like your garden gets a lot of indirect light so it seems there's a fair amount of what you can grow! You're already growing lots of suitable herbs like chives and lemon balm. Different varieites of mint would also do well, and some larger herbs such as sweet cicely and lovage. Or perennial leafy veggies such as sorrel and Good king Henry. The most shade tolerant fruits are currants, gooseberries, loganberry, tayberry and sour cherry - does your climate allow you to grow these? As far as annual veggies are concerned, the best ones for shade are leafy veggies such as mustard greens, pakchoy, chard or lettuce (you're also already growing some of these too).

Greetings from the Netherlands,
Vera
 
Posts: 31
Location: New Jersey
5
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Awesome thread, thank you for joining us Vera. I love how the daily-ish opens me up to new threads.
I am on 7 shady acres of oak and pine (2% maple, but still trying to find them!) in central NJ, 45 minutes from the ocean. We have sandy loam, and growing in the ground is not viable without a lot of soil remediation. We do have 4 raised beds that get morning til mid afternoon sun. But those also get raided by the deer. I do have a lovely front porch, which faces east. I will be pressing hanging baskets and porch railing planters into service this spring. We have grown basil and rosemary in pots on the porch, which allow quick access when needed for a recipe.  I  will be trying some of the shade tolerant edibles listed in this post.
I have purchased some berry bushes and small fruit trees. I dug out some of the loam and added topsoil. I set them up in the sunniest area in the front yard, and fenced it in with 8' mesh.
We compost all our kitchen wastes. and shred leaves when it's not raining.Thank you to everyone on permies for all you do!
 
Posts: 77
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hostas are shade tolerant ornamentals which are also supposedly good edibles
 
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: NW Montana, USA
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Violets are beautiful little plants that are also good eatin', and you can pretty much just grow them in the shade.
 
Posts: 71
Location: Poland
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Wild strawberries grow well in shade, and they're still sweet (unlike some other fruits which maybe will grow but won't be sweet).
 
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