Fresh organic carrots on the ground

3 Types of Vegetables That Can Thrive in the Shade

Though most vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight a day to produce a good crop, there are a few exceptions. If your garden is in a shady spot, try growing these three types of vegetables that can thrive in the shade.


Beets are one of the most shade-tolerant vegetables out there. They’re perfect for growing in spaces that get little to no direct sunlight, such as along the north side of a house or fence.

Beet root crop in the ground on the garden.
Beet root crop

Beets also don’t mind a little crowding, so you can sow the seeds closer together than you would with other vegetables. Make sure to thin out the seedlings once they emerge so they have enough room to grow.


Carrots are another vegetable that does well in shady conditions. In fact, partial shade is ideal for carrot plants, as too much sun can cause the roots to become bitter.

When growing carrots in the shade, look for a variety of that’s tolerant to lower light levels, such as ‘Hercules’ or ‘Thumbelina.’ If possible, choose a site that gets morning sun and afternoon shade for the best results.

Ripe carrots growing in garden.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, and kale are all great options for shady gardens. These veggies prefer cooler temperatures and will actually bolt (go to seed) if exposed to too much heat, making them perfect for shady spots that receive dappled sunlight or full shade most of the day.

Spinach growing in a garden.

Just keep in mind that leafy greens will need more water than other vegetables, so be sure to give them an extra drink during periods of extended drought.


If you have a shady spot in your garden, don’t despair. There are still plenty of vegetables you can grow there. Beets, carrots, and leafy greens like spinach and lettuce are all good choices.