In general, the cultivation of fruits and vegetables should be preferably in open, sunny, airy places. Because shade and even partial shade always reduces yields. However, it depends very much on the source of this shade. Namely, if larger trees interfere with the cultivation area, there is usually the additional problem that roots become competitors. Accordingly, pole-rooted trees in the vicinity are then more favorable than shallow-rooted trees.
Trellis fruit trees
The shade of houses is already less problematic here. If you have the possibility to plant espalier fruit on the front of the house, for example, you can cultivate very early apple varieties such as wheat apple, peach-red summer apple on the north side. Facades facing northwest or northeast can be planted with early ripening sour cherries.
Free-standing fruit trees that are shaded, for example, by high rows of houses or steep north-facing slopes usually bear less fruit, which also tastes more sour, than on a sunny site. Only domestic plums (damsons, note difference from plums), sour cherries and summer apples are an alternative, or rather a stopgap.
The same principle applies to soft fruits: less sun means less sweetness (of the fruit). Raspberries still do quite well in partial shade (yellow-fruited varieties should be especially suitable). Planting gooseberries and currants is also possible, as well as the culture of strawberries.
- Rhubarb still grows well in partial shade. Furthermore, I recommend the following vegetables:
- New Zealand spinach (in summer)
- Winter spinach
- lamb’s lettuce
- so-called winter lettuce
- bush and pole beans
- Swiss chard
- Beet and yellow beet
- Giant kohlrabi could thrive
- Turnips and autumn beets
- Everlasting onion
- Bedding cucumbers (raised bed, mounded bed)
- Bulbous fennel
Zucchini, in my experience Pattison (UFO squash) even better (on raised bed, hillside bed)
Carrots still thrive to some extent (choose hardy varieties)
- Chervil beets (difficult to grow)
- Black radish
- cut and perennial celery
- Funnel fern is edible and its young rolled shoot tips are a delicacy
- Sage still thrives quite well in partial shade
There is sure to be a place in partial shade that can be sunny by means of raised beds where other important herbs thrive, such as parsley, marjoram, hyssop, mountain savory
“The cultivation of easily cultivable edible mushrooms can significantly enrich the vegetable offer of the self-supporter. However, the mycelium and substrate must be purchased from a specialized company, which is initially a cost factor. Depending on the type of culture, one can use shady corners of the garden, greenhouses or damp basement rooms for cultivation and even grow mushroom cultures in the apartment (e.g. bathroom) or on the balcony. In inhabited rooms, just make sure not to use species that spread spores. Cultivate on special substrate, straw or woodchips. With some species it is possible to inoculate freshly cut logs, which will then provide mushroom harvests for several years.” (From my Garden Calendar booklet: “High-Yield Crops for Self-Sufficiency.”)
Greenhouse with additional lighting
In the age of LED lights, it is possible to add additional lighting to a small garden greenhouse without high cost. I know such a project at a friend in function, who also runs the greenhouse with solar panel and discarded car batteries as storage, so absolutely self-sufficient. It works. Crops can then be grown in the unheated greenhouse quite profitably:
- Winter purslane over winter, harvest in March
- Lettuce in early spring
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.