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Vegetable crops for shade

Although a sunny spot is ideal for most fruit and vegetables, you can still get good harvests from shady parts of your garden. In fact, protection from summer heat can be a positive advantage. Salad crops, for example, will produce more lush growth and won't run to seed as readily. Take your pick from the following vegetables.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard: pick the leaves when young for salads or when larger as spinach. Choose 'Bright Lights' to add colour. Sow from March to September.


Cabbages: all brassicas are tolerant of shade, so as well as as cabbages try growing broccoli, spring greens, Brussels sprouts and kale. Sow seeds in spring for late-season cropping.


Beetroot: not all varieties are the purple colour you'd expect - for something a little different, look out for orange 'Burpee's Golden' and striped 'Chioggia'. Sow seeds every few weeks in spring and summer for a succession of roots.

Salad leaves

Salad leaves: try loose-leaf lettuces, including oak-leaf types and varieties such as 'Lollo Rosso', plus fast-growing, spicy leaves like mizuna. Sow in small batches every ten days. 


Kohlrabi: sow seeds little and often, when temperatures are 10°C or above, and water plants regularly. Peel the swollen stems and toss in butter roast, add to stews or grate raw into salads. 


Ideal if you want speedy results, radishes can be ready to eat within a few weeks of sowing. They're great for adding a spicy kick to salads. Repeat sow for low-effort, non-stop crops.

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