All brassicas are tolerant of shade, so as well as as cabbages try growing broccoli, spring greens or Brussels sprouts. Sow seeds in spring for late-season cropping. Net the plants to protect them from cabbage white butterflies.
2. Salad leaves
Try loose-leaf lettuces, including oak-leaf types and varieties such as ‘Lollo Rosso’, plus fast-growing, spicy leaves like mizuna. Once the soil has warmed up in spring, sow outside in small batches every few weeks for continuous cropping.
3. Swiss chard
Pick the leaves when young for salads or when larger as spinach. ‘Bright Lights’ has attractive colorful stems. Protect crops from cold weather with fleece. Sow from March to September.
Beetroots are tolerant of shade, but to get them off to a strong start, sow seeds in modules in bright conditions and then transplant when they’re growing well. Sweet-tasting ‘Boltardy’ is a reliable variety, or try orange ‘Burpee’s Golden’ or striped ‘Chioggia’. Sow seeds every few weeks in spring and summer for a succession of roots. Find out how to grow fall beets.
Sow kohlrabi 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. The leaves can be eaten like cabbage.
On shady plots that get morning sun and afternoon shade, you’ll be able to grow leeks – they need some sun but can cope with shade. Try reliable, hardy varieties such as ‘Musselburgh’ and ‘Autumn Giant’ for heavy crops.
7. Broad beans
Hardy overwintering crops such as broad beans, which get off to a quick start in spring, can cope in dappled shade. Early maturing ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ is ready to pick a month earlier than other varieties.
The growth may be less vigorous, but the leaves would remain tender and they keep coming for a longer period than if it were grown in full sun. Arugula tolerates dry conditions to some extent, but frequent wilting would make the leaves tougher and bitter. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why growing rocket in partial shade is a great idea.