Planting vegetables in the shade helps maximize the productivity of your garden. It also helps those people who simply have no sunny areas in which to plant vegetables. Although all vegetables grow best in full sun, some varieties, especially the leafy varieties, can also grow in the shade. They may grow more slowly, but will still be tasty.
Lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula and endive survive best in shady conditions. They actually require some shade protection from the hot summer sun. As an added benefit, you can harvest these leafy vegetables at any level of maturity, rather than waiting for a fruit to mature. If you want an early crop, plant spinach in September, and allow it to over-winter and harvest in the spring before any of your other crops mature.
Broccoli, Beans & Peas
Broccoli, beans and peas tolerate shade as well. They will not, however, produce a harvest as large as would occur if they were planted in the sun. Avoid planting these vegetables right next to hedges or trees. These will, in most cases, produce too much shade, and compete with the vegetables for water and nutrients in the soil.
Potatoes, beets, carrots and turnips require at least half a day of full sun. Plant these vegetables on the edge of the shade. They, unlike the leafy vegetables, will not survive with dappled sun but need the full sun to take grow the root below the surface. Planting root vegetables in part-shade will make them grow more slowly. Therefore, be patient and wait to harvest them a little later than usual.