Currants and gooseberries also grow and crop quite well in partial shade. Train them as espaliers against a wall to ensure the branches are well-spaced and that light can reach all parts of the plant.
Cane fruits like blackberries and raspberries can also grow in some shade, but will fruit better with more sun. My everbearing raspberries grow in partial shade against a wall, and do very well.
Rhubarb is another great crop for a shady spot.
For fruit trees, pears and plums are your best bet. Pears do need a few hours of sun, preferably in the afternoon. Plums are a great choice for a landscape that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Just remember, many varieties of pear and plum trees need a cross-pollinator (2 trees of different varieties) to fruit, so you may need more than one tree. I grow all of my fruit trees in large, ornamental pots to make it easy to re-arrange, and they're all dwarf self-pollinating varieties with full-sized fruit, kept at a height that's convenient for care and harvesting.
Alpine strawberries are
much tougher than average strawberries. Try a variety called
‘Alexandria’ for shade.
My everbearing strawberries in partial shade do fine. They are growing in raised, elevated beds to foil the voracious, marauding rabbits.
What NOT to Grow in Shade
Heat-loving crops such
as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and melons just
won’t grow without full sun.
They need hot, sunny days in order to produce fruit.
Most fruit trees need lots of sun. Citrus, peach, nectarine, apple, and apricot trees all need direct sun and won’t thrive in shade.
Tips for Growing in ShadeIn all but the hottest climates, use the sunniest parts of the garden to start seeds in a seed bed or in pots or modules, then transplant them to another bed once they are larger and more able to cope with shade. Using grow lights indoors can give early-sown seedlings a boost.
Reflect any available light into shadier parts of the garden by painting walls and fences white, or use reflective surfaces such as shiny metal or foil balls in the garden. Shiny decor like gazing balls repel aphids and look beautiful as the focal point in the beds. A birdbath or other water feature looks pretty and reflects sun from the water.
Slugs and snails often lurk in shady areas of an in-ground garden, so use traps and delay laying mulches until the weather warms up. Raised beds eliminates that scourge.
Leave plenty of space between plants to help maximize light penetration. I often do not do this with my greens.
You may not need to water as often when gardening in the shade, since less moisture evaporates. Take care when gardening directly under trees. Their roots tend to compete for available water and nutrients and their leafy canopy will block some rainfall from reaching the ground.
Grow dwarf or bush varieties or grow on trellises for more food per foot.
Old Farmer's Almanac
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