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Growing vegetable plants and herbs in sun, partial shade or shade

Even though most vegetable plants need sun to produce a good yield, some do very well with a little shade. To determine where is the best location to plant your vegetables, it is important to know the amount of sun or the level of sunshine that the garden receives.

Most vegetable plants require direct sunlight to produce fruits and vegetables of a good size and flavour. Some plants will grow very well in partial shade, so be aware of your sun conditions and plant choices. Be careful to protect your plants from strong winds, and on balconies, from water dripping from the balcony above

Full sun area: 6 to 8 hours (and more) of sun per day

Vegetable plants placed in full sun will be more productive. Here is a list of vegetables, herbs and berries that thrive in full sun and withstand heat.


  • beans
  • beet
  • chili pepper
  • corn
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • squash
  • sweet pepper
  • tomato
  • turnip
  • zucchini


  • currant
  • haskap
  • melon
  • rhubarb
  • strawberry


  • basil
  • dill
  • fennel
  • lemongrass
  • marjoram
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • stevia
  • tarragon
  • thyme

Part sun area: 4 to 5 hours of sun per day

Many vegetables, herbs and some small fruits prefer a little more freshness and are grown in a semi-shaded area of the garden.


  • asparagus
  • cabbage (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, headed cabbage)
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • leek
  • lettuces
  • onion
  • peas
  • potato
  • radish
  • shallot
  • spinach
  • swiss chard


  • blackberry
  • blueberry
  • currant
  • raspberry


  • borage
  • chervil
  • chive
  • coriander
  • lemon balm
  • mint
  • parsley

And some flowers:

  • begonias
  • fuchsia
  • pansies

Part shade area: 1 to 2 hours of sun per day

Few vegetables or herbs grow in the shade. However, some leafy or root vegetables support it. But expect less abundant production.

  • beet
  • celery
  • corn salad
  • hazelnut
  • parsnips
  • radish
  • spinach
  • watercress