Texas is hot. Really hot. August is hell with a capital H. Fighting a non-stop battle with watering our delicate vegetable babies in the summer sun is never ending. A solution to cool down the plants and expand the growing season a bit is to tuck some herbs and vegetables in shady garden spot. Above you see my own full shade vegetable garden beneath the covering of maple trees.

Moisture retentive soil is the first step to reach success on a hot summer and the secret to this grow-in-heat solution. Mix 1/3 rotted manure, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 traditional soil in your planting bed. Plant shade-loving vegetables in the beds, then mulch well. Although there are exceptions, generally speaking, the rule for shade vegetable plantings is “No Roots! No Fruits!” – meaning any plant that is a heavy producer of a root vegetable or a fruit vegetable will not do well in a full shade bed.

Below is a list of shade-loving vegetables –

• Arugula
• Basil
• Beans
• Beets
• Celery
• Collards
• Corn Maiche
• Cucumbers
• Herbs (i.e. chives, cilantro, lemon balm, mint, oregano, parsley, scallions)
• Kale (all types)
• Lettuces (all types)
• Mustard Greens
• Pak Choi
• Peas
• Radishes
• Rhubarb
• Spinach
• Swiss Chard

Hop on board the shade growing train and try growing a shade vegetable bed during the hot summer – you will be rewarded with lots of garden love.