In general, leafy vegetables and herbs such as chives and parsley are the most shade-tolerant. Shade tolerant vegetables include lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, endive and radiccio. Broccoli (and its relatives-kale, kohlrabi, turnips, mustard and cabbage-also grow in partial shade.
Leafy vegetables display another advantage: they can be picked and enjoyed at any stage of maturity, unlike sun-loving vegetables that must ripen. Yet another advantage to these shade-tolerant plants is their conduciveness to successive plantings. Planted early in the spring, they are ready to enjoy before the intense heat of mid-summer. Planted in mid-to-late summer, they thrive in the cooler days of early fall. Accordingly, they can be used to fill in gaps where summer-harvested vegetables have been picked, or even planted to take advantage of shade created by adjacent larger plants. One leafy vegetable, spinach, can be planted in mid-September, allowed to overwinter, and harvested earlier in the spring than if it were spring-seeded.