Full shade terrace and vegetables

Hi all,
I live in Barcelona, so usually the weather is sunny for most of the year, and from May to November its 25-38°c. Ive just bought an apartment thats got a 25 sqm tetrace, but its ground floor and is surrounded on 3 sides by tall buildings. It gets alot af liggt but no sun. This is great for us humans as its roasting in direct sunlight, but id llike to know if i could plant a vegetable garden there. Ive never done anything like it before so id be starting from scratch. Are there vegetables that would thrive in these conditions? And is there a best way to set up the pots/raised beds?



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 13,466
    So long as the light is good there are vegetables that will grow in shade, lettuces and salad leaves, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, Chinese cabbage, spinach, corn salad, endive, kale, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, leeks. Mostly it's leafy veg which do best and some, such as lettuce, prefer it to being in full sun. Some roots do OK as well but would prefer a little sun, radishes, beetroot, carrots. If they are in pots make sure they don't dry out. They may need watering every day where you are.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 1,740
    Hello Rich, total lack of sun, even with good light levels does limit what you can grow. Most fruiting vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, cucumber etc., need sun and most others need at least a bit of sunlight to crop well. I struggle with winter vegetables like the brassicas - cabbage, broccoli etc., because they have a long growing season and it gets too hot in the summer when they are young.

    You could try any of the things Buzy-Lizzie has mentioned, but I perhaps start off with spinach and salad leaves and see how you get on, although are only really feasible in spring and autumn, because the heat of summer here (even without direct sunlight) stimulates them to redirect their energies to sending up flowering shoots in a mad rush to set seed.

    I would suggest experimenting by buying a few tub trugs - large, flexible plastic buckets usually sold in ferreterias, diy stores and garden centres. Ideally, incoroporate some soil as compost on its own dries out very quickly and the nutrients it contains are soon exhausted. Once you have experienced a growing season and have a better idea of what grows, you can always graduate to making raised beds next year. If you catch the veg growing bug, then its worth getting yourself a book on growing your own, to learn about things like soil preparation and enrichment, crop rotation (important for plant health and avoidance of soil-born diseases), what grows well with what and what not to plant next to each other.

    I’m in inland Girona and have the opposite problem to you, my vegetable garden faces south and is exposed to full sun most of the day, so I need to erect shade netting in summer!
  • Thanks alot alot for your suggestions
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