A Garden Layout for Shady and Sunny Yards

A Garden Layout for Shady and Sunny Yards

Have you been thinking about planning a garden for a while, but just haven’t started yet?  Or maybe you don’t have the most ideal plot of land available to you.  Well, maybe this post will help.  I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ve found that certain plants grow better for me.  Maybe they are more hardy, or just the right plant for my particular garden space.

Vegetable Garden Layout

I’ve been at this for a few years now and I’ve definitely had my gardening ups and downs.  Some years the only thing that I could grow were tomatoes.  I’ve been able to add quite a few things to the list.  I currently have three different spaces in the yard for gardening.  This first space isn’t large enough for everything, but does nicely for a majority of veggies.  I’ll be able to show more of the garden spaces another day.  For now I thought I’d touch on what works in my yard when dealing with so many shade trees.  Most of the produce we put in the garden needs a lot of sun, but if your space isn’t all that sunny, then maybe this will help you.

My garden has full sun on the southern side, full shade in the northern side and is partially sunny on the east side.  That means I’ll need to plan accordingly.

vegetable garden

First things first:

The first thing my sweet husband did this past winter was to chop down a black walnut tree.  They are common in our neighborhood, but do a lot of damage to the surrounding soil.  It makes growing anything near it very difficult.  The issue is a toxin that is in the bark, leaves and roots of this tree that causes vegetables grown near it to be small and wilt.  I may still have an issue with the root system, but I think it should improve the soil overall.

So this year I plan to use my largest space to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, pea pods, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beans, spinach, kale and lettuce.  My other babies will be located in a section of our side yard and along the other side of this main garden.  I have some zucchini, more tomatoes, acorn squash, peppers, asparagus, and various berries planted here already.

vegetable garden


If you’re dealing with an area of mostly shade (2-4 hours of sunlight), I would recommend growing these little guys:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Brussels Sprouts


Areas of 4-6 hours of sun would be considered partial sun.  For me, these veggies thrive well.  A little shade at some point during the hot summer days can be a nice little break for these vegetable plants.

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Onions (although I’m growing them this year)
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots


These plants will perform best for you if you give them a nice sunny place to grow.  6+ hours per day.

  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Corn

vegetable garden

I hope this helps as you are planning out your garden space this year.  Let us know what seems to work best for you and happy planting!





  1. I haven’t gotten around to planting a garden this year but I do have a few things growing. I planted garlic and potato onions last fall and those are doing well. Then we have a few perennials like rhubarb, strawberries, and raspberries.

  2. What a great layout, We are trying to redo our 5 acres so we can plant a garden soon. It’s lots of work.

  3. We just started planting the other day. I’m not happy with how my husband put some of our plants in, but I guess I’ll have to deal with it.

  4. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    I love your lay out. Can’t wait to follow along and see how it grows!

  5. Thanks for this! I started my garden this year, went on vacation, and came back to a whole bunch of dead crops. I decided to do it right next time so I’ll be saving this for after my retaining wall goes in.

  6. We planted our first container this year. We started it in March thanks to the warm weather here in Texas! I think my first batch of tomatoes are almost ready. I need to save your post and reference it as I expand my garden.

  7. This is definitely very helpful! I was just talking to my hubby about creating a garden in the backyard. I love this layout.

  8. Ooh, this is so helpful and I’m sharing it with my husband. He’s been trying to grow vegetables and has only had some success. Maybe this will be the answer!

  9. I really need to revive our vegetable garden. I miss growing my own goods. I’d literally sit snacking on my produce all day though haha!

    Louise x

  10. Oh my goodness this is SO helpful! I’ve been wanting to start our own little garden since we moved to our new home!

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