QUESTION: I want to grow tomatoes but only have shade and partial shade available on my property. Can I produce a healthy harvest of tomatoes if I only have shade and partial shade to grow them in? — Francis A.
ANSWER: There’s no one-size-fits-all response to this question, because certain varieties of tomatoes perform well enough in partial shade, while other types of tomatoes don’t do well in the shade at all. As a general rule, most tomato varieties can stand a bit of shade. However, to make the most of your garden, you’ll want to select a tomato variety to grow that will flourish in the shade or partial shade you have available.
You can depend on most types of cherry tomatoes to grow happily in shady spots, although you’ll see a reduced yield from cherry tomato plants in shady areas. For full-sized tomatoes, your best options will be bush varieties that are designed to be grown in cold environments, tomatoes that take 55 days or fewer to develop to harvest. Take a look at the lists below to find out which tomato varieties you should consider for growing in shade or partial shade.
In general, you want to aim for as much sun as possible with tomato plants. So if you can find a spot that gets a couple more hours of direct sunlight, you should choose that option. But hey, if you can’t find enough direct sunlight, try these varieties anyway and you might still get a decent enough tomato crop. It’s worth a try, right?
Cherry and Other Small Tomatoes for Partial Shade
A Grappoli d’Inverno
Evan’s Purple Pear
Isis Candy Cherry
Sungold Select II
Thai Pink Egg
Full-Sized Tomatoes for Shade and Partial Shade
Belize Pink Heart
San Marzano Redorta