West-facing gardens offer long hours of afternoon sun, which can prove challenging to the aspiring vegetable gardener. Many plants and flowers simply cannot tolerate the lengthy exposure to sun guaranteed by a spot in a westerly garden. Leafy greens, in particular, are best suited to shadier spots. Several vegetables, however, are certainly capable of thriving in the full sun of a west-facing garden.
Root vegetables grow underneath the soil and are therefore less susceptible to damage from hours of sun exposure. Root vegetables tend to thrive in west-facing gardens as long as soil and water conditions are monitored. The most popular root vegetables include radishes, turnips, potatoes, parsnips, onions, beets and sweet potatoes.
Fruiting vegetables are those that flower and produce fruit. Some of the most popular are tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and squash. Most varieties of squash including zucchini and butternut do very well in a west-facing garden. Cucumbers and tomatoes require heat to thrive, and are good candidates for a west-facing garden.
To thrive, corn needs regular sun exposure. Corn is an excellent addition to a west-facing garden, not only because it is heat tolerant, but due to its height, can offer shade to other plants in the garden that may not be as sun tolerant.
All varieties of peppers do best in warm climates, so it is not surprising that they can thrive in a west-facing garden. Many varieties of peppers exist, including bell peppers, jalapeño peppers and banana peppers, you can enjoy a mix of these vegetables in your westerly facing garden.