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Newbie question about sun Toplef10Newbie question about sun 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Newbie question about sun

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Post  pelujilla 5/22/2011, 5:36 pm

I just bought two raised beds from Lowe's....they are the resin type as I was going to place them against the house.

Where I placed my bed this season is on the side of the house that gets direct sunlight from sun-up to sun-down as it faces south with no fence as it is curbside....no shadows WHATSOEVER.

DH asked me why I didn't just place the new boxes on the other side of the house...now in the summer once the sun is up it is a sunny spot....buuuut I wonder if it will get the same amount of sunlight in the winter when the days are shorter.....could it be done? If I can use that spot I can easily put a fence up and keep the deer and HOA off my back.

Must I sit outside and count how many hours of sunlight it gets?
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Post  Kelejan 5/22/2011, 6:42 pm

I think you may have to think about the spring and fall seasons as well, because it is not only about sunshine but about light.

As a newbie I will wait for more experienced people to come up with their answers.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 5/22/2011, 9:11 pm

I may be a nerd when it comes to this stuff. Here is what I do...

I pick a sunny day, preferrably a Saturday or Sunday. When I wake up, I take notice of whether the sun is on my garden....or target spot in the yard. If it is, I make a note. I then, start watching whenever I happen by that spot, or a window that can see that spot. I am watching for the spot to fall into shade. When it does, I take a note.

I do this a few times a year when watching a new spot for plantings. I can track the hours of sunshine a spot gets in any given season by simple subtraction after my notes are accurate.

For instance, I watched my garden spot all winter long in my new house. I was guessing as to whether or not the spot I had chosen would work. It seemed so. However, I needed trees to leaf out to be sure. I can now tell you that at almost the longest day periods of our year, I get sun from 830am to 5pm, give or take half hour longer either side of those times. That gives me 9-ish hours of full sun....plenty. I will check again in July and August as I start losing day length.

My tomatoes need 8 hours. My lettuces can do with 6 hours. As long as I am in between those numbers, I can plant pretty much whatever I want. It takes a little scouting, but I have by no means sat in my yard and just watched the sun move across the sky. I do it as I am passing by throughout a Saturday.
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Post  Barkie 5/23/2011, 4:47 am

I'm another nerd then maybe. What I do is I draw a rough sketch of the garden and repeat it on the same sheet of paper half a dozen times. I wait for a sunny day when I'm up at say 7am and draw in which part is in full shade, which is in full sun and where there is dappled shade. I do it again roughly every hour or so in between other jobs and make a note of the time. I can then add up how many hours of sun or partial shade a section gets in total during a day. I can work out where it gets hot or stays cool as well then.

Within no time at all it leaps out at you where to put a cheeky little tub of MM early and late in the year to get an advantage over the weather. HOA or conservation area eat your heart out Twisted Evil
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 5/23/2011, 12:35 pm

Yay nerds!! cheers Another great idea.
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Post  Barkie 5/23/2011, 1:27 pm

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Yay nerds!! cheers Another great idea.

The feeling's mutual. Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Post  Kelejan 5/23/2011, 1:49 pm

Barkie, good idea.

Now you will have to repeat it throughout the year so that you can see where the sun is in springtime and fall.

I am on the north side of a small mountain Sad and I only have a strip of land that borders the road where I get any decent sunshine for any length of time. Unfortunately for me half of it is taken up by eight enourmous (big) birch trees.

That is where I put my toms and other warm weather plants. The cool weather plants go elsewhere.

I think I will do as you have, make a plan of my yard and see exactly when the sun shines and when.

I made the mistake the other day of putting my latest bed in not quite the right spot. Lovely sun where I had put it, then the next morning I realized I had cut off an hour of sun because the bed was in the shade of the house. Too late (or lazy) to move it this year, so my next one will be four or five feet further way from the house. That is what is known as experience. :scratch:
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Post  pelujilla 5/23/2011, 4:58 pm

Thanks..I will begin the watch.
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