Solar Considerations

A successful organic kitchen garden can be grown almost anywhere. But the more sun the better. One can always shade sun-sensitive plants if even by strategically placing taller plants in front of them. We call this “upstaging.”

Green plants grow using a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis needs solar radiation, usually the more the better, 6 hours minimum for good fruit production. Therefore gardeners must consider carefully the amount, angle and the intensity of the sun as it radiates on your garden site. Ideally it will be the sunniest section that is convenient for you to tend, harvest and watch out for pests and rodents with convenience.

Stake Out Your Garden

  • Select the site that will be your garden, preferably the sunniest spot in your yard.
  • Stake it out
  • On a sunny day note how many hours that the sun falls on the site
  • Note shading from trees, buildings and overhead items as the day passes
  • Be aware of the time of year that you are doing this test because if it’s winter the sun will be lower in the sky (winter solstice). The ‘summer solstice’ has the summer sun high in the sky. You will need to adjust your site boundaries if this test is done at a time other than the growing season.
  • Many food crops and especially herbs are attractive enough to place within your ornamental gardens. Notice where you may have sun-loving shrubs and perennials and interplant with edible plants.