DO I NEED A SUN sPOT OR A SHADE sPOT?
Our sun-loving Garden sPOTS and edible sPOTS feature plants that require 6 hours or more of full sunlight each day. Garden sPOTS for shade take 3 to 6 hours of full sunlight OR 2 hours of direct sun plus 4 to 6 hours of dappled* sunlight. If you have less than 3 hours of sun, all dappled sunlight, or only indirect light (under a tree or on a covered porch or balcony) you need a super shady sPOT (look for “super shady” options on the Shade and the Flower box pages).
HOW MUCH SUN DO I HAVE?
Sometimes it can be hard to tell how much sun you have, as it moves across your yard each day. If you want to track the sunlight and see how many total hours you have for a garden, try this:
Place a sheet of white paper on the spot where you are thinking about placing a garden.
Have someone check it each hour between 8 am and 5 pm. You can do this over several sunny late spring or summer days – just keep track of the results for each time slot. Write down whether there is sun shining on the paper, or sun making patterns through the leaves on the paper (dappled* sunlight), or no sun hitting directly on the paper at all.
Add up the total number of times you recorded direct or dappled sunlight on the paper.
6 or more times with direct sun = Sun sPOT
3, 4 or 5 times with direct sun = Shade sPOT
2 times with direct sun + 4 or more times with dappled sun = Shade sPOT
Anything less = Super Shady sPOT
*You should see the individual leaves with sunlight shining through. If the leaves are too dense, and you see mostly dark areas with just a few gaps of sun shining through, it isn’t really “dappled sun.”