The Q&A Archives: sunlight

Question: what does full sun to part shade mean?
is it ok to water every day on summer time?

Answer: Full sun means full direct sun all day long or for a minimum of six hours including the hour of noon. Part shade usually means some direct morning sun or dappled light all day or some direct sun both early and late in the day. A few hours of afternoon sun is usually too hot and intense for part shade plants, but some plants that handle full sun (and do not mind heat) can grow in afternoon-only sun.

Watering daily is not usually necessary except with some container plants. Watering is done to supplement the natural rain, if needed. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp do not water yet.

When you do water, water slowly and deeply so it soaks down and encourages deep roots. After you water, dig down and see how far it soaked in. Sometimes this can be surprising. It is better to water deeply less often than to sprinkle lightly every day. If you sprinkle lightly every day then the plants will stay very shallow rooted. If the soil at the surface ever dries out at all, they will suffer. Deep rooted plants can handle some dryness at the surface because the soil naturally stays moister down deep.

In addition to deep watering when it is needed, maintaining a layer of organic mulch about two to three inches deep is also helpful in keeping the soil more evenly moist. It also helps keep down weeds and adds organic matter to the soil as it breaks down over time.

I hope this answers your questions.

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