Determine Your Garden?s Sun Exposure

By National Gardening Association Editors

One of the most common causes of a plant struggling in the garden is not enough, or too much, sunlight. It's important to know how the sunlight changes over the course of the spring and summer. As trees leaf out and the sun's angle changes, what was once a full sun area in spring may be part shade by midsummer.

A new tool can help you determine the amount of sunlight that different areas of your yard are receiving. The SunCalc sunlight calculator is a battery-powered tool that records the amount of sunlight over a 12-hour period. The photo-receptive diode registers how much sunlight has accumulated and signals whether the area is in full or part sun, part shade or full shade. Full sun is defined as 6 or more hours of direct sunlight. Part sun is defined as 4 to 6 hours, part shade is 1-1/2 to 4 hours, and full shade is less than 1-1/2 hours. SunCalc works even on cloudy days. If used over a number of months, it can give a good estimation of the sun exposure in various gardens and help you select appropriate plants.

For more information on this sunlight calculator, go to: SunCalc.

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