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30 Days to Grow a Better Garden – Day 2 Report

sun for a better garden

Photo: Vector Portal

This month at AussieGreenThumb.com is ‘So You Want A Better Garden?’ Month. As part of that I am running a 30 day challenge. The challenge consists of daily tasks of about 10 minutes each. I guarantee that if you complete each days task, by the end of September you will be well on your way towards reaching your gardening goals and growing a better garden. Will you accept the challenge?

Day 2 Challenge RecapTake 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the afternoon and note what garden beds receive sun and when. What gets morning shade? What gets afternoon shade? This will influence what plants you should choose to plant in each garden bed. Some plants need a lot of sun, but prefer the less harsh morning sun. Others thrive with the strong afternoon sun.

For this challenge I cheated a little so that I could report to you today. I actually also did this challenge yesterday! I went out early morning and then late afternoon. For the morning I had to actually do a little work to understand where the sun would be because I was out a little early, however I was able to see where the sun was and work out where it would rise to, giving me an indication of what would get sun and when.

Front of House
Garden Bed 1 – Shaded for most of the morning due to my house blocking out the sun until it is high up in the sky. Receives afternoon sun but is still shaded almost as early as my other garden beds, again due to its position near my house.
Garden Bed 2 & 3 (side by side) – Early morning shade, mostly due to it being against an north/south fence on the east side of my house. This means the fence blocks the east rising sun. Receives full afternoon sun.
Vegetable Gardens 1-4 – Early morning and late afternoon shade due to their position between my house and back fence. Receive between 6 hours(winter) and 8 hours (winter) sunlight. Perfect for vegetable gardens! Vegetable garden 4 receives a little more afternoon shade due to the palm tree next to it.
Herb Garden – My herb garden is situated on the otherside of the aforementioned palm tree and receives a lot more shade because of this. Many herbs actually like a bit more shade so this works. My herb gardem probably gets 4 hours sun in Winter and 6 hours in Summer, mostly dapled sun. Not all herbs will thrive in this and my rosemary probably needs to be moved but I had a bumper crop of chives, parsley, lemongrass and mint last summer.

The reason I set this challenge
Understanding when garden beds get sun will help you in choosing the right plants for each garden bed. For example, I know not to plant vegetables into garden bed 1 simply because it won’t get enough sun. Whatever I plant there needs to be able to handle the shade because it receives so much of it. Equally I know that garden beds 2-3 receive so much sun that I will actually need to provide some make-shift shade in the summer or else any vegetables there will be fried. Knowing how the sun will affect your garden will help you to grow a better garden.

Learn more about Garden Design
This challenge fits under the category of ‘Understanding garden design’. Most people think of garden design as;

  • Something landscapers do;
  • Difficult to learn and understand;
  • Not for the beginner;

This is not true. Though I wouldn’t expect you to get out and design flowing gardens, simply understanding your own garden is a step towards better understanding garden design. If you want to know more about beginner level garden design, the first chapter in my ebook covers it. Find out how you can buy my ebook ‘So You Want A Better Garden’ here.

It’s not too late to join the challenge! You can grow a better garden. Start today! The great thing about this challenge is it can run over any 30 day period. Just check out days 1-5 and start from today.

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