Determining Sunny Spots (in the Winter!)

Portland, OR

In anticipation of my first garden, I've been tracking which spots in the backyard are sunny at different times throughout the day. Of course, this will change when the days get longer in the summer.

Is there a simple way to anticipate the change in sun patterns without resorting to complicated solar algorithms? Is there a simple way to approximate summer sunlight based on what I can see now?

Thanks for your help - Shaoya

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Welcome to the site, Shaoya!

That is a great question and I hope others will come forth with more input.

Recently I read on another thread that if you "watch the path of the full moon in December it will tell you very closely where the sun will be shining in June the following year". Although December is gone perhaps you can still utilize that system and just allow for a bit of a change for February?

In addition to that I think I would take into consideration, as you watch the daily sun movement, that during the warmer months the sun will be higher in the sky (being able to leap tall trees in a single bound?), thus meaning that it will be shining more directly on open garden areas.

Also, I'd look at the trees that are on your land and/or around your flower beds/veggie garden area. Are they deciduous and now letting sun shine through them? If so, once they leaf out again are they so tall that they'll cast long shadows across your garden area, and if so, will that shadow only be there in the morning hours, afternoon hours, or all day?

In some cultures it is a given to observe the land for four seasons before making many changes (cutting trees, planting, etc). Even though you are not ready to actively garden at this time of year it is still a great time to observe and learn; no doubt you will benefit from the observation.

Wish I could help more but perhaps this will get you to studying your surroundings and thinking about potential growing areas, eh?


Glenview, IL

Congratulations on your first garden!! How excited I am for you. Reminds me of my first garden, I planted a couple of veggies in the side of our yard. Hhehehe-I grew an absolutley beautiful weed! Thought it was a brocolli plant-My neighbor at the time informed me one day that it was a weed, I was very sad at that but didn't have the heart to pull it. I let it grow for the season too. It turned out to be one of those tall dandelion. Uh I wish my neighbor would have told mo not to let the weed go to seed tho. Any way I look at houses too-How close they are, the height, I figure they cast off at leat 2-3 time the shade. I planted a beautiful Rose called Josephs Coat-He had plenty of sun until the house next door was torn down and the built a monster of house-since then I have had no blooms-I am considering relocating the Roses.
Shoe-How very interesting on assessing the moons rotation. I will have to start watching and see how it helps my determination of my new veggie gardenhouse.
P.S. Good Luck and have a blast Shaoya!

Moab, UT(Zone 6b)

Welcome Shaoya, happy gardening. you live in gardening heaven.

Hi Shoe, it was my post and here it is in it's entirety. At least it gives the direction of the June sun.

"In December the Full Moon's path during the night mimics the sun's daytime journey in June, following a long, high arc from approximately ENE to WNW. I found this on the Abrams Planetarium site."

Originally I read the six month thing in a gardening book. You can use a compass to determine the arc of June [highest]

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Yep, that was it!

Bigtime thanks, Blooms! Glad you re-posted it here! You're the best!!


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