Which is better: morning sun or afternoon sun?

sharppa(6)March 10, 2010

I'm planning to plant some grapes, more raspberries and an espalier apple tree this spring and the two locations in my yard are against a fence. One side gets morning sun and the other side yard gets afternoon sun.

Any opinions on which is better?

Also, any recommendations on attractive trellis options or tree stakes? I used green fence posts last year for a raspberry trellis but I'm looking for something nicer looking.

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I have always considered morning sun to be superior to afternoon sun for a couple of reasons. Many fruiting plants, particularly those like grapes and berries, benefit from quick drying of overnight dew or rain showers to help control fungal diseases. I also believe, but cannot prove, that morning sun provides more light in the beneficial UV spectrum, while afternoon sun has more IR light, which is mostly heat. This could be a debatable point, and we may see it debated.

As for trellis materials, there are any number of options, including hardwood, steel pipe, plastic pipe, and on and on. The beauty of an installation depends on how carefully it is planned and executed, although with fruiting plants beauty is not normally the primary consideration. While the common green fence post may not be aesthetically perfect, it is hard to beat for practicality and ease of installation. Raspberries often require minimal support if they are kept pruned down to 4 feet or less, which is better for productivity as well.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:52AM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

I too like morning sun for the reasons that Don mentioned... though, perhaps it's because he taught it to me!

If you look at my "My Page", you'll see how I make my trellises out of iron pipe.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 12:31PM
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alan haigh

Don's right as usual. Drying off the dew makes a big difference in fungus control. Also, during the summer months, the trees will be able to use the sun better as the stomates close when temps get around 90 and above.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 5:54PM
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Morning sun will help with frost protection as it will warm the plants sooner after a frost event.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 5:57PM
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Ditto, for morning sun.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 1:45AM
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