Sun

Laura81July 8, 2013

I find the most frustrating thing about trying to garden in Az is the sun seems to move so much more than in Minnesota. If it was a shady spot in winter it was also a shady spot in summer. Here it seems like the shady spot in winter is blazing sun in summer. I guess I should not plant anything for several years to figure it out.

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GeeS 9b

Good point, and I have noticed the same. Maybe it's a Fountain Hills thing. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Laura81

Maybe it is. I do like Fountain Hills even if the sun is contrary.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:31PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

This is an ingenious little app that shows you the movement of the sun at any given place and time. Plug in your location and go to "Now" or put in another date and you can clearly see why your sunny spots become shady and vice versa. My house has an east/west orientation and the north patio is in hot sun in summer and shade in winter! Just the opposite of what I'd like, but it's nothing I can change. Same with planting; if it's going to be in hot sun in summer, you can always provide shade there or just put the pot in a container and move it. Anyway, I thought you might find this interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sun calculator

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Laura81

I am a bit of a odd duck because I don't have a cell phone. It does sound like a clever thing to have to judge the sun. We have a bunch of trees but there still seems to be no shade anywhere. It is like the sun angles just right to avoid the trees. I am always shifting my pots around.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 1:49PM
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GeeS 9b

We also have plants getting toasted in spring and autumn that have no issues in summer. Depending on the type of plant and location, summer sun can result in less exposure, columnar cacti for example.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 1:59PM
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greendesert

the movement of the sun is really easy to figure out here. in the winter it rises in the SE and sets in the SW. In the summer it rises in the NE and sets in the NW, In the winter the angle is lower, so the shade is longer. in the summer, the angle maxes out at about 78%, which is 10% shy of 90%, so there isn't much shade to be had at all. Maybe 3-4 feet next to a building, a bit more if it's tall. Now the best tool for figuring out shade/sun in your yard comes from Google. it's called Sketchup. it's AMAZING and accurate, you can draw your house in 3D (you don't have to make it exact, just rough blocks of the correct dimmensions, then enter your location, and there is a slider for date and one for time of day, you can see where the shade falls at any point during the year.
check these out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1VRB5aoNZg and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUD-OHemkxY

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 3:14PM
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greendesert

here's a little tutorial for using Sketchup, it's really super easy. won't take more than 5 minutes to draw your house and property (fences), you can even add existing trees and stuff to see the shadow effect of those. I love this application http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsfH_cyXa1o

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Laura81

So that is why there is no shade to be had anywhere. That program sounds very handy. I will have to give it a go. Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 3:43PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Note: You don't need a cell phone to use the sun calculator! Just go to the site and plug in your info. Now I have to try the sketchup thing. That sounds a bit intimidating, but fun at the same time.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Laura81

Sorry Tomatofreak when I saw the word app I just assumed cellphone. Will give that a go also.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 5:48PM
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