Reflected Sunlight

cookie8(zone 5 ON)February 23, 2007

I have an area I would like to put a vegetable garden problem is it only gets 4-5 hours of direct sunlight but is very bright for about 7 hours as the sunlight reflects off the light coloured wall of the house. Does this reflected light count for anything? Thanks.

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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I think reflected light does count for something, it certainly couldnÂt hurt. I read that one thing to consider when Âshade gardening is that there are different degrees of shade. The shade on the north side of a house or north side of a fence is often brighter than, say, the shade underneath a dense tree canopy. Even then, I imagine the degree of shade under that tree would depend on what type of tree. Sometimes too sunlight has a way of shining on plants at an angle right at sunset when it shines horizontally, or at sunrise.

I guess the only way for you to know is to try a few plants out. Maybe do internet research on vegetables that do okay in partial shade. Maybe one side of this area gets a bit more sun, thatÂs what I find with the north side of my house. Some vegetables need full sun and heat to ripen, but maybe in partial shade it might just mean that they produce later on and more sparsely. I planted beans on the north side of a tree. I didnÂt realize until later that they really didnÂt get much sunlight but I still got a few beans.

Glen

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 5:34PM
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ontario70

You can count 1 hour of strong reflected light as 1/2 hour of direct sunlight, but keep in mind that the colour spectrum will not be at full intensity, so some plants will suffer. Most garden vegetables need a minimum of 8 hours a day to produce well. Most heat sensitive, typically 'spring' crops appreciate indirect sunlight during the summer. Veggies like peas, lettuce, even radishes, some cole crops and root vegetables (beets, carrots, etc.) can handle less sunlight than say, tomatoes and peppers, who not only need lots of sunlight to produce, but they need the heat to ripen those fruits.

I once saw a clever vegetable garden under a canopy of shade trees. It employed mirrors, set up like relays, to direct the sunlight to the plants. This was the garden of a man in the glass business, of course. He said the set up allowed the equilvalent of 6 hours of light were there was solid shade, and he managed to do tomatoes in the corner areas, where the reflected light was the most intense, but he had to be careful not to create magnifying-glass sunspots.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 10:56AM
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cookie8(zone 5 ON)

Thanks. It was my plan to dig out the space which is about 30x60. Maybe I'll plant a tomato plant here and there for this year just to test the sunlight. There is definitely heat there, probably the hottest area of the yard that's why I thought it would be nice to have a garden because it probably won't make a good play/sitting area. Maybe I'll stake out my garden and test the sunlight to see how much sun the area really gets.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 12:58PM
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cookie8(zone 5 ON)

Thanks. It was my plan to dig out the space which is about 30x60. Maybe I'll plant a tomato plant here and there for this year just to test the sunlight. There is definitely heat there, probably the hottest area of the yard that's why I thought it would be nice to have a garden because it probably won't make a good play/sitting area. Maybe I'll stake out my garden and test the sunlight to see how much sun the area really gets.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 1:47PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

That garden under a canopy of trees must have been neat to see. I guess it might have been more protected from fall frosts and maybe holding the heat a bit more at night being under a tree canopy.

glen

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 1:35AM
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ianna(Z5b)

I have the same sort of problem and one other option to think of is vertical gardening. In my yard is a light shade area with spots that received bright sunlight for a few hours each day. I noticed though that there is a good amount of sunglight just above the fenceline thru out the day. I plan to try to capture that by raising planters, using wall planters and using vining vegetables (and tomatoes included) to try to get as much sunlight.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 12:34PM
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