Return to the Gardening in Canada Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Reflected Sunlight

Posted by cookie8 zone 5 ON (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 23, 07 at 12:37

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Reflected Sunlight

I think reflected light does count for something, it certainly couldnt hurt. I read that one thing to consider when shade 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, thats 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 didnt realize until later that they really didnt get much sunlight but I still got a few beans.

Glen


 o
RE: Reflected Sunlight

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.


 o
RE: Reflected Sunlight

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.


 o
RE: Reflected Sunlight

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.


 o
RE: Reflected Sunlight

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


 o
RE: Reflected Sunlight

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.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Gardening in Canada Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here