Here’s a recent question that came in last week:
“I have lots of shade but some sun in my front yard. Combination of
city trees, large bushes I don’t want to part with etc. I seem to
remember a device that one can put in a spot to determine the amount of
sun it gets per day. I want to try to incorporate veggies into the
landscape and this would help tell me where. Do you know where I might
find this and approx. price? Thanks in advance, Barbara”
Okay – great question Barbara. I happen to have a device that will monitor your sunlight in a given space and tell you what plants are recommended for growing in that space. I received it as a gift and have used it several times to help determine the best location for a garden. It’s called the Easy Bloom Plant Sensor. It has a downloadable software that interacts with the device when you plug it into a USB port on your computer. You can set it to monitor existing plants, or to make recommendations based on available sunlight.
For vegetables, you need to have at least 6 hours of sunlight in order for those plants to produce a harvest. It would be ideal to have between 8-10 hours, but not necessary. Some plants that grow well in partial shade are listed in this blog entry here:
Another sunlight tester (that I haven’t tried myself) is available from Planet Natural:
Grow Light Meter – $23
I also found this product called the Sun Stick that has little “flowers” that change color to help you determine the amount of sun an area is getting.
After looking a little deeper, I also found this item on Amazon – which has no reviews so I can’t vouch for how it works:
That should get you started. I hope this helps. Thanks for writing in.
If anyone out there has another suggestion for determining sunlight in your garden, feel free to share it here.