By tracking the sun in your garden before you begin planting can be really helpful. Even if you have a balcony, knowing where the sun and shade is at any given time makes growing things easier. Here is the basic outline:
- Make a map of your yard, garden or balcony. It doesn’t have to be to exactly scale. Graph paper is helpful though. You will want to make a second copy of the map. One for the morning sun and one for the afternoon sun. Label them.
- Get three different coloured markers. I used yellow, orange and red.
- Choose the day you are going to do the tracking part because you need to be home all day to do it.
- In the morning, mark your map with one colour and show where the sun is and at what time. This gives you your starting point. (You don’t need to get right up at dawn to do this, but get up as early as possible so you see the morning sun. From then until noon, look every hour and mark where the sun is. Toward the afternoon you may find you need to add the other two colours of pen because the markings get a little jumbled.
- After noon, get out your afternoon labelled map and begin the process again. Stop tracking at sunset or when you feel you have enough data. If your garden is in the shade you won’t need to go until sunset because there is no change. You can always add to your map.
I had to make four maps because I couldn’t fit everything on one page. If you need to make multiple maps that is fine, just be sure to label them. You may want to do one for the front, one for the back yard one for side yard etc.
If you have a balcony you will only need one map. You may not need to do an am and pm but if you want to that’s great.
Now you can plan out where your plants and seeds will go. As time goes on you can record in your note book or smash book, if the plants are doing well in those areas or if you had to move them. I included the maps in my garden smash book. To make a garden smash book of your own click here.
Here are some pics of my map of my yard.
Let me know how it’s going in the comments. Feel free to ask questions.