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Please Define The role of the sun ,,,

 
Gregory Silling
Posts: 86
Location: Northeast - 5B
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I struggle with the terminologies:

Sun

Full Sun

Half Day Sun

Partial Shade

Shade Tolerant

morning shade afternoon sun

morning sun afternoon shade


what do they mean to you and When do they apply? for just the months on either side of the summer solstice, three months out of the year, 4 months, 6 months?



Thanks for you input!!

 
Michael Bushman
Posts: 144
Location: Sacramento, CA
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They are guidelines, gardening is as much art as science. In general, if a plant requires full sun, the less sun it gets, the less it will thrive, plants that require shade will thrive less with the more sun they get. Now, lots of variables, how hot is the climate and how intense is the sun? Plants that require full sun in a northern state might do fine with partial shade in San Diego. Heat is another factor, plants like peppers and corn need a bit of heat so even if they are in full sun, if the area is cold, they won't thrive.

The biggest variable are plants that require part shade, in general, the hotter the area, the more shade they will need.

And of course, the amount of water can make a difference.

This is why you put plants in, and see how they do, if they thrive, leave them alone, if they don't, move them towards what they want.

Morning sun is cool, afternoon sun is hot, so plants that need full sun would do better with afternoon sun than cool morning sun, the opposite being true for shade loving plants.
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Gregory, sun hours might be a helpful guide until you live with a plant for a year and see how it responds to where it is. Annuals and perennials will respond differently. Deep shade is different than dappled shade.

Latitude and day length is important. If you are in Alaska in the summer and the sun doesn't set, plants will respond differently than if they are in Texas and have "short days" in summer. Onions, in particular, are sensitive to short days and long days, even if they are in full sun. They won't get a bulb if they don't have enough sun hours. There are short-day and long-day onions.

Annual vegetables have a shorter growing season, and I've found they perform better in iffy locations if they get morning sun because you want them to be eagerly growing as fast as possible. Especially tomatoes, that want maximum hours of sun, if you have 6 hours of morning/lunchtime sun they can do pretty well. But if they don't get sun until noon I've found they don't do as well, they aren't getting signals of direct sunlight on their leaves early enough. Tomatoes also need heat in addition to sun, and morning sun usually provides that too.

Perennials are a lot more fussy when it comes to how much sun and heat they get, because they are involved with the weather 24/7, so that's when we really need to pay attention to their sun hours. Wind is also an issue with perennials, some just can't deal with it, especially hot wind.

Sun - a minimum of 5-6 hours

Full Sun - a minimum of 8 hours and is probably good at tolerating/needing heat

Half Day Sun - safest to get morning sun, when it's not baking hot, especially in hot summer areas where dappled shade is helpful in the afternoon. If the half day is baking hot sun you might need to provide it some protection.

Partial Shade - dappled shade in the afternoon, may not be able to take hot morning sun. Leaves actually respond to the movement of "dots" of sunlight moving over their leaves as the trees above them move, allowing sun through, then shade, then sun.

Shade Tolerant - Prefers 50/50 sun and shade, but will still flower or grow moderately well with not-too-deep shade.

If you look on the internet under Shade Gardens you will see the usual plants, ferns, hostas, impatiens (although there are some called Sunpatiens or New Zealand impatiens that can tolerate maybe a third of a day in warm summer sun (not hot.) camelias, your local native plants that grow on the non-sun side of a mountain or under big mature evergreen trees.

And, of course, all of this depends on your soil, the pH of the soil, and the nutrients the plant can take advantage of to get it past a stressful situation.

A good sign of a plant in trouble in a questionable location is aphids of any color, lanky, skinny, floppy growth, yellowing of leaves, white leaves turning to brown from sunburn, or it just sits there and doesn't grow rather lustily, is slower to bloom or grow than another of the same plant in a different location.

That's a good thing about Permaculture. We put things all over the place, we don't group them all together, and the different locations show us pretty quickly which plants make it, what conditions they want, what conditions are a problem, and what might be going on with your soil that you hadn't realized.

Hope this helps.





 
Gregory Silling
Posts: 86
Location: Northeast - 5B
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Michae and Cristo

as usual all great replies on this forum... it is great to read veteran gardeners !! ,.,annuals that I start from seed ,,, i kind of get the plant it here and there and see what happens... but i recently layed out $100 dollars for one male and two female hardy kiwis, and that is the most I ever spent on plants and the first perennial that I paid money for. In addition to the cost of the plant it is the commitment of a trellis system and that is more time and effort in gathering the wood and building the trellis system. I am just freaking out on where to plant... I have places that I get half day sun am and places that get half day sun pm. the biggest issue is for how many months. I live in the northeast and I have many trees... and as the fall approaches the sun will give me less and less. any thoughts on planting these... and am I just overthinking the whole thing...thanks for the help
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Gregory, you got the zone all figured out? If you are in Zone 5 you will probably need some protection. What kind is it? Here are some bits of info depending on what type it is.

Hardiness: See species descriptions. Argutas USDA Zones 5-9. Kolomikta's USDA Zones 3-9. Deliciousa Fuzzy Kiwis USDA Zones 7-9.
Sun or shade: Most kiwis need a sunny location with wind protection. Arctic Beauty likes some shade.

I would go with the most sun spring and summer so they get good pollination and fruit growth until they are ready to pick in Aug - Oct depending on what type it is.

 
Gregory Silling
Posts: 86
Location: Northeast - 5B
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Argutas is the species. We are on the cusp of 5b/6a. we have only a hand full of days below zero per year in the 8 years we have lived here. Only last year it was actually -14 for one overnight low. Typical is about 10 degrees fahrenheit... probably due to being in a river valley

wind how much is a problem... we have wind but the area we are considering is 5ft down slope from the windward side of the property buffeted by trees and dense brush (accidental deer/neighbor deterrent). It is still in the open by 20 ft for the full sun.
Spring time would be more aftrnoon sun and summer would be direct sun from 9:30am to 6:30 pm
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Gregory, so you are at the bottom edge of zones for those kiwis, and considering how the northwest got battered last winter, and cold wind is often colder than just air that isn't moving, you'd better prepare for some serious protection of deep mulching and wrapping with the proper types of breathable fabric in the winter months. And you probably know that cold air settles in the lowest spot of a hill. Even if cold air continues on down the hill, it will gather in a flat spot first, so don't put them at the bottom of a slope. I wouldn't worry about summer or warm fall wind, but freezing wind, you know, has wind chill, and that's important. You can't fool Mother Nature!

Is one of your sunny spots against a garage wall or a house wall for afternoon sun? A wall like that will bounce heat off, even on an overcast day, and will be a warmer spot even in winter.

I have an email out to a friend who had a kiwi farm, although not in zone 5, and I'll see what he says. Haven't heard back yet.
 
Gregory Silling
Posts: 86
Location: Northeast - 5B
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Yes I did read the cornell.edu paper on hardy kiwi and they warned of "frost pockets ' and to avoid them if you can ... they talk late frosts and planting in a northern exposure to delay early spring growth... they recommend wrapping or painting the trunks with white Latex paint....

But as usual i think I watched enough videos, read enough recommendations from a variety of sources.... but there always seem to be a great number of questions when I have the plants sitting in from of me....

Since they take up a huge amount of space (relative to what I have) i have a limited selection of sites . maybe I should have waited 3-5 years until I had the property where I wanted it ... but I'm 60, I couldn't see waiting...

I appreciate everyones input. This site is amazing.

 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Spring time would be more aftrnoon sun and summer would be direct sun from 9:30am to 6:30 pm


I think in your zone this description sounds good. You don't want direct warm sun too early in spring because you might still have hard frost or unexpected snow/freeze, right? So day length will help wake them up in spring instead of heat, which might cause a burst of growth that could freeze. Then sun in the summer hours sounds good. That is enough to set fruit, harvest will be late summer/early fall.

Protecting young plants is really important, they don't have the root growth that a mature plant would.

You can move them in 3 years, in early fall, with a careful rootball and a location that has been prepared so you can take it from one place straight to where you are going to plant it. Keep it out of hot sun while it's adjusting. It will have a month of so to establish some root growth, and then with protection it can overwinter.
 
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