One of the most important components a new veggie garden is going to be the amount of sunlight the area receives over the course of a day. Eight hours of full sun is optimum, which I am fairly certain my plot receives, but in order to make sure, I needed to track it.
Over the course of two days this past summer, I set a timer and took a picture of the garden area every hour from seven in the morning to six o’clock at night. This gave me a pretty good idea of how much sun I receive, if I get shade from surrounding trees, at what time and for how long. I am happy to see that I get at least 8 hours of sun with just a pocket of shade from a pine tree around noon to 1p.m.
I am pretty lucky I get so much sun because I am surrounded by gigantic cedars and pines. In fact, in order to maximizes my sun exposure even more, I am going to have that big cedar tree in the front limbed up a bit to let in even more light.
If you track your sun exposure and find that you have morning sun and afternoon shade in a certain spot, this might be a good location for those veggies that do well with less than eight hours of full sun. I am thinking lettuce in particular, as it’s a vegetable that tends to wilt under that hot afternoon heat.
So now that’s taken care of I need to start thinking about how I am going to turn all of this grass you see into a garden. One thing I have yet to mention to you is my soil. It’s a doozy.
There is about two feet of river rock under this grass—I’m talking rocks the size of your head—so there is no way I can till. I am going to have to bring in soil and build raised beds.
So! I need to start the solarizing process to kill the grass so that I can lay down mulch and start building my beds! My goal is to have the beds built and ready for planting on March 1st – not that far away – I’d better get busy!