|Not enough can be said about your plants need
for sunlight. Their growth depends on photosynthesis,
which is converting sunlight into energy.
Your container garden will thrive with the right amount of sunlight.
The garden will need at least five hours of direct sunlight each
day, and many plants will benefit from even more. As a
general rule, leafy vegetables such as cabbage and lettuce can tolerate
the most shade, while root crops such as beets and carrots will need
more sun. Fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers need the
most sun. The amount of sunlight needed by flowers varies depending on
the varieties grown.
Plants usually come labeled with their sun exposure requirements.
Measuring sun exposure for plants is not an exact science. There will
always be variables such as cloudy days and places where it gets to be
100 degrees in the shade. The definitions below are the generally
accepted standards for determining sun exposure in the garden.
- Full Sun: At least 6 full hours of direct sunlight. Many sun
lovers enjoy more than 6 hours per day, but need regular water to
endure the heat.
- Partial Sun / Partial Shade: These 2 terms are
often used interchangeably to mean 3 - 6 hours of sun each day,
preferably in the morning and early afternoon.
- However if a plant is listed as Partial Sun, greater emphasis is put on its receiving the minimal sun requirements.
- If a plant is listed as Partial Shade, the plant will
need some relief from the intense late afternoon sun, either from shade
provided by a nearby tree or planting it on the east side of a building.
- Dappled Sun: Dappled sunlight is similar to
partial shade. It is the sun that makes its way through the branches of
a deciduous tree. Woodland plants and underplantings prefer this type
of sunlight over even the limited direct exposure they would get from
- Full Shade: Less than 3 hours of direct sunlight
each day, with filtered sunlight during the rest of the day. Full shade
does not mean no sun. There aren't many plants, except mushrooms, that
can survive in the dark.