Beginner Garden Series- Garden and Plant Orientation

beginner How To just grow it


We all love gardening for various reasons:  It has many health benefits, it is relaxing, and not to mention the great reward of fresh produce that you receive.  With this article in our beginner gardening series, we will be talking about the garden and plant orientation. 

Proper garden orientation will help you achieve maximum results due to receiving maximum sun exposure. Also, proper placement of plants within the garden is essential. However before we can talk about orientation for your garden, it is first necessary to assess the plot.  Check out how many hours of direct sun the potential area receives.


Garden Orientation

First things first, let's remember one thing, the sun travels from east to west.  That is an important fact to remember when thinking about garden orientation.

When laying out a garden, it is best to have the plot facing south.  A southern facing area receives the most exposure to the sun.  Since we know how crucial full sun is to gardening, this is an important fact to remember.  Just because the sun travels east to west that does not mean it is directly overhead when making this path.  The earth rotates on an axis, this axis causes the sun to pass overhead but not directly, it has southern exposure. 

If placing your garden in a southern facing area is not an option than the next best options are either an eastern or western facing plot.  If I had to pick one of these, then I would say an eastern facing plot.  That way, the garden would receive early morning sun when the temperatures are the lowest, which is preferable and early afternoon sun.  Western exposure gives you afternoon and evening sun, which will work if it all you have ut you run the risk of your plants overheating because you are receiving the sun when the temperature is at its highest.  The least ideal orientation for a garden is north facing.  This area would receive the least amount of sun exposure not to mention that it would be shaded if there were any obstructions such as trees or buildings around.

The same logic which applies to determine the garden area is used when we talk about laying out the actual beds.  Regardless wh have raised beds or inground beds, remember to orient them North to south.  This will ensure that they can receive as much light as possible, with minimal interruptions.  If you must use the East to west orientation than proper plant placement is vital.  If you don’t pay attention, you can end up shading a lot of your plants, thereby reducing the number of hours of direct sun they receive.


Plant Orientation

Proper placement of plants within the garden is essential.  This can either help or hurt your yields.   Remember these guidelines.  Plant the tallest plants along the north side of the garden bed or rows.  This includes plants such as corn, tomatoes, pole beans, okra, and amaranth. 

Also, I tend to situate trellis along the north side of the garden, but in the middle will also work. Plant medium size plants within the center of the bed or rows: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Pumpkins, eggplant, peppers, and cabbage.  This way, they will receive a little bit of shade from the taller plants, but will still receive the full sun that is necessary.

Finally, plant the shortest plants on the south side of the garden.  These are the plants that thrive in partial shade conditions.  These include all of your root crops and leafy greens. 


Following these guidelines ensures that all of the plants receive the necessary amount of sunlight every day with a minimal amount of shading.  Hopefully, these tips help you to get out there and just grow it.




Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment