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Sunlight Meter?

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Sunlight Meter?

Post  H_TX_2 on 1/15/2015, 12:23 pm

Sometime last year I had a day off work and happened to be working in my garden. I noticed that some pf my garden were still shaded and it was about noon time. I thought my garden was on the south side of my house but in reality it is on more of the south westerly side of my house. Due to my garage my garden also loses the sun before the sun sets. I also have tall trees south of my garden and when they get lots of leaves in the summer I really don't know how much sun I am actually getting in my garden. I have attached a picture of my lot drawn in red and where my SFG squares are in green. North is up in the photo.

Does anyone know of a good way to record the hours of sunlight I get in my garden. I'm at work all day and weekends are usually packed so unfortunately I'm looking for a product I would have to buy. Hopefully something reusable so I can record at different times of the year as the sun moves and as the trees are full of leaves.




-I get confused trying to figure out why I'm not having an abundance of produce from my SFG. Last year I started jalapenos and yummy peppers from seed. I put them in the garden and they started to grow. All summer long I didn't get any yummy peppers but did get a few jalapenos. The peppers seemed to be surviving so I left them in the garden after I removed everything else. Here we are in the middle of January and I have two delicious and ripe looking yummy peppers on my plant. The jalapeno plant has lots of peppers. Why do my peppers grow well in January but not in the summer when they are supposed to grow? I wonder if the summer time sun being further north creates too much shade in my garden. Then in the winter months the peppers get the needed hours of sunlight.
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Re: Sunlight Meter?

Post  plantoid on 1/15/2015, 3:02 pm

For a cheap method ...
Perhaps use a big sheet of paper stuck inside of a barrel cut from top to bottom then  find the focal point where it will scorch the paper and fix a magnifying glass there . Stay a while with it one day and measure /record the track of burn on the paper  from dawn to dusk sunshine  then simply calibrate the inside of the drum for every hour of burn by using a permanent marker pen above the strip of paper . From then on it will be just a case of putting a new paper  inside the drum at match up points each day to see what your hours of burn sun shine are.
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Re: Sunlight Meter?

Post  sanderson on 1/15/2015, 3:39 pm

H TX 2, I don't have any suggestions about a sunshine meter. The peppers may be growing right now because of the amount of sunshine they are getting compared to the rest of the year. ?? Just a Guess. However, that aerial view is great for diagnosing your potential sun shine. Assuming the top is North, it looks like your beds don't get morning, late afternoon, mid summer daytime, leaving only fall, winter and spring mid day-ish sunshine. A bit of exaggeration, but you know what I mean. From the photo, it looks like the right side of the front walk is the best. Second best would be to move the beds south away from the house. Removing some limbs from the trees that shadow your backyard would help. First, check with your local agency to see what the rules are for pruning neighbors' tree limbs that extend over your property line.

PS I have neighbor's trees that I have to prune back to the fence line every year.
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Re: Sunlight Meter?

Post  1aahnoor on 2/10/2015, 5:54 am

The peppers seemed to be surviving so I left them in the garden after I removed everything else. Here we are in the middle of January and I have two delicious and ripe looking yummy peppers on my plant. The jalapeno plant has lots of peppers. Why do my peppers grow well in January but not in the summer when they are supposed to grow? 
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Re: Sunlight Meter?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/10/2015, 8:54 am

Hi Noor.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA (southeast US).

I noticed that some of your post seemed to be the same as H_TX_2.  Are you the same person?  Did you move?

Not sure what to tell you on your peppers...  But I certainly wouldn't argue, lol!

I know that some plants do not grow well or produce when it's REALLY hot.  That may have something to do with it.
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Re: Sunlight Meter?

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/10/2015, 3:23 pm

There's a device called, I think, "SunCalc."  It's simple to use and probably is available at Amazon.  Hope this helps!
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Re: Sunlight Meter?

Post  H_TX_2 on 2/13/2015, 12:44 pm

I came across a neat website.
http://www.sunearthtools.com/dp/tools/pos_sun.php?lang=en

By changing a few things I was able to get show where the sun rays are coming from at certain times of the day. The image below is of my house and each yellow line shows the direction of where the suns rays are coming from. In mid June this shows my garden not getting any sun until about halfway between noon and 1:00.

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Re: Sunlight Meter?

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