How to Measure Sunlight for Garden Flowers or Vegetables

By knowing how much sun the planting area receives, you can check the plant tags at the nursery to select flowers more likely to thrive in your landscape.

How to Measure Sunlight for Garden Flowers or Vegetables

Evaluate the level of sunshine in the area of your landscape where you want to plant flowers before you go to the nursery to select plants. To determine sunlight levels in your landscape, on a sunny day, check the time when the first sunlight hits the ground, and then check the time again, to the nearest hour, when the area is no longer has sunlight hitting the ground. Terms shown below may be used on the plant tag.

Shade or Full Shade

When no sunlight hits the ground on a sunny day, such as under a tree or in a protected area next to a tall building, the sunless area is shade. Sometimes called full shade, the area may be moist or dry.

Part Shade

Between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm in the summer, three to six hours of sun is part shade. The same area may be in full sun or full shade the remainder of the day.

Part Sun

Between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm in the summer, part (or partial) sun equals four to six hours of sun with the rest of the day partially shaded.

Full Sun

Full sun may mean constant sunlight all day. Full sun can also mean at least six hours of sun between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm in the summer with the remainder of the day in part shade.

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