Sunlight Guide for Home Grown Produce

Planning to grow more homegrown, healthy produce this year? I am, and if you are like me, you need to do a little research to work out what needs planting when and how many hours of sunlight is required for each plan. This post aims to help you with a little information, I found useful for planning my homegrown produce in 2018.

Sunlight Requirement

Light is a key factor when growing vegetables and is, unfortunately, there is no guarantee here in the UK, which days will be full of sunshine.

If you are planning to ‘grow your own’ take some time to work out when to plant and how much light you will need. Different vegetables require different amounts of light and we need to consider ‘full’ or ‘part’ sunlight rules for growing.

Most veg needs an average of 6 hours sunlight per day

Different parts of your garden can be used for different vegetables.

Some leaf and root vegetables grow well in shadier areas of the garden. For example:

  • lettuce
  • peas
  • carrots
  • kale
  • swiss chard

These all require sunlight but all also happy in partial sunlight conditions.

Determine whether to plant them at the front, side, or rear of your house, in order to get the appropriate amount of sunshine, such as morning and afternoon sunlight. Potted plants can be moved easily, if they are getting too much, or not enough light per day.

Full Sun Vegetables & Fruits

Example of vegetables which benefit from the full sun.

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Courgette
  • Aubergine
  • Pumpkin
  • Butternut squash
  • Olives
  • PeaPods

Were you aware some of these are fruits?

Irrespective of whether these are planted in the soil or houses in pots, these benefit from the full sun, so position them well, to boost crop production.

How do I know how much sun my vegetables need? 

We advise you refer to the information on the packets (if grown from seed) or the labels on your plants (if you bought them from a garden centre). If you don’t have either, a quick google search will reveal the answer.

However, as a general rule, the following information will help you.

Fruiting Vegetables

8 hours of sunlight per day

Root Vegetables

6 hours of sunlight per day

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes

Leafy Vegetables

4 hours of sunlight per day / shaded sunlight / partial sun

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Collard
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Swiss Chard
  • Brocolli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas

These are approximate hours of sunlight per day and a rough guide. Just keep an eye and see how the plant is performing and adjust accordingly. Giving your plant optimum light will ultimately boost production.

Keep in mind that all vegetables require sunlight. Full shade areas won’t work well

Remember to water your plants before they are exposed to full sunlight, e.g in the mornings or evenings.

Kids and Gardens

It might seem common sense, but for the families out there, it isn’t as simple as choosing the most appropriate place in a garden for sunlight, when there are other factors to consider e.g footballs.

In my garden, there is a goal positioned just where a fantastic spot would be for a vegetable patch. It might be perfect conditions for my full sun vegetables, however, the constant beating from the kids playing football will obviously hamper my hard work and efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle with homegrown produce!

Pick your spot carefully, something more tricky for those with young families for sure!

Having said that, it’s a good way to get your kids into the garden and off the X-Box, learning to grow their own food in the garden. What’s more rewarding than eating what you grow? Kids love it.

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