Liveability Guides

No matter how rich the soil or how abundant the water supply, the health and vigour of you plants depends on the amount of energy they receive from the sun.

Garden Basics: Orientation

multicolored flowerbed on a lawnWhen you’re trying to develop a truly productive garden — one that will produce an abundance of high quality fruit, vegetables and flowers all year round — there is one major consideration.

That is whether there is sufficient energy available to provide optimum plant growth at all times of the year.

No matter how rich a soil may be, or how abundant the water supply, the ultimate health and vigour of plants and the rate at which they grow is dependent upon the amount of energy they receive from the sun.

A north to north-easterly aspect is traditionally favoured for growing vegetables, since this aspect receives the most sun for the longest period throughout the year. The colder the climate, the more critical it is for gardens to receive sunlight throughout the day.

Many of us buy homes in summer, when they are drenched in sunshine. Then we find that from autumn to winter shadows settle over the entire dwelling.

It is necessary for the beginner gardener to avoid making a mistake like this and to realise that without sufficient energy, failure is guaranteed in the vegetable garden, at least for those people in the southern states of Australia.

Calculations of size and position of garden plots should be based upon maximum energy absorption in mid-winter, remembering that the arc made by the sun is both shorter and lower in the northern sky, and the further south one goes, the more important solar radiation planning becomes — the gardener in Hobart must pay closer attention to this problem than the gardener in Sydney.

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  • Feature image credit to ©iStock.com/SilviaJansen
Cecille Weldon

Cecille Weldon

Head of Liveability Real Estate and with a long career in business development and innovation. Cecille is passionate about creatively collaborating to achieve a better world.

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