The solar pathfinder will let you set the thing down once and for all at any time of day and any day of the year and be able to see which hours youll have sun for every day of the year. www.solarpathfinder.com/PF?id=qdm6Lv D8
But its too expensive for you to buy one. the people who have them are architects and contractors who build solar systems. Maybe there is a college near you that teaches solar sighting or green engineering and you can get a student to come out and draw you the diagram.
He drew a circle that shut me out-- Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in! -Edwin Markham
Even timing it is a bit tricky since that changes with the seasons. Full sun is considered 6-8 hours a day, which surprised me when I first learned that. Just keep an eye on it when you're going to be home most of the day, If you are getting 4-6 hours a day now, you will probably have enough sun in the summer to grow full sun veggies, depending on the trees around the area when they are leafed out.
My house sits directly north south and the back yard is small and right behind the house. So the only direct sun light is the north west corner, which I was thinking about planting something there. Is there a way to figure out the hours of sunlight without timing it?
Swiss chard does great in containers, and can easily be grown with the amount of sun you have. Since mine was fairly shaded during the hottest part of the summer, I have been harvesting since April and it is still growing strong despite a few light frosts. Its also very pretty, especially the Rainbow Chard, so you could even grow it in your front yard. Harvest just the outer most stems and it keep producing without getting woody.
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It also depends on what hours you have sunlight. Morning and evening sunlight is not as strong, so you would be very limited as to what you could grow. If it is midday sun, that is much stronger and you have more options. There are many plants that actually benefit from some shade, especially during the hottest months - peppers are one, so they would probably do well. Cucumbers are often grown successfully in a corn patch, so while they get more sun in the spring, they definitely don't get as much in the summer when grown that way, meaning those too may do fine with limited sunlight and can be grown in pots. I will try and see what others may work. Are the hours of sunlight constant year round? Or would you have more hours of sun in the spring before the trees are fully leafed out? Or do you actually have less sun in the spring and fall like I do on my back patio, because the sun is lower in the sky and the shade is caused by the shadow from the house? These are factors that also need to be considered when deciding what will and won't grow. Please let us know so we can answer you better.
I think 6 hours would be ok for some cool weather crops like spinach, arugala etc. but 4 hours may not be enough for hardly anything. Have you considered raising some chickens or ducks in the backyard instead and get your own organic eggs that way? Birgit
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I am looking for some suggestions on vegetables or fruits I can grow in containers with only 4-6 hours of sunlight? I have plans already for the front yard which get a lot of sun but the back yard only gets 4-6 and I hate to not use that area too. Thank you for your help
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