Sun levels in your garden: here's what you need to know

So many seed packets and instructions (mine included) have a note of where to plant your seedlings or plants, which is so important to ensure you get the right plant in the right place... but it can be confusing.

Here I've explained the definitions of each of the levels of sun:

  • Full sun - 6 or more hours of direct sun per day
  • Part sun - 4 to 6 hours of direct sun per day, including some afternoon sun
  • Part shade - 4 to 6 hours of direct sun per day, mostly before midday
  • Full shade - less than 4 hours of direct sun per day

How do I work out how much sun I have?

There are fancy gadgets that can measure light, but you can quite simply observe how much shade you get in your garden throughout the day. Taking photos every few hours and recording it will help you to understand the conditions. Plus, remember you can have different conditions in different parts of your garden. For example, the right hand border in my garden is 

& don't forget that shade doesn't always mean wet conditions. You can also get 'dry shade' too. Take a look at the moisture levels in your soil in shady areas to define this as it makes a different with which plants to go for.



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