One of the experiments we are conducting in the Dirt to Dinner garden is a test of our ability to bring more light into a shady section up against one of the fences. It’s after 10:00 am and the sunlight still hasn’t gotten to this patch. It’ll be a little better in June and July, but less than ideal light is a fact of life for that patch of ground.
We divided the shady section into two roughly equal-size garden patches with a section of tomatoes dividing them. The right-hand section is our control, the left-hand section has white plastic attached to the fence to reflect light onto the plants during times when the sunlight is available in other parts of the garden, but doesn’t reach the plants in this spot.
The kids made their Three Sisters corn mounds in both beds and planted the same corn variety in each bed. Yesterday, May 5th, the light bed had ten corn sprouts poking up out of the soil at the end of the day. The shadier control patch had none. Today, May 6th, the light test bed now has eleven sprouts, the shady side, just four.
I want to find a soil thermometer and see just how different the temperatures of the two sides are. It must be enough to influence germination. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the bean and squash planting goes.
This is so exciting! We have very little growing space in our yard because it is fenced in and only a small section gets sunlight 6 hours/day. We’ll try putting something reflective on the fence and see what happens!