Locating the Garden

backyard caja garden harvestAll plants need sun, water, and nutrients to survive. The Caja is designed to provide a steady supply of water and nutrients to your plants, but the one thing it can’t do is provide the sun. For that, you’re going to have to choose a site that gets at least 4 hours of direct sun per day in order to get optimal growing results with garden. If you don’t have at least 4 hours of sun, you may want to stick with microgreens, or ornamental plants that don’t require as much sun to grow.

In the northern hemisphere, the sun rises in the east, swings down the shine from the south during the day, and sets in the west. The exact pattern and direction of the sun depends on your latitude, elevation, and the season, but in general you’ll want to choose a south-facing site to maximize the sun your plants will get. 6-8 hours of direct sun is typically the minimum we suggest if you want to grow hot crops like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplant. If you don’t have a South-facing area, West-facing is second best, and East-facing is third.

Keep in mind any trees, fences, buildings or other structures that can affect the amount of sun the garden area will get. For larger gardens, you may also want to consider different zones and microclimates within the garden, which can be achieved by clustering boxes together, using screens or fences to create a windbreak, and also considering any hills or depressions if the terrain is uneven.

Finally, if you are fortunate to have a full-sun area that gets light from sunup to sundown, you may want to consider some shade cloth that will lessen the sun exposure, especially during the intense heat of midday. This would be especially practical for growing more tender salad greens that may wilt from the heat and excess sun.

school garden with fence