If you are planning to plant in the spring now is the time to map where the sun is, because the leaves are about to fall!
This is one of the first things we did in planning our new native garden. If you put plants that like sun in sunny areas and ones that like shade in shady areas, you are giving them the best chance to thrive – without pesticides.
So start early in the morning on a sunny day. Take a simple map of your property, or at least the area you are planning to plant in,and make 10 copies. Go outside each hour and draw lines demarcating where the shade is. Yes, the angle of the sun is different in the spring, summer, and early fall. But it gives you a good idea and a concrete record to help with your planning.
Think about this when you are deciding where to plant trees, too.
We have a woods on the east side of our property, that casts a big shadow early in the morning. Our barn is placed so that it has this shade on the east and more trees shading it on the south. When it is 90 degrees in the summer our tack room is often 65 degrees. None of the trees are up close to the barn, so there is plenty of air circulation, too. In the winter these deciduous trees drop there leaves and the barn is in full sun.