Pikes Peak Urban Gardens
"Creating Places Where People Meet to Grow"
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens is a
proud program of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation
Our mission is to:"cultivate, educate, and serve the community throughurban garden projects in the Pikes Peak region".
Your new garden will need lots of sun to grow well. Eight hours or more of sun each day is the best. Here is a fun activity that can help you find the best spot in your yard to build your garden.
The Science: This works best if done in late spring or early fall but can be done anytime of the year.
Why does that matter? The short answer is that the sun is lower in the sky in spring and fall and is more overhead in summer. If your selected garden area gets plenty of sun in the spring then it certainly get lots of sun in the summer.
Here is why: The earth spins or rotates one complete rotation every 24 hours (about 12 hours one side faces the sun, daytime, and about 12 hours the same side is facing away from the sun, nighttime).
The earth is tilted on its axis about 23.5 degrees as it revolves around the sun. In the summer the earth is tilted toward the sun so we are warmer and the sun is more overhead. In the winter we are tilted away from the sun so we are colder and the sun is lower in the sky.
Why Plants Need
Lots of Sunlight
Green plants need sunlight to grow. The green pigment in plants is called chlorphyll. When sunlight hits the plant, the chlorophyll assists the plant in combining carbon dioxide in the air (this is what we breathe out) and water to make sugar and oxygen (this is what we breathe in). The chemical formula for this reaction is:
The formula reads like this: Six molecules of carbon dioxide combine with six molecules of water and in the presence of chlorophyll and sunlight make one molecule of glucose, a type of sugar, and six molecules of oxygen.
Green plants take our waste carbon dioxide and convert that into sugar that is the energy source and food that help plants grow. The plant gives off oxygen that we all need to breathe. It is a great relationship. Another side benefit is that we eat plants and use the food that they make to help nourish our bodies.
STEP ONE: Choose a sunny day in the spring or fall (but can be done anytime of the year). Take your piece of paper and go outside and draw a sketch of your yard where you are considering buiding your garden. Include your house, patio, trees and fence if present. It should be close to scale but does not need to be exact. For those wishing to add a bit of math and measurement to this activity, measure the dimensions of your yard and on graph paper draw the yard to exact scale.
STEP TWO: At 8 AM, on that sunny day draw an outline using your crayon or colored marker, to show where the sun is shining. This area now shows where the best morning sun is for your garden. But you are not done yet. We need to find where the sun shines best all during the day.
STEP THREE: At noon, on that same sunny day draw an outline using a different colored crayon or colored marker, to show where the sun is shining. This area now shows where the best noon sun is for your garden.
STEP FOUR: At 4 P.M. on that same sunny day draw an outline using a different colored crayon or colored marker, to show where the sun is shining. This area now shows where the best afternoon sun is for your garden. You are almost done.
STEP FIVE: Now color in the area where all three outlines overlap. This colored in area shows where the sun is shining morning, noon and afternoon. This is the best spot for your new garden!