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How to Work out Your Site Conditions

Soil hands moisture site conditions sun shade part sun

Different plants require different levels of light and moisture in the soil to thrive.

Planting the right plant in the right conditions will enable them to be more resistant to pests and diseases and to grow without hindrance.

You will need to know the conditions of each garden bed to be able to choose the plants that are best suited to grow in that spot.

To work out the amount of light and moisture in each garden bed, complete the two tasks below.


Observe each garden bed throughout the day to see out how much sun it receives.

FULL SUN is defined as 6 or more hours of direct sun per day

PART SUN/PART SHADE is defined as 4 to 6 hours of direct sun per day

FULL SHADE is defined as less than 4 hours of direct sun per day


Pick up a handful of soil and squeeze it in your hand.

  • MOIST SOIL- If the soil sticks together forming a ball that breaks easily then your soil is moist. Moist soil doesn’t completely dry out between watering, whether that be rain, irrigation or hand watering.

  • WET SOIL- If the soil holds together and doesn't break apart if you drop it you have wet soil

  • DRY SOIL- If the soil doesn't hold together at all, it is dry.

Record the results of both the amount of sun and moisture levels for each garden bed you are planning to plant in.

table soil moisture site conditions sun full sun part shade

For more advice like this, see my new guidebook What Plant Where, coming soon or call Artful Gardens today for all you garden design and advice needs.


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