Orientation of rows and greenhouse

  • Orientation of rows and greenhouse

    Posted by Jo-Jo on June 29, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    Please forgive my ignorance and lack of memory… In which direction should we plan our garden rows and position our greenhouse?

    We have planted mainly in raised beds, tubs, and smaller areas in the past. If God allows, we plan to begin row gardening this fall in order to provide food in greater quantities. We will be mowing and laying down silage tarps in the next two weeks. I don’t think anyone has gardened on the property in decades.

    We have disassembled and moved our small greenhouse to my mother’s ranch. It is further inland in east Texas, but tends to get far more damage from hurricanes than we do closer to the Gulf. The winters are much colder 95 miles further north. After gardening for 15 years, I feel as though I am starting over in learning a new soil type and colder climate.

    Thanks for guidance. I so appreciate this community. Each of you is a blessing.


    Redcap replied 4 months, 4 weeks ago 10 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Redcap

    June 29, 2023 at 6:07 pm

    From my memory, garden rows are supposed to be laid out north to south in the northern hemisphere.

    • Hippocrates_Garden

      June 29, 2023 at 6:36 pm

      it depends, there are, and can be reasons to orient otherwise. things like land slope, or even if the greenhouse is made such that it “runs” east/west with the north wall being opaque and insulated, possibly the west end as well. In my latitude the summer sun is essentially overhead in summer so orientation really doesn’t matter as much, though in winter I might prefer east/west with tall stuff on the back (North side) and shorter on the front (south). while a plant may only get sun on one “side”, they tend to move their leaves to point to the sun, and would thus possibly get more hours of sun. So.. it depends.

      • Redcap

        July 7, 2023 at 10:21 pm

        That’s very true. We ended up having to place our rows east to west originally but that allowed us to plant more shade loving plants on the north side as we get brutal summer sun. In the end I gave up gardening because either the snails get it in spring, the grasshoppers throughout summer, or the sun kills everything regardless of how we water it. 5 years of losing everything or simply growing nothing was enough of that nonsense. We grow only roots and tubers now and established patches of perennial foods, such as stinging nettle, that once established provides food and I don’t have to garden those. I also grow perennial and annual medicinal plants but they are all weeds so I don’t have to do much. I can live without tomatoes and domesticated plants. They are more trouble than they are worth. I get more food doing next to nothing than when I tried to garden.

  • MikeD

    June 29, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    Typically north to south

  • Ss6

    June 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    Also depends on how shadows fall as the sun moves. In my yard there are big trees and the best sun area runs east/west on the north side of my lot. So my garden gets morning and then mid to late afternoon sun with some shadows around noon. Maybe not ideal but its what I have to work with.

  • R-N

    June 29, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    I think the reason most people make the rows north to south is to let the whole garden get sunlight as the sun goes east to west. If I did mine north to south it would create a huge washout mess as any rain water would flow straight through our garden area. Our rows go east to west and try to make sure we plant in such a way that the smaller plants are not starved for sunlight. Farmers use rows and furrows to slow down or capture water in their fields.

    If the land is flat then I would say North to South. Every garden site is different. Sloped land, flat land, drains, trees and shaded areas, land that becomes water logged after a rain, well drained soils, clay, sand, and the list goes on and on. We have to learn to work with what is there.

  • FaithK

    June 29, 2023 at 11:20 pm

    Mine are east-west, but I do remember Danny saying Southeast to Northwest. Then again, this was before the sun intensity has gone bonkers. Make sure to build in shade to your rows no matter how you plant them, because “full sun” for most things actually means 6ish hours a day, sometimes 8. I think as long as you’re keeping plant needs in mind, any direction will really work.

  • WillBkool

    June 29, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    I plant all of my gardens East/West for the same reasons that you point solar panels to the south. You get more sun.

    Danny did tilt his greenhouse slightly SE/NW to avoid the strong southern winds during a hurricane

  • BiggKidd

    June 30, 2023 at 1:12 am

    It depends on a few facts you need to figure out first. Like where are you and what season do you want to be able to use your greenhouse. If you want to use it in summer then orient it long side N-S if you want to use it in the winter go long side east – west to gather that low down light. Rows also depend on facts like what you’re planting and at what spacing. Do your research things like bell peppers like afternoon shade so take those things in to consideration.

  • JeaS

    July 3, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    I’ve recently had to reorient my rows due to the winds. I like to use cattle panels or hog panels tied on stakes to trellis nearly everything from beans to melons to tomatoes; and they were like big winds sails the way I had them and getting damaged pretty bad. Now I have them turned into the winds and the plants are doing much better this season.

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