In the southern hemisphere the optimum location for your garden is with a north facing aspect. The ideal position for your gardens is where there is no obstructions in the morning sun until at least midday in summer and 2pm in winter.
Some helpful aspect design tips:
- Plant fruit trees or larger plants to the south-west of your veggie patch so they don't cast shadows on your garden in winter.
- Put a trellis on the western side of your veggie garden to help shade the hot summer sun.
- Orientate your garden beds so the longest edge is facing north.
- Trim any trees to the eastern side of your garden and leave the western side to grow.
- Consider planting taller plants like bananas or clumping bamboo to act as a wind break.
- Grow a grape vine above western facing windows to shade in summer.
- Put a pond on the north east side of your house to cool the hot summer winds.
- Place your compost facing west so it can heat up more.
- Place a mulberry tree on the western side of your chook pen to shade them in summer and provide fodder in winter.
Sun path diagram - Latitude: Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast
Using a compass and this diagram you can find the sun paths for your garden.
Stand where you plan to put your garden. Holding this page flat (on a book or folder), place the centre of the compass on the green dot and align the north points. Turn and face your body to the north as well.
To find the sun path for the shortest day of the year in Winter - June 21st.
Step 1: Using the compass find the position on the horizon that is 64o East. This is where the sun will rise at approx 6.45am.
Step 2: Using the compass, find the position on the horizon that is 296o West. This is where the sun will set at approx 5pm.
Step 3: Facing north, hold your arm out parallel to the ground. Raise it to a 40º angle in the air. This is the position of the sun at midday.
Step 4: Now draw an imaginary line in the sky from the sunrise point (64o East) on the horizon, crossing through midday position (40o angle up), ending at the sunset point (296o West) on the horizon. This is your winter solstice sun path.
To find the sun path for the longest day of the year in Summer - December 22nd.
Follow the steps above using these angles:
Sunrise - 116o South-East, approx 4.45am
Sunset - 244º – South-West, approx 6.30pm
Midday - 87º angle (almost above your head)
When drawing the imaginary lines in the sky, there should be no trees or buildings that cross that path between sunrise and midday. This will indicate there will be approximately 6 hours of sun on your garden every day, which is the minimum required.
The summer path should have a tree or building crossing it in the afternoon to ensure protection from the hot western sun.