row direction

I’m planning to go back to my north-south rows this year, which I have usually done in the past. Last year I tried east-west rows, because I read these get better sun exposure. Not only do I think the longer rows (N-S) look nicer in my garden, I think they grow better. Not that I’ve done a good study of this – it just seems that way to me. Any other ideas on N-S versus E-W rows?

6 Comments. Leave new

  • Hello Kathy:
    Well it was winter seed order time and I thought I would stop by. No chiles on your list? Just a typo I am sure 🙂

    Rule #1 always plant rows across grade. For me this is n-s. If there is a difference between sun, the ecliptic and solar energy absorbed for e-w vs. n-s it is probably not as big of a deal as being washed down hill!

    Think green chiles.

  • Hi Scott! Thank for reminding me about the forgotten chiles. Actually I had too many last year and may take a break. But your comment is making me reconsider growing just one nice variety.

    You must be a chile grower. Thanks for the row advice. Since I have no grade and a lot less sun than you (lower angle), I think maybe n-s matters more for me.

  • For some plants, in particular peas, row direction is important and N-S is best. I think this is because the plants tend to reach out in an E-W direction and so find light in the space between the rows.

    If you have very tall shade producing plants, and you put them in an N-S direction, they will all shade one another. This is happening with the fruit trees in my new garden. It’s good in that is doesn’t produce much shade in other parts of my garden, but it means they limit their own growth.

    In my case it would have been much better to have them in the north end of the garden running E-W, because there is nothing important beyond my garden there and their shadows would have been cast outside of the garden.

    For rows of short plants it doesn’t make much difference, but when you plant something tall, it’s a good idea to think for a moment where the shadows will lie.

  • Well my peas definitely grew to the west last year. With the e-w rows, they ended up on top of each other. n-s for the peas this year.

    My tomatoes were also in rows e-w and I think they grew much too tall. Especially the plants towards the north side (back) of the plot. I’ll run these n-s this year.

    Same with the trellised cukes and pole beans.

    Sounds like it doesn’t matter for my short carrots, lettuce etc…

  • Professional greenhouses "always" plant rows north-south to take full advantage of the morning and afternoon sun. North south

    give better spread of sun over the beds as it passes over from side to side. As the sun travels from east to west, the

    plants aren't shaded by those on either side. But remember, too, that in Southern Hemisphere, the sun always stays in the

    Northern sky as it moves east-to-west, so if you put your short plants at the Northern end, they aren't shaded by taller

    plants to the south (in southern hemisphere). In winter, the south wall is often solid & insulated (in southern hemisphere).

  • Sounds good. Thanks!


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