Daylight Saving Time & Your Garden

By Victoria Fuller

Why do we do “the clocks thing”

Happy Daylight Saving Time one and all (at this point we really should just be celebrating every small win, even if that small win is simply getting an hour extra sleep one time in exchange for it getting dark at 2pm every day for the next four months...woohoo). This coming Sunday (November 5th at 2AM) the clocks will turn back by one hour. Daylight Saving Time is certainly nothing new, the official implication of daylight savings time has been in place since 1908 (although the idea has been around for significantly longer! Oftentimes former US President Benjamin Franklin is credited with originating the idea in 1784 but it turns out that he only ever intended the idea to be a joke!), and another interesting fact is that contrary to popular belief farmers generally actually dislike Daylight Saving Time as it can disrupt the schedule for milking cows and other farmyard tasks.

Plants can’t tell time…I know, I was shocked too!

Thankfully our botanical friends can’t actually tell time (contrary to popular belief), and thus it isn’t so much the time shown on the face of the clock that could impact their growing success, but more what this means for the placement of your plants and how much sun they are likely to get.

Sunlight and Garden Placement

With the clocks going back one hour this means two things: we get one extra hour of daylight in the morning and we lose an hour of daylight in the afternoon/early evening. This means you will need to be strategic about where you place your garden beds to optimize the daylight. Certain plants such as Begonias, Violas, and Bleeding Hearts don’t require a massive amount of sunlight and can actually thrive in shadier environments year-round so they are a fantastic option for this time of year. Just because we have lost an hour of daylight doesn’t mean that the gardening season is completely over! Do a little research into which plants can thrive in your gardening zone/climate with minimal daylight and there is no reason to let a hundreds-of-years-old sunlight rule dictate whether or not you get to actually enjoy your favourite hobby!

The Perk of Raised Bed Gardening

One of the biggest positives of raised bed gardening is the flexibility it provides you with the changing of the seasons (and the clocks!), so long as your garden bed is empty you can pick it up and move it to any area that gets the most sun in your garden and thus the greatest chance of botanical success!

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