Okay, this is an old familiar gardening trick. But as with all old familiar things, it's bound to be new to someone. Sunlight, water, and good soil are the fundamentals of growing productive and healthy plants. A few people are blessed with just the right amount of all of these. Others have to struggle a bit to get enough or to moderate an abundance of one or the other. If you're trying to grow in an area that gets less sun than is ideal, here's an easy partial fix.
Take those automobile sunshades that were all the rage a few years back, and put them at the end of your garden that faces the sun. This will reflect whatever light you do get back to your garden, so the plants have two chances to make use of any sunlight that comes their way. If you're in the northern hemisphere, position the screen at the north end of your garden, with the reflector facing south. In the southern hemisphere, put it at the south end of your garden, facing north.
These things were turning up at yardsales for next to nothing for a while there. Not sure if they are anymore. If you can't turn one up for a few cents, you could always make your own reflector with aluminum foil and a few pieces of cardboard. Be sure to leave the shinier side of the foil facing out if you do so. And if you happen to have any large unwanted mirrors hanging out in the garage, those would work best of all. Tomato plants, incidentally, love these things. I suspect tomatoes would actually be happiest growing in a tanning bed that was turned on 24/7.
Got any oldie but goodie garden tips? Share them in the comments, please!
I live on a 2/3 acre homestead in a residential neighborhood. A major goal is to demonstrate how much food a non-expert can produce in my particular climate and hardiness zone, with the soils native to my immediate area. We have gardens of annual and perennial plants, keep laying hens and honey bees, and regularly bite off more than we can chew. Another major goal is to pay off our mortgage as fast as possible. Here I blog about frugality, self-reliance, gardening, cooking and baking, food preservation, practical skills, half-baked experiments, and preparing to thrive in a lower-energy future.