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I want to add a few raised beds to my garden this year and I am curious as to what direction they should be layed out. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west so should the beds be layed out north-south or east-west? I am picturing a series of beds spaced about 4 feet apart facing north-south. I think the beds will warm faster in the spring and the plants would catch more sun if they were facing N-S with the sun traveling across the width of the beds. Just curious how you arranged your beds and if you would do anything different.
 

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I have boxes running east west and boxes running north south. The box closest to the house gets shadowed first and is the only one I have noticed a difference in plant growth. It doesn't warm up in the spring as early as the others. I have trees on the west (left) and north (top) and a 6 foot fence on the east (right).

If you want to see a picture, look at DSC000354

http://community.webshots.com/album/106613371HRSAuW
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great pics gobug, I love the cattle panel trellis.
 

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Brian N.E Ohio said:
I want to add a few raised beds to my garden this year and I am curious as to what direction they should be layed out. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west so should the beds be layed out north-south or east-west? I am picturing a series of beds spaced about 4 feet apart facing north-south. I think the beds will warm faster in the spring and the plants would catch more sun if they were facing N-S with the sun traveling across the width of the beds. Just curious how you arranged your beds and if you would do anything different.

Beds running north-south get more sun on average all other factors being equal. East-west beds shade each other for the entire day while in N-S it is all averaged out. Of course this is with all other things being equal. You can still grow good crops on East West beds.
 

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Thanks Brian, cattle fence is awesome. I have made several devices of these panels and plan to take a few pictures soon to show them.

Since the plants all start out small, I think the shading effect is minimal until the plants are large - like 3 feet or so. If it were such a big deal, wouldn't we see some kind of effect from plants in the wild?
 
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