How Much Sun Does My Front Yard Get? (Find OUT)

How much sun does your front yard get? First, you should find out what time of year it is. Then, you need to figure out what type of tree(s) are nearby (or blocking) your yard and how many shadows they cast over the land. 

After that, you can measure how much shade your house itself provides and if any other buildings or fences block out the sun. 

Finally, think about where any nearby trees or bushes are positioned these can also affect how much sun is received throughout the day!

Landscaping my front yard with direct and full sun loving plants
Understanding the amount of sunlight your yard receives is crucial for successful gardening.
By determining sun exposure, you can choose plants that are suited to the amount of sunlight in different areas of your yard.
Various tools and methods are available for measuring sun exposure, including sun calculators, compasses, and observing shadows.
Full sun plants include tomatoes, peppers, and sunflowers, while partial shade plants include hostas, impatiens, and herbs like mint and chives.
Utilizing resources like guides and online tools can help you maximize your yard’s potential and create a thriving garden.


Trees can block the sun in the morning and afternoon, depending on their location. The tree’s shadow will move as the sun moves across the sky. 

In winter, trees may block a good portion of your yard from sunlight, but not completely; it all depends on how large your yard is and what kind of trees are planted there. 

The type of tree you choose will also affect how much light reaches your front yard; some trees cast dense shade while others allow more sunlight through their thin branches.

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Shade From The House Itself

It’s important to note that the house itself casts a shadow on your yard. This shadow changes direction and length with the time of day, season, and angle at which it’s facing.

For example, if you’re trying to figure out how much sun your yard gets during summer months when your home is in the southern hemisphere (and therefore casting its longest shadow), you’ll need to account for that fact when determining what exposure type your front yard has.

If it faces southward like most people think of when they hear “southern exposure,” then this means that shade from the house will be minimal during daytime hours but can extend over much longer periods than usual because our planet spins on an axis while orbiting around its star (the sun).

Sloped Land Or A Hill

If you live on sloped land or a hill, it can be more difficult to determine how much sun your front yard gets. 

The angle of the slope can block the sun from reaching parts of your yard. To find out if this is happening in your area, use a sun dial or compass to find the direction the sunlight comes from at different times of day and year. 

A sun dial is simply a stick with one end pointing toward north and connected by string to another end that has a small weight hanging from it (usually made of metal). 

A compass will have two arrows that point north-south and east-west respectively. The pointy end should always point north—and so should your house!

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Other Buildings Or Walls

How much shade does your house cast on your yard? If you have a large, shady building like a garage or porch that blocks most of the sunlight coming into your yard, then you may want to consider adding some plants that thrive in part shade.

How much shade does your neighbor’s house cast on your yard? If you have a neighbor whose property is right up against yours and their roof is lower than yours, they may be casting more shade than you realize onto your lawn!

How much shade does the street cast on my front yard? While this may not be as drastic as other buildings or walls that could contribute to less sun exposure in certain parts of the day, it’s worth noting nonetheless.

How much shade does a tree or bush cast on my front yard? Again, there are many factors at play here (type of tree/shrub; its location), so it’s best not to make assumptions unless you know for sure what’s going on with each one individually.


If you have a fence, keep in mind that it can block sunlight from the south and west. This is especially true if your fence is close to your house because then it could block a lot of sun.

The same goes for any other structures that aren’t part of your home, such as sheds or carports.

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Your Own Shadow On Your Yard

You can use the shadow of your body to see how much sun your yard gets. By measuring the length of your shadow, you can determine what time of day and which season it is. To measure the length of your own shadow:

Stand facing due south at noon on an August day; that’s when you’ll get the longest possible shadow for any given latitude (the distance from Earth’s equator).

Then mark where the tip of your shadow hits on a piece of paper. Then turn 90 degrees and mark where it falls again. 

Repeat this process until you have four marks across from each other on a rectangular grid pattern using a pencil and ruler, or by making dots with a marker directly onto wood planks laid out in this manner.

Nearby Trees And Bushes

Trees and bushes can be good sources of shade in the summer, but they can also be a source of light and wind. 

If you have trees on either side of your front yard, then those areas might get less sun than other parts of your lawn. 

This can be especially true if the tree branches are large or dense enough to block out much of the sunlight.

On the other hand, trees and bushes may provide shade during the hotter months but let in plenty of sunlight during colder times and depending on where you live this could actually benefit your grass by keeping temperatures warmer than normal for an extended period (which is generally a good thing).

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Shaded Plants And Yards Nearby

As you are selecting plants for your landscape, it is important to consider the amount of shade in which they will be growing. Some plants thrive in full sun while others prefer shade.

Plants that need full sun have evolved over many centuries to become adapted to receive direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. 

They often have leaves or stems that are small, tightly spaced, and deep green in color. These plants also require very little water once they are established because they can photosynthesize their own food through a process called photosynthesis during those long sunny days! 

Sun-loving trees include oaks, maples and ash trees; shrubs such as hollies; perennials like hostas and ferns; annuals like petunias or impatiens; bulbs such as hyacinths or crocus (though these can be planted in either light conditions).

The Season Of The Year

Another thing to consider is the season of the year. In winter, we get a lot less sunlight than in summer, so you’ll need more bulbs in your garden for it to bloom during the shorter days.

There are also differences depending on what time of day you measure—mid-day or sunrise/sunset? 

If you measure at noon, then it’s best to choose plants that can handle high light levels: like cacti and succulents. 

If instead you measure your yard at sunrise or sunset (when there’s not as much light), then choose shade-tolerant plants that don’t mind dappled sun: ferns, hostas and violets are good choices here!

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Morning Vs. Afternoon Sun?

If you’re not sure which time of day is best for your needs, consider these factors:

Morning sun is more intense than afternoon sun, so it can be better for plants and gardens. If that’s what you’re looking for, morning sunlight will give your yard a boost.

But if you want to use solar panels in your front yard, afternoon sun is better because it doesn’t get as hot and doesn’t last as long. You don’t want to overheat your panels or pay extra money on electricity bills!

Also consider that high-quality lighting from both morning and afternoon rays can help the body produce vitamin D (which helps build strong bones).

 So if health is important to you—and who isn’t concerned about their health?—make sure there’s good quality light coming through those windows throughout the day.


There’s no one right answer to how much sun your yard gets. It depends on a lot of factors, like the type of trees in your yard, how shady other houses are, and whether you live in an urban or rural area. 

Still, you can use these tips to get a rough idea of how much sunlight will fall onto your front yard each day. 

If you want more details about any one factor in particular—like shading from nearby buildings or fences check out our other blog posts!

Further Reading

For more information on determining sun exposure and maximizing your yard’s potential, check out the following resources:

How to Tell How Much Light One Part of Your Yard Is Getting – This article offers detailed instructions on how to determine the amount of sunlight different areas of your yard receive and how to use that information to plan your garden.

How to Determine Sun Exposure in Your Garden – This comprehensive guide provides tips and tools for measuring sun exposure and utilizing that knowledge to create a thriving garden.

Determine Sun Exposure for Your Plants – This resource breaks down the different types of sun exposure and offers advice on how to determine which areas of your yard receive the right amount of light for your plants.


What is sun exposure?

Sun exposure refers to the amount of sunlight that a specific area or plant receives during the day.

Why is sun exposure important for gardening?

Sun exposure is essential for healthy plant growth and development. It affects the plant’s ability to produce food through photosynthesis and influences factors such as flowering, fruiting, and overall plant health.

How can I measure sun exposure in my yard?

There are various ways to measure sun exposure, including using a sun calculator or compass, observing the shadows cast by objects in your yard, and tracking the amount of direct and indirect sunlight throughout the day.

What are some plants that require full sun?

Plants that require full sun include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, and many types of flowers such as marigolds, zinnias, and sunflowers.

What are some plants that can tolerate partial shade?

Plants that can tolerate partial shade include hostas, ferns, impatiens, begonias, and many types of herbs such as mint, parsley, and chives.