Those of you who have been reading for awhile know that I am more likely to leave my cellphone in the house than to take it outside with me. I am definitely not a digital native. So take all of what I say with that in mind.
I had thought that an app for sun and shade, appropriately called Sun and Shade Analyzer, or SASHA for short, might be quite useful in my mostly shady yard. I was particularly interested in the feature that would “predict” shade–in other words, even though it’s just mid-April now, it would tell me what the light would be like when the trees had leafed out.
That’s going to be useful to any gardener. I know that every year, I tend to underestimate the amount of shade that my big dogwood out front throws once it fully leafs out. Luckily, I am only doing so with containers that can be relocated, but imagine if I were planting under it!
But what I found was that I am too impatient to let the app load properly. I stood on my driveway for almost half an hour and it wasn’t fully loaded for my property (no, I don’t have dial up internet. I wonder if trying it on a Saturday in the midst of a pandemic made it slower?)
So while the features might be useful, I can’t stand out in the sun and wait for them. What little I did see looks interesting.
I also was not able to set the date to a date much earlier than May 16. Perhaps that’s full leaf out in my climate (I would argue that it’s a bit earlier, but fine.) I suspect that the point is that the app wanted to show me where the shading would be in full leaf.
But when I was standing under a tree throwing shade and the app is telling me that the shade would be somewhere completely different in a month, that’s when I get a bit skeptical. Hmm….
All in all, this is a useful tool, particularly for those of us that garden in a lot of shade (especially if you’re more patient than I am). It’s $4.99 in the Google play store from Hook Mountain (so far as I know, it is not available for Apple phones yet). And yes, I did buy it.
I will try it again. Perhaps I will try loading it when I get up at the crack of dawn. Less internet traffic….