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jnunez918
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Location: Austin, TX

Dead space

I have this dead space after pulling out a rosemary hedge. I want to cover the electrical boxes but also want something productive. I was thinking about a trellis with beans and peas.


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Jennifer
Austin, TX Zone 8b

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applestar
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Re: Dead space

Make sure to check the codes/guidelines if any for planting around the utility boxes.

I would not plant anything you would value since they can be trampled or broken when any of those cable/wire accesses are being serviced. Trellises may be pushed over, etc. if they are in their way. Sometimes, they will also need to dig up the surrounding areas.

By the same token, I'm not sure I would plant any edibles around them since you won't know for sure if they will not spray anything near them. If wasps or ants make nests in the boxes or surrounding area, I suspect they won't hesitate to use what they can to kill the biting/stinging insects.

Since they are curbside, dogs on walk will be "irrigating" and making deposits around them as well even if the feces are picked up by the walkers.

Then again, although the boxes are out in the open, I might hesitate watering them and surrounding area. Perhaps some kind of non-barricading, decorative xeriscape would be more suitable?
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digitS'
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Re: Dead space

Jennifer, it would be best if you made sure all those bases AppleStar noted are covered before proceeding.

I have a trellis for a climbing rose above my backyard gate. It pivots out of the way if I need to back a truck through the side yard. It seems to me that you could do that where access has to be maintained if you can do a safe planting.

I picked a couple gallons of snap peas last week. We have had weeks of morning frosts. I covered everything with ice from the sprinklers one morning. Still, there were lots of peas under those vines. They weren't trellissed and sowing followed the broccoli, way back when.

Anyway, you should be okay with growing peas in Austin over winter. Right?

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

imafan26
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Re: Dead space

Yes, ditto was has already been mentioned. There is a utility box next to my driveway. It is actually in the neighbors yard. The utility easement required that the area around the box be unobstructed so the utility has access. He ended up buiding his fence around it. I have a hedge next to it, but it is two feet away. You can probably plant a hedge as long as there is clearance around the box.

Planting edibles near the street is not a great idea, unless you plant something unusual. People will think it is a community garden and help themselves. if you plant anything there, it should probably be annual or biennials. If you put perennials there, you will need to take the chance that the utility may have to dig it up someday. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

The power kept going out on the street so the utility ran another line from another box to the one in front of the neighbor's house. The did not have to remove any plantings, but the sidewalk and part of my driveway was demolished to dig up the street, but they eventually did repair it. Actually, my driveway was lifted when these a(*&(%**& hooked up a chain to the street light in front of my house and dragged it down the street with their truck.

The worst part of that was that the utility changed the lamp to a low sodium night light that made only a small pool of light. The house across the street was broken into because it was in the dark, only then did the city put the higher watt light back.
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jnunez918
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Location: Austin, TX

Re: Dead space

I planted the rosemary seven years ago and the only time they ever knocked on my door was about six months ago and at that point it was a massive hedge. All that they asked was that they could cut away 1 foot from the box. What I was wanting to do was to put a little trellis that they actually could still get behind like another one foot and run some flowering vines. But I know anything about flowers.
Jennifer
Austin, TX Zone 8b

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Gary350
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Re: Dead space

If it were me I would plant Okra there. Nice thing about okra it does good in small or large crop. It does good in full sun and hot dry desert conditions. Being out front near the street not many people will bother okra.

Easement usually means permanent structure. No fence post, no poles, no vehicles, no fence, no trees, no large heavy rocks. Flowers and plants are typically not included.

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