Dixana
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Location: zone 4

Raised beds/garden boxes against the house?

The place we're moving to has a raised cement foundation for the basement and cement steps into the house. They form an L shape and I'm thinking of putting small beds in the L to form a rectangle and use to plant lettuce and herbs to have right outside the door.
Any issues here on using the cement as two of the wall barriers for the boxes? Or should I place wood along those edges as well?
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DoubleDogFarm
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I would not use wood when you have a perfectly good concrete wall. Maybe only if the wall has been sealed with tar or something similar.

What direction will these boxes be facing? If they are South, may get extremely hot, better for tomatoes than lettuce.

Eric

Dixana
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Location: zone 4

Hmmmm, that part of the house faces southeast.... though I do know it doesn't get much sun after about 3 pm.
Still bad for lettuce? I'm going to be pretty massively pregnant by midsummer and the garden is pretty far from the house. I can see myself thinking that it's WAY to hot to wander to the garden for salad fixings for lunch/supper come July so it would be nice to have that stuff right by the house.
The rest of the garden will be tended to early morning/late evening so unless I plan ahead I tend to forget I need lettuce, basil, chives etc.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

DoubleDogFarm
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I would just do it and have some shade cloth handy. Also water more on the extra warm days.


Eric

Dixana
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Hey I just had an :idea: What IF I put a couple cherry tomato plants on either end of the box to help shade the lettuces and such? Then I'd also have cherry toms right outside the door to add to salads :D

Would that work?
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

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applestar
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Good idea, and basically along the lines of my thought as well:

I would plant heat tolerant taller plants such as tomatoes or other plants, maybe even cukes or melons (remember, 3PM means they've been in the sun since around 7 or 8AM) for your location -- i.e. probably not a good idea in South -- next to the cement walls to take advantage and buffer the reflected heat. Pole beans might work too. Then leave enough space between the tomatoes, etc. to plant and harvest the lettuce. This works, too, since you'll be planting lettuce way earlier and initially while the sun's rays are less harsh and ideal for the lettuce, the tomato plants will be small, but as the tomatoes grow, you may be finishing up the lettuce. Consider planting carrots and Swiss chard too. Sun-loving herbs in the front. :D

Before you're done, you'll be building a bed that is not a rectangle, but bowed in front like a bow window, so you'll have more room to plant! :wink:

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