Question Advice requested: placement of raised bed

Rachel Street

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 17, 2020
15
6
21
Climate
Arid, Desert, or Dry
Hi everybody, I'd like to ask for your advice. I'm considering building a new raised bed in a region of my garden between the garden fence and along the eastern wall of my house. It seems to get about 2.5-3hrs of direct sun per day around noon. Warm temperatures (~60-70degF/15-20degC) should be fairly reliable year around, since I'm in the Southern California coastal belt, and I can irrigate it, but it's not in full sun. Do you think it's enough sunshine to make a raised bed worthwhile? Fruit and vegetable planting suggestions also welcome!
 

GKW

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Dec 22, 2019
307
180
156
Sydney
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
Post up a few pics (of the area you want to use) with a morning, midday and afternoon pic to show the sun and position etc.
 

Rachel Street

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 17, 2020
15
6
21
Climate
Arid, Desert, or Dry
2020Sept06_330pm.jpg

3:30pm

(I'm planning to remove the red shed on the right hand side and use that space for a possible raised bed)
 
Last edited:

Rachel Street

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 17, 2020
15
6
21
Climate
Arid, Desert, or Dry
The orientation of these pictures is facing north, so the Sun rises on the right. The space is approx. 17ft x 7ft. All advice will be much appreciated!
 

Rachel Street

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 17, 2020
15
6
21
Climate
Arid, Desert, or Dry
Thanks so much for all your responses and suggestions! Those tomato plants have been there for a couple of months as an experiment. They've produced some fruit, though not as much as my other pots which are in full Sun, so I think spinach etc is a good idea. It's reassuring to know that it's worth a try, thanks again!
 

GKW

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Dec 22, 2019
307
180
156
Sydney
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
Good informative pics.

Given my recent experiment in growing tomatoes and other veg in a Sydney winter with limited sunlight, in looking at your pics (and the time noted when taken), you could try having some pots/beds either side of that area (re AndrewB's comment) as both get sunlight at different times of the day and experiment a bit with different veg in pots and see what works for you. Note: I went for a smaller tomato variety (Tommy Tee) over winter and got decent results...Not confident anything larger would have gone full fruit and ripened up in the 4 hours a day mid winter sun they had. Raddish did well too.

Out of interest, what's in the old red cupboard on side of yard and in the shed at the back. Both seem to get some of the best sunlight and subject to their use, that area could be used to better sunlight affect. ie reposition the red cupboard if possible to a fully shaded area and if you could, re-purpose the steel sided shed (with clear roof and some clear side panels) into a green house etc...just a thought.
 

Vicky

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Mar 27, 2020
247
109
131
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
probably not something you want to hear, but the middle of that area, with taller plants would possibly get more sunlight than either side, The taller plants would obviously reach up higher and get the sunlight at the time when either side would still be in shade. Perhaps not really functional if you have a lot of traffic through there or if you wanted to take equipment through!! A very narrow, tall bed might work??
 

Rachel Street

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 17, 2020
15
6
21
Climate
Arid, Desert, or Dry
Good informative pics.

Given my recent experiment in growing tomatoes and other veg in a Sydney winter with limited sunlight, in looking at your pics (and the time noted when taken), you could try having some pots/beds either side of that area (re AndrewB's comment) as both get sunlight at different times of the day and experiment a bit with different veg in pots and see what works for you. Note: I went for a smaller tomato variety (Tommy Tee) over winter and got decent results...Not confident anything larger would have gone full fruit and ripened up in the 4 hours a day mid winter sun they had. Raddish did well too.

Out of interest, what's in the old red cupboard on side of yard and in the shed at the back. Both seem to get some of the best sunlight and subject to their use, that area could be used to better sunlight affect. ie reposition the red cupboard if possible to a fully shaded area and if you could, re-purpose the steel sided shed (with clear roof and some clear side panels) into a green house etc...just a thought.
Oh that's really interesting - it hadn't occurred to me to turn the grey shed into a greenhouse! I am planning to remove the red cupboard entirely, since I don't use it and as you say, that spot does get some of the best light. I didn't know that smaller tomatoes were more likely to ripen in less light, so that is definitely something to try, along with perhaps some kind of trellis to make the most of the light for taller plants. Thanks very much for these ideas!
 

Rachel Street

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 17, 2020
15
6
21
Climate
Arid, Desert, or Dry
probably not something you want to hear, but the middle of that area, with taller plants would possibly get more sunlight than either side, The taller plants would obviously reach up higher and get the sunlight at the time when either side would still be in shade. Perhaps not really functional if you have a lot of traffic through there or if you wanted to take equipment through!! A very narrow, tall bed might work??
That's a really good idea - I'm sure I can find a way to build a trellis for taller plants. You're right that I need to keep a channel down the middle for practical reasons of getting equipment to and from that grey shed at the back, so I agree deep but narrow beds on either side seems like the best bet. Thanks very much for your answer!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vicky

Mark Seaton

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
GOLD
May 31, 2019
76
55
76
Collie WA
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
Also try different varieties of plants, I have had good results in part shade with some varieties of plant and yet another no good at all. Best advise is to just try many different things and work out what grows best for you.
I was surprised last year when I found my best pumpkins were actually growing under my fruit trees in mostly shade, so give it a go, what have you got to lose.
 

Rachel Street

Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 17, 2020
15
6
21
Climate
Arid, Desert, or Dry
Also try different varieties of plants, I have had good results in part shade with some varieties of plant and yet another no good at all. Best advise is to just try many different things and work out what grows best for you.
I was surprised last year when I found my best pumpkins were actually growing under my fruit trees in mostly shade, so give it a go, what have you got to lose.
Thanks Mark, I will definitely experiment!