Open the door and eat.

Vegetable beds by the front door! Who ever heard of such a thing?

These are 3 1m x 1m raised beds, 300mm deep, that I built by our front door. I was in a hurry to get vegetables in before the hot weather started, so I bought some DIY plastic beds, potting mix, compost and chopped pea straw from the hardware store.

I know we have good river soil hereabouts, but there are some tough and tenacious weeds here too. We are plagued with two kinds of caltrops, kikuyu and storksbill.

My solution was to remove the top 5cm of soil and spread it around the garden further out. This broke the mat of weeds and I covered the soil with 2 layers of weed mat.

In the beds we have several different types of tomato, corn, zucchini and assorted herbs.

Why plant so close to the front door? Several reasons.

First, pest control. People come and go all day, this scares off the blackbirds and thrushes that love to scatter my mulch.

Second, ease of watering.

Third, they block the sun and glare that bounces off of the dry ground in summer. Associated with this is the fact that corn is such a tall, summer plant. This should block the afternoon sun from our windows. The corn will be gone by winter.

Lastly, they block a direct access from the road to our door, improving feng shui and security.

An afternoon’s work with lots of benefits.

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