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I recently purchased and assembled a 6'x8' greenhouse from harborfreight. My plan is to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in there (tomatoes and cucumbers along the longer walls and peppers along the shorter back wall). I have read that growing these together in the same greenhouse is not a good idea as they suffer from similar diseases and the like - however, I have also read plenty of people doing the same without any issues. I'm willing to take that risk!

The greenhouse sits on a 2x12 PT wood foundation. I had originally planned on framing out raised beds on the inside of the GH, using the foundation as the outside walls and adding additional 2x12s on the inside to make 2ft wide raised beds on either side and a 2ft wide raised bed along the back wall. My reasoning behind it was since tomato and cucumber roots grow around 2 ft deep - I would have the 1ft of depth from the soil in the raised bed + however deep they go into the native soil underneath. This would give the plants about 4-6' (depending how close they are to the center) to grow vertically (before hitting the roof).

From my research I have found that most people grow stuff in containers in their GH rather than beds, however, if I used 2ft tall containers sitting on the native soil - I would be losing a foot of height for the plant to actually grow. I have also read the big box store buckets are the ideal size to grow tomatoes... though looking at the dimensions they are only 14.5" tall.

To sum up - there seems to be a lot of contradicting information out there and I'm trying to figure out the best approach / pros and cons of each one. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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The advantage of containers is that it is easier to replace the soil. You don't want to grow crops like tomatoes, which are susceptible to virus diseases, in the same soil year after year, since the virus can survive in the soil to infect the next year's crop.

You can limit the height of tomatoes (and probably get a bigger crop) by pinching out the main shoot to encourage them to grow more side shoots.

Tomatoes might grow roots 2ft deep if they can, but it isn't necessary. In the UK people often grow tomatoes in grow-bags which are only 9 or 12 inches deep. The plants obviously need stakes that go deeper into the ground than that, to stop them falling over. That also makes "changing the compost every year" very simple - just buy more bags.

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  • Thank you for the reply! If I use containers - would 3'-4' be sufficient height for tomato and cucumbers? – Yev Apr 1 at 16:13

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