Can I Build a Raised Garden Bed Next to the House Foundation?

Raised garden beds are beautiful additions to any garden, allowing you to grow and harvest various kinds of plants. That’s why many gardeners would like to have a few raised beds around their homes, which can add to its aesthetic value. However, you may be wondering, ‘can I build a raised garden bed next to the house foundation?’

This article will tackle everything you need to know about raised garden beds and how you can build them against your home’s foundation.

can i build a raised garden bed next to the house foundation

Can I Build a Raised Garden Bed Next to the House Foundation?

It IS possible to build a raised garden bed next to your house foundation, usually against your home. In fact, they call it foundation plantings, known for their many different benefits such as the improved curb appeal and emphasizing your home’s design elements.

However, raised garden beds aren’t just about planting shrubs against the house, it’s also about precise planning to prevent any problems that are associated with foundation plants. This is the reason why many people are against having raised garden beds near your home’s foundation because poor planning can come to a host of issues that affect your plants and home.

With that in mind, your raised garden beds and boxes shouldn’t use your home’s foundation as a back wall. Instead, there needs to be space between your garden bed and foundation.

How much space is optimal, though? This varies, with experts saying that 4 inches are the minimum distance to provide between the garden bed and foundation. You should also prevent moisture accumulation around and behind the boxes, so look into using gravel and/or rocks for better drainage.

Issues When Using Foundation Plantings

While foundation plantings have their own benefits, they also come with a set of disadvantages that are important to learn about so you can prevent them from occurring.

Such problems include:

  • Expansion problems: Concrete, soil, and water would expand and contract (at differing rates) as the weather changes. For instance, when water freezes, it would expand, and if seeped into your concrete foundation, the freezing temperatures may cause concrete to crack. While sometimes minor, they can end up in structural failure, which is costly and dangerous.
  • Watering flower beds against house foundations may cause erosion, causing failures when concrete settles. This may collapse walls or sag your rooflines, an expensive repair.
  • Garden beds against foundations would be a haven for pests and critters. If ever you don’t leave a large enough gap, then the dirt and dead leaves accumulate, which are prime locations for termites, rodents, roaches, and others.
  • Moisture attracts mold, mildew, and fungus, which would end up with planter boxes hard to drain. This may also cause respiratory ailments and harm plants in the future.

How to Design Your Raised Garden Bed

how to design your raised garden bed

The cons do seem a bit intimidating, but there are ways you can design your garden beds to be built next to your house foundation.

To ensure your garden beds won’t damage your home’s foundation, you have to prioritize designing them for excellent drainage. The way you design your drainage system would be determined by the planter you’ll build. It’s best to have your yard sloping away from your home, which is known as grading and would prevent water from accumulating along with your home’s foundations from overwatering and storms.

Besides this, you should also consider the kinds of plants to grow, depending on the design you want, the types of plants suitable for the weather, and more factors. Planning can ensure that your plants match the architectural structure of your home and will grow efficiently without much hassle.

If you have above-ground boxes, you should give it enough drainage that is away from the foundation. After lining its bottom with heavy plastic 2 inches above its bottom, use a cordless drill to create holes every 6-8 inches above the plastic on one side. The side with the holes should face away from your foundation, which will allow excess water to drain out of your garden bed while it retains enough water for deep root growth.

For those who want in-ground planters, you still need to focus on proper drainages, such as digging out your garden bed and even installing a French drain. Besides this, you should use the correct soil made for your plants and that offers excellent drainage, either investing from gardening stores or creating your own mix. Watering is also a huge factor, so be sure that you avoid overwatering your plants, which can end up being a problem for your plants and home’s foundation.

Wrapping It Up

When it comes to building raised garden beds, you can see how beautiful it can have any home look, which is why many gardeners want to do it! However, it does come with a host of issues that can easily be preventable by creating more space between the bed and your home, along with prioritizing excellent drainage. That way, you can enjoy a better-looking garden with plants growing successfully.

Hopefully, you found insight on raised bed gardens and whether or not they are great to build by your home’s foundation. Now that you know the answer, start learning even more about how to build and care for a raised garden bed today. Good luck!

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