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soil problem question

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:56 pm
by Lily8486
H! I have a raised bed against the side of my house (upstate NY) I am having a lot of trouble getting the soil to be good and rich. The soil against the house ( to about a foot out is always so dry and dusty) . It doesn't seem to matter what I do..
I am trying to totally redo that particular garden. I would like to put some of my lovely day lilies against there ( trying to get it to be totally pereinniel, less weeding)
Will that be ok to transplant there? Is there something I can do to the soil ? Why that area and not further out? Thanks so much!!!!!!

Re: soil problem question

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:11 pm
by rainbowgardener
That is very bad soil; it is fill they put in after they put the house foundation in, probably with lots of rock and concrete. If you have any eaves at all, then it is in rain shadow of the eaves and doesn't get wet. AND putting water right next to your house foundation like that is very bad for your foundation.

Gravel over that first foot next to the house and then start your plantings.

Re: soil problem question

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:17 pm
by PaulF
I agree. Plant outside the drip line of the eaves. Be sure to slope away from the house so watering will not drain toward the foundation. In the flower bed till in lots of organic material like grass clippings and leaves and/or compost. Even with perennials there will be weeding but a nice mulch layer will help out.

Re: soil problem question

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:27 pm
by rainbowgardener
and NEVER pile dirt against the side of your house!

Re: soil problem question

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:59 am
by ButterflyLady29
What is the house made of? A block house with a concrete foundation is a different animal than a stick build on a wood frame foundation. You can plant closer to a block house but if there is an overhang the soil will never be nice and rich. If you really want to plant something close to a block house with an overhang you'll have to look at something that will thrive in the area. Anything in the sedum/semper vivens family would love the area, but you may have to water lightly on occasion.

My personal solution would be to place large pots in the area and plant in those. Then a little farther out plant something that will grow tall enough to hide the containers but not hide the plants in them.

But I would not put a raised bed against any house. I have beds right next to a block house on a concrete foundation with just a crawlspace. They never get watered, just weeded. Mint, daylilies, comfrey and hostas grow there. No problems with the foundation.

Re: soil problem question

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:33 pm
by imafan26
It is better to have a maintenance path to get to the house to check the foundation, paint, do the windows. People put plants right up against their house or too near it and when the plants grow they run into the eaves. It is better to plant outside the drip line and put some sort of gravel path there instead. The soil there may have been chemically treated depending on where you live. The plants will be happier in nicer soil.