Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

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A3M0N
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Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by A3M0N »

BLUF: When preping to renovate or cut in a new bed, should the bed area be at the lawn level or a bit below?

I'm getting our new house's lawn and landscaping back into shape. The beds are nearly non existent and need an overhaul. My biggest concern about them at this point is the grade away from the house. It needs to be filled in, and I'm in the process of doing that. Also, drainage is a slight issue. So, my question: do I build it all up to the lawn level then mulch directly on top? Or should it be a few inches below? Would I ramp up to the foundation with dirt a few inches?

I plan to have a natural edge, with a trench, "Pete from GCI Turf" style for reference, but with black mulch.

I can attach a few pictures if that will help make more sense.

Thanks y'all!

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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by Lawndress »

The bed will end up higher with the OM that builds up, but you make a little trench to separate it from the yard if you aren't doing edging, and that also keeps the mulch from flowing into the grass.

I think you mean foundation beds? These should definitely be higher than the grass and slope toward it. Very small slope is all that is needed.
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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by A3M0N »

Foundation bed, thank you! Yes, it's up against the house.

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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by Lawndress »

If your builder did right, it already has the correct slope and needs no adding. If he didn't, though, and you get pooling against your foundation, you should raise it and make sure the overall slope of the yard is okay.
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Experienced gardener. Just starting taking the lawn seriously. Level .5: Just trying to get density this year.

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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by A3M0N »

It's a 20 year old house, and I don't think the previous few owners have cared much where the gutter down spouts dumped out. There's no foundation issues yet, but the foundation bed in the front is totally washed out and there was a negative grade on one side and part of the back.

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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by Lawndress »

My house is 55 with no grading issues...it really is what the original builder did unless someone mucked with it. But if it's running toward the house, yeah, I'd fix it!
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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by nnnnnate »

So we add mulch/compost to the flower beds as a top dress each year. The old stuff looks pretty then gets worked into the ground during plantings and whatnot. This is the third summer after being built and I did all the landscaping install. I started with the beds and lawn the same height understanding that the beds will build up over time. The organic material in the mulch will break down so its not like if you put a trailer full of it down this year the is going to be the new height of the beds. Something I also do is plant my trees what would be considered a little high taking into account where the beds will be height wise down the road.

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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by A3M0N »

Thanks y'all. There was a negative grade up to the house all along the side, under our front room windows, and part of the back of the house too. After moving soil from our firepit build and smoothing it all out, I measured a 2.5%-3% grade. I know this isn't really the topic of the thread, but it seemed relevant.

The issue in my mind now is I don't want to make those areas any lower, so I guess I'll cut my bed perimeter trenches and add mulch on top of where it is now. Next season I can reassess the grade and make up of the soil and go from there.

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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by Lawndress »

Sound like a great plan.
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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by varmint65 »

I would re-grade first before any new plants/mulch. Also, I would not use dyed mulch as most of it is chipped up pallets and wood scrap. Use natural pine bark or bark mulch of some sort. Every year before redressing with new mulch you'll want to cultivate or remove some of the old mulch which forms a hard 2-3" crust. If you don't, your shrubs/plants wont get sufficient water to their root zone.

Clean your gutters 2-3 times a season especially if any overhang from trees and redirect downspouts away from foundation.

Also, don't get soil/mulch too high against the foundation as it can rot your sill plate over time and also provide a great environment for termites and carpenter ants.


Happy gardening!

Will

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Re: Landscape/Flower Bed Preparation Question

Post by Lawndress »

varmint65 wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 8:11 am
Every year before redressing with new mulch you'll want to cultivate or remove some of the old mulch which forms a hard 2-3" crust. If you don't, your shrubs/plants wont get sufficient water to their root zone.

Clean your gutters 2-3 times a season especially if any overhang from trees and redirect downspouts away from foundation.
Lol. My mulch all rots down.

And I have to leaf blow my roof.... :(
My lawn: viewtopic.php?t=27210
Charity lawn: viewtopic.php?t=27203

Experienced gardener. Just starting taking the lawn seriously. Level .5: Just trying to get density this year.

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