Raised Bed Challenge

Avid_Weed_WhackerApril 29, 2012

I'm currently starting a 'reno' of an existing raised bed and need some advice...

The raised bed is approx. 2' high and spaced off the house about 18". Here's where it gets interesting, and I get stumped; the bed is basically a block wall (flagstone really I think) with a stone topper. It was parged on the inside face and filled with soil. The house is brick construction and some sort of a flashing was used to 'keep' the dirt and moisture away from direct contact with the house.

The flashing has all but completely rotted away, and I need to re-construct the bed. I will try to add a picture. Any suggestions as to how/what would be acceptable??



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Nice.you will try to add a picture.
first upload photo to any photo-hosting site.Photobucket and Flickr are examples . While at that photo on the site,
look for a link to "share." Then look for a way of obtaining "html code" (don't select the thumbnail version.)
Copy that code and paste it directly into your message here.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 5:58PM
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    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 7:18PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Do a little research on a product called Mirafi by TenCate.
Looks like the S series might be the ticket but I'm not a soils engineer so it would be wise to read through their specifications to see which is the right series for your application.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 7:50PM
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@ deviant-deziner: I looked at the Mirafi, however I am thinking that I will actually want something non-porous. I expect that whatever I install will need to keep the soil, And moisture from contacting the house wall. That in mind I had thought as a last resort I could use Foundation wrap, as it is meant to be a water barrier - I was actually hoping to find something similar, Without the dimples...

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 9:27PM
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We could use some paint as a water barrier.it is more easy.the bed don't any fill with soil,use peastone as topper.a river bed garden may not moisture from contacting the house wall.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 5:26AM
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    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 5:33AM
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Phil, what you need is foundation waterproofing. Typically, it consists of a bituminous coating that's applied to the foundation wall. Systems differ, but often the coating has a protective waterproof membrane covering it, or a reinforcing membrane incorporated into it as part of the system. The installation can be involved to insure that water does not enter behind any covering membrane, if there is such. Before applying any coatings, that portion of the wall would need to be pressure washed and allowed to dry completely in order for a coating to be securely applied. Explore "basement or foundation waterproofing." Your pictures don't show the context, but you may want to evaluate if the planters are an asset worth their cost. It may be better to remove them.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:14AM
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@ Yardvaark:the raised bed has seemingly been in existence since the house was built(late'70's, I think). It doesn't get an abundance of water(rainfall)as it is under the soffet. As the picture(s) may not show, the original installation was sufficient to keep moisture and soil from contacting the house. All I really want to do is replace the now rotted sheet metal, and would rather not have to use typical dimpled foundation wrap. Thank You for your advice, I will keep it for consideration.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:37AM
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I love those old planters provided they are 2' or more above the yard and are of the same material of the house. It lets you do a really cool tiered effect tying the house into the gardens.

However, this meets neither qualification. That planter would have a date with a sledgehammer here.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:14AM
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There are numerous solutions and "fixes" to various homeowner problems that would never be considered by a professional because of their "iffy" qualities. A sheet metal liner as "waterproofing" for a built-in planter would qualify right up there at the top of "iffy." However, some of these things DO work because of various factors that might not be immediately evident. Surely, if this planter had plants in it they would need soil that was continually moist. So it qualifies as "iffy" to me. But if a galvanized liner worked before--for 20 or 30 years--maybe it will work again, so why not visit a sheet metal shop with measurements in hand, if you feel confident about taking that route? If I was going in that direction, I'd also lean toward a silk flower display that invited low maintenance and no water being added to the planter. Believe it or not, some silk plant/flower arrangements do not look horrible (depends on the talents of the arranger and especially if a natural look is attained) and hold up for a surprising length of time.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 1:52PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I'd actually be curious whether real plants ever grew well in this planter since, as you mention, Phil, it would not get much natural watering. I have a bed in the rainshadow of my porch that I am giving up on; plants don't make it through winter, much less summer.

Just because it's there doesn't mean it always has to be. If you like the look you could turn it into just a solid rock ledge, no plants... and no water problem, although I would probably still put in flashing.

Karin L

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:01PM
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