Repairing a foundation flower bed

ConfusedDaveAugust 10, 2011

I'm trying to repair a flower bed along the front of my home left by the previous owner. It hasn't aged well and a lot of the dirt has been washed away/removed via weeding and the like. At this point the dirt is probably about 3 to 4 inches below the stone barriers that border the bed on 3 sides (the 4th is the foundation which I believe is not ideal).

I'm looking for a quick way to repair the bed. Is simply filling it to the top of the stone barrier a good idea? Perhaps I should add a little extra at the foundation and then slopping the dirt down towards the top of the stone barrier to aid in drainage?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated, I'm pretty clueless.


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Add some shrub,stone mulch maybe it work

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 7:43PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

If it were me, I would start by loosening the old soil with a garden fork, add an inch or two of commercial manure or compost, and then top the bed up with mulch for this year. This should not cause any problem with the concrete foundation. Then let the weather work on this til spring. This will start recouping the soil, and buys you time for planning and figuring out the the rest.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 8:32PM
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I agree with linda. Add compost after you weed the bed to bring the level up. It will help anything you decide to plant in there. The shrubs in the picture certainly dont need any help - they are both on the invasive species list in new hampshire and now illegal for sale here. Dont worry about that - it doesnt mean you have to remove them- just be aware that they can be aggressive growers. If you do decide to renovate the planting at some point then you can take the invasive status into consideration. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 8:49AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Do you have a basement? Are there gutters on your home? Does the rest of the property slope away from the house?

Agree with above (except the cartoon) with a slight difference. There's enough weeds and grass growing in the area that you may want to put a layer of cardboard or several thicknesses of newspaper under the soil/mulch first so they are unable to come up again (until new seeds are blown or dropped by birds onto the mulch.) The cardboard or paper will decompose and require nothing more for you to do to it.

Your idea to slope this bed away from the foundation is a good one. With mulch on it, soil shouldn't wash away. You may want to investigate that issue before spending money on soil/compost/mulch.

The rock mulch suggested would eventually be the source of some nasty cussing by someone (who wanted to dig holes to plant flowers) and of no benefit to your garden or the plants in it. If you have a large amount of water exiting the roof in a specific place, a pile of larger rocks (softball size or larger,) a concrete or rubber diverter, or stepping stone can make a huge difference in calming the erosion.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 12:51PM
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"Agree with above (except the cartoon)" gotta love it.

There is no way to make a silk purse from a sows ear (except as a cartoon) and there is no doubt that this photograph zooms in on a sows ear. Dave, my advice is to dig it all up and chuck it. I can't tell you how attractive bare earth is in comparison.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 5:49PM
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Are you just assuming the soil level was higher initially? Generally those stonish/concrete borders are well above soil level.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 11:55AM
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I am have a problem seeing what the problem is. Drainage? You just don't like the level of the dirt.
Just looking at it I would see nothing wrong.
If drainage is the problem then adding garden soil or mulch will not correct it. The water will simplely run through to the same level it is now.
If it is just wanting to raise the level then add mulch compost or soil gradually and in a few years it will be back to where you want it. If you raise the back of the bed with soil it will gradually filter down and help raise the rest of the bed.
The easiest solution is to replace the curb with something lower or lower the existing curb.
I really like the bed as it is. I don't think to much of the curb but that is personel preference. What is important is what you like.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 5:23PM
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