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Want to garden close to house but ensure drainage away from block foundation.

Want to garden close to house but ensure drainage away from block foundation.

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  #1  
Old 07-04-14, 02:30 PM
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Want to garden close to house but ensure drainage away from block foundation.

I am from an area with clay so water either sits or you slope from your house and it drains away ... here, I sloped areas but water just goes down ... it is all sand. I have an area I want to eventually put plants, along the house but I need to ensure that I don't create a problem. Basement is dry now even though the ground slope is not code. I want to do both, code and garden. So .. what would I need to do in this situation to ensure that I don't create a problem by planting the area.. I need to slope more towards the driveway because the driveway is higher, can't come down much on the driveway because it is already a bump getting into the garage. Is there a layer of something I should put in the ground that will divert water once it passes through my garden ... divert it away from the wall? from the corner of the house the ground starts to slope quite a bit away from the house. Any feedback would be appreciated, what not to do, what I should do etc... thanks in advance
 
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  #2  
Old 07-05-14, 05:14 AM
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What is the orientation of the area in relation to the sun? How many hours of direct sun does the area get? What type of garden do you want? Landscaping plants, herb garden, vegetable garden?
 
  #3  
Old 07-05-14, 06:17 AM
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The area is basically south, south east, sun from about noon through rest of day. I don't need help with selection of plants but actual physical design to ensure that drainage is still maintained away from brick wall. There is french drain at the actual footing... 8 feet below... even with slope in this sandy soil, water seems to go straight down ... so do you do something else besides slope to ensure good drainage especially when a garden is planted next to a house like this??
 
  #4  
Old 07-05-14, 11:43 AM
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It sounds like drainage is not really a problem. Holding moisture for the plants could be the issue. Coastal NC has sandy soil where water tends to drain or disappear straight down. Plants can do very well but the fast draining soil can be tough on some plants during summer and dry periods. You can either excavate a couple feet and bring in proper topsoil that will trap some water, water as needed or try some combination in between. My parents garden on a barrier island is almost hydroponic. They amend the planting hole but because of the rapid drainage they have to water often.

In your case I'd probably start by amending the bed somewhat to help hold moisture but not to the extent of removing your current sand(?) and replacing it with topsoil. Maybe a 15-25% addition of organic material. You can also help by leaving a foot of your well draining sand/soil next to the house undisturbed and start your amended bed beyond that. All of that will take care of 95% of the rains and water. Then do surface grading to handle the torrential rain that comes once a year.
 
  #5  
Old 07-06-14, 06:25 AM
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Thanks for your help, I will definately have to improve the soil for my plants, there can be a bit of water coming off of the small roof in one particular location next to the window ... it can pool a bit with heavy rain and then drains through. When they recommend that you have appropriate slope away from your house to ensure good drainage I guess that was my concern .. how do I ensure good drainage away from the house if I am planting there and obviously going to be giving the area more water than what it normally gets? How do I ensure that water never affects my basement? I didn't know if people were putting some type of membrane/product down below their planned garden and this product would slope away from the house?? after penetrating through your garden? ... and then your basement walls are exposed to less of this excess water? Maybe this is a non issue and I am overthinking it. If I do as you mention with the soil, I can go another 4 inchs up the foundation wall which would give me some slope to the left, the driveway slopes toward the house ... that grassy mess is coming out .. if I put a perforated pipe from the corner of the garage and out at a slope .. it slopes that way anyways .. gravel on top ... make my bed as you mentioned, capped off with a cedar mulch ... all of it sloping a bit from the house ... would that be adequate? maybe the drain would be useless because everything goes down anyways..?
 
  #6  
Old 07-06-14, 11:33 AM
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In general I think your over thinking it. Your house appears relatively new so it probably has the basement wall waterproofed on the outside with a weeping tile system along the bottom to take water away before it can get into the basement. I would do what you can to slope the ground down and away from the house and get the water as far away as possible before you run into a elevation problem with the driveway. I imagine you'll have a shallow ditch between the house and driveway. Hopefully the land in front is lower so you can pitch the ditch down to carry the water away.

I would resist the urge to build up the ground any closer to the house. I like to have masonry at least 4" above grade and the more the better. Backsplash from rain can wick up under siding from the bottom and having the ground built up higher just makes it worse. It also increases the risk from insects.
 
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