soil buildup, mix, for plant beds

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-23-02, 10:32 AM
ak_homeowner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
soil buildup, mix, for plant beds

Hello all,

I am trying to build up a garden bed for plants on a side of my house. I have removed the grass there. The ground is super hard, almost like cement, so it is hard to dig up. I was wondering how I should build up the soil there. Besides putting on topsoil, I have heard that mixing the soil with mulch is a good thing. But I read in this forum that mulch against the side of a house is not good due to the bugs. I have heard putting newspaper down, and someone said I could throw my ground up charcoal from my grill into the mix (don't know about that one). Any suggestions? I live in Maryland for what it is worth. Thanks in advance.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-23-02, 02:24 PM
fewalt's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100
ak_homeowner,
As you mentioned, you don't want any soil or mulch against your house siding.

I've used a tiller for house beds and actually removed all the clay soil used as back-fill by the (every) builder. And buying topsoil is even risky, unless it's shredded/sifted. Rent or borrow a tiller, and "Call Before You Dig". You don't want to cut your cable or something worse.
I'd buy bagged topsoil/humus at a buck a bag to replace the junk in your beds. Your plants will appreciate your efforts.
fred
 
  #3  
Old 05-23-02, 07:54 PM
ak_homeowner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks fewalt. What about mixing up mulch with the topsoil, and laying down newspaper? I heard newspaper was a good thing, but I was wondering how long it takes to break down. We would like to plant in the fall.
 
  #4  
Old 05-24-02, 03:49 AM
fewalt's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100
ak_homeowner,
Mixing a little shredded mulch with the soil would be okay. Most of the mulch will break down in about a year. Six or seven layers of newspaper will prevent most weeds, however if you place soil on top, the soil will probably contain weed seeds. Newspaper or roofing felt is good under just a mulch where you already have plantings. You can always dig through either to plant later. At this time you should prepare the soil, by removing some clay and improving the soil. You can keep any weeds at bay by spraying with roundup. Best to make some plantings now, as in the fall you will be limiting your selections on both shrubs and most flowers. A few shrubs now and mums later this summer would be a good start.
Oh, your ashes spread over the length of a bed is alright a couple times a year. It will help raise the Ph a bit to counteract alot of humus/mulch.
Good luck,
fred
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-02, 12:29 PM
ak_homeowner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks for your responses Fred, you sound like you know your soil! Have a nice holiday weekend.
 
  #6  
Old 05-25-02, 10:10 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 457
fewalt, you said "As you mentioned, you don't want any soil or mulch against your house siding. "

I, too, have heard someone say that they were told not to use wood mulch in their beds against the house.

I don't understand - I've used cypress mulch for years in all my beds, and never had any bug problems. And the foundaton is brick, so I really don't see the problem.

Your statement really confused me - no soil against the house "siding"? Why would anyone have a bed that high? Is that really what the poster was asking?? Maybe that is what you are trying to say - DON'T create a bed higher than the foundation...?? Sorry - I just found your response to be terribly confusing. Hope you don't mind clarifying.
 
  #7  
Old 05-26-02, 04:51 AM
fewalt's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100
yardnut,
It's reallly not confusing at all. SIDING and FOUNDATION are two different thngs. If the siding, whether wood, aluminum, or vinyl comes down to nearly ground level, you do not want any dirt or mulch against it. Against a concrete, brick, or block foundation is okay, just not against the siding itself. It's common sense.

So, if Ak-homeowner wants to build up a bed there are precautions to take. And bugs aren't the only problem. I've also seen more than one house or building catch fire because the mulch helped fuel the fire.

I trust this helped clarify.
fred
 
  #8  
Old 05-26-02, 06:37 AM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 457
Yes it did. I agree - should be common sense as well, and thanks for taking the time to explain futher. I feel better about my mulch now!
 
  #9  
Old 05-26-02, 07:05 AM
fewalt's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100
Hey, Just noticed. You over in Tidewater area??
 
  #10  
Old 05-28-02, 05:32 AM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 457
Yes - I'm in Chesapeake. Beautiful weekend, huh?
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'