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Old 07-10-2019, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
2,276 posts, read 4,669,793 times
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I am trying to grow my lawn up to the front of my house but it seems there is always a "space" where grass won't grow about 3 - 8" from the foundation. I'm guessing it is because of the heat radiating from the foundation (it gets a lot of sun) and/or the low windows. Is there any way to solve this? I don't want any plants there. Thanks.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,819 posts, read 4,491,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoisjongalt View Post
I am trying to grow my lawn up to the front of my house but it seems there is always a "space" where grass won't grow about 3 - 8" from the foundation. I'm guessing it is because of the heat radiating from the foundation (it gets a lot of sun) and/or the low windows. Is there any way to solve this? I don't want any plants there. Thanks.

Try digging in the ground next to the house. The cement for the foundation is probably there, leaving little depth for grass to grow. Personally, I wouldn't do it, as you will have to use a weed eater to clean up what the mower doesn't get.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
2,276 posts, read 4,669,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don6170 View Post
Try digging in the ground next to the house. The cement for the foundation is probably there, leaving little depth for grass to grow. Personally, I wouldn't do it, as you will have to use a weed eater to clean up what the mower doesn't get.
Thanks. I tried that when I planted the grass. I thought of painting the foundation light grey (it's charcoal now) so that it wouldn't get as hot but I don't know if that would make much difference.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:04 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
29,826 posts, read 65,508,366 times
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I like keeping a GRAVEL border around the house (18-24" out).
The beds for the foundation shrubs start from there.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:11 AM
 
12,025 posts, read 17,055,586 times
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I don't think it's a good idea to have vegetation butted against concrete. It is moisture retaining agent. What MrRational says is about the best idea. Or a flowerbed with large chunky bark or mulch. Like playchips.
Otherwise, I'd safely presume, concrete is oozing out some chemicals that grass does not like. It's not granit, it's porous material slowly deteriorating over time. At least calcium is oozing out.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:12 AM
 
12,025 posts, read 17,055,586 times
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Oh, idea. If you just have to have green against foundation. Buy fake grass and cut it into strips of your choice width. Lay them against foundation. Green it will be.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:49 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,649 posts, read 7,407,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoisjongalt View Post
I am trying to grow my lawn up to the front of my house but it seems there is always a "space" where grass won't grow about 3 - 8" from the foundation. I'm guessing it is because of the heat radiating from the foundation (it gets a lot of sun) and/or the low windows. Is there any way to solve this? I don't want any plants there. Thanks.

The roots of any vegetation that is planted very close to an exterior wall are never going to get as much water as the roots that are 12 inches or more away from the wall, so that lack of moisture is part of the problem with your grass. Additionally, the foundation concrete can contain chemicals or minerals that leach out of the concrete into the soil - compounds such as lime, calcium, sodium and potassium hydroxides or carbonates, bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates of calcium and magnesium ..... and possibly other things that you don't know about ...... all leaching out of the concrete. Plant roots don't do well in that kind of soil environment.

There's nothing you can do about that, so the way to solve it is do NOT try to grow grass or landscaping plants that would come right up to the walls, otherwise you'll have an ongoing battle on your hands. Some kinds of tough, invasive weeds may survive those conditions but that's about it and that's not what you want.

My suggestion would be to have a narrow 8" border of either rocks or bark mulch that goes along all the exterior walls and have your grass or other plants growing up to the outside edge of that border. A side benefit is that having a narrow border like that will make it easier on you for doing maintenance on or near the walls, there will be better, unimpeded air circulation around the walls and that will help keep the walls of the house cleaner and less susceptible to rot and staining, and you won't get a lot of insects taking shelter against your walls.

.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Central IL
16,321 posts, read 9,606,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
I don't think it's a good idea to have vegetation butted against concrete. It is moisture retaining agent. What MrRational says is about the best idea. Or a flowerbed with large chunky bark or mulch. Like playchips.
Otherwise, I'd safely presume, concrete is oozing out some chemicals that grass does not like. It's not granit, it's porous material slowly deteriorating over time. At least calcium is oozing out.
Agree - most plants or even grass don't thrive because that area is INTENTIONALLY kept dry to protect the foundation. You don't want it to be moist. If you must, have extra wide beds for shrubs/flowers but have the actual plants at least a couple feet away from the foundation. Don't use plants that will require a lot of extra water - you don't want to be watering the foundation constantly.
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:58 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 986,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
I like keeping a GRAVEL border around the house (18-24" out).
The beds for the foundation shrubs start from there.

This is such good advice. I'm a huge proponent of having AT LEAST two feet of some kind of hardscape (either pavers or rock/gravel/stone mulch; Timberlite is great if the colors work) extending out from the foundation before any planting starts. (I say hardscape because if you've ever had to deal with artillery fungus from decomposing wood mulch, you will never EVER want mulch like that anywhere near your house again.)

A 30" to 36" wide strip is even better. Not only will the 'hardscape band' keep your house siding healthier by allowing air circulation (which will also help whatever plants you put in front of it) but it will also:

* discourage mice and other rodentious critters from hanging out near, and possibly finding entry points into, your house .... especially if you have a basement or crawlspace. Mice and rats don't like to cross open spaces but they just looove those dense foundation plantings.

* give you a clear access path to weed, prune, feed, etc both the front and back of your foundation planting

* make it easier for you to spot any new or developing problems/damage/isses with the siding or foundation

* make it easier to clean the windows and/or to paint the siding if that's the kind you have

Last edited by BBCjunkie; 07-12-2019 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:05 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 986,368 times
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I always shake my head when I see hydrangeas planted smackdab next to a house foundation... and the owners complain that they "have to use so much Miracid to get the flowers to be blue."

Hello? Maybe if you hadn't planted an acid-loving shrub right next to an area that is continually leaching lime and other calcareous minerals into the surrounding soil, getting the soil pH correct might not be so much of a struggle?

Even worse is when they plant the hydrangea in front of a west or south facing foundation wall.... and then wonder why it wilts every afternoon for three or four months out of the year unless it gets once or twice daily watering....

Sorry, off my Foundation Planting Soapbox now, LOL
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