When adding or updating landscaping to your home, here are some important tips to help ensure your new garden doesn’t negatively impact your foundation.
Keep shrubbery and flower beds well mulched - keep foundation plantings (shrubbery and flower beds) well mulched. This will help retain consistent moisture near and under the foundation.
Slope beds away from home - foundation beds should follow the original grade of site, sloping away from the house. never slope beds toward the house.
Don’t plant adjacent to the foundation - do not plant immediately adjacent to the foundation. Plants should be installed at least as far away from the foundation as their mature width. Example: dwarf yaupon holly’s mature width is approximately 3 – 4 feet. Therefore, the plants should be installed at least 3 feet from the house foundation.
Don’t cover the foundation with beds - landscape bed elevation should be 3 – 4 inches below the top of the foundation.
Don’t cover weep holes - be sure beds never cover weep holes
Keep trees well watered - keep trees sufficiently watered. even during times of water rationing trees can be kept well watered without violating restrictions. Water should be applied with long slow applications. this encourages deeper root growth than frequent light applications of water.
Plant trees a proper distance away from home - plant trees a proper distance from the foundation. This means trees should be planted no closer than 1/2 their canopy width at maturity.
Assess potential danger of existing trees - consider removing existing trees that are planted too close (less than 10 -20 feet depending on the variety’s mature canopy) to the foundation. If removal is not an option consider root pruning and installation of a root barrier to prevent foundation damage from tree roots. There is an exception to this tip — In areas where there are expansive soils and when the tree is older than the house, or recent additions to the house, removal of a tree may cause a void under the foundation as the roots die. Consult a qualified arborist for recommendations.