How To Build A Raised Garden Next To Your House Foundation

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A raised garden bed is one of the easiest ways to grow plants. You won’t need to bend down and pick out the weeds. Plus, you won’t need to worry about soil compaction. But you’ll still need to pick the right place for your raised garden bed. This raises an important question. Can you put it next to your house?

You need to leave at least four inches of space between the garden bed and your house foundation. This makes sure that it’s draining properly. You’ll also want to avoid putting any large trees or shrubs too close to the house.

As long as you follow a few simple guidelines, you shouldn’t have any problems with your raised garden bed. Read on to find out how the best way to set up a raised garden bed.

Building the Best Raised Garden Bed

Putting a garden bed next to your house will certainly be convenient. But many people are hesitant to try this option. They are concerned that they risk damaging their home. The good news is that this shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll just need to make sure that you are planning in advance. Some of the things to consider are;

  • Where you put the raised garden bed
  • How big it is
  • Materials
  • How you are draining the water

Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements, so you’ll be able to plan out the perfect garden bed.

Where is the Best Place to Put a Raised Garden Bed?

The biggest issues are often caused by the placement of the garden bed. First, you’ll want to make sure that you are leaving at least four inches of space between the garden bed and the house. This should help prevent a lot of drainage issues.

You’ll also need to consider how the placement of the garden bed will affect the plants. For example, how much shade will the house cast on the garden?  Consider any other obstacles that might affect the planter. Pet animals can sometimes cause havoc in the garden.

Usually, it’s best to put the garden bed on the south side of the house. This area will usually get the most sunlight. If you can’t put it in the south, east and west are also good choices. It’s important to take your time considering the placement options. This will often have the biggest impact on how your garden will grow.


Another essential element to consider is how large the garden bed will be. This will usually depend on two factors. First, you’ll need to think about the amount of space you have available. Too big and you might block the walkways. Secondly, you’ll need to think about the type of plants you want to grow.


The material you are using to build your raised garden bed will determine how effective it will be at containing the soil and water. You don’t want something that will spring a leak and start sending water into your home foundation. The good news is that there are plenty of materials you can use. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Galvanized steel
  • Treated cedar
  • Treated pine


This is the most important factor to consider when designing your raised garden bed. A lack of drainage can cause serious problems. One of the most substantial is the risk of mold and fungus getting into your home.  Over time, this can lead to structural problems.

The solution is to build drainage into your raised garden bed. There are a few ways that you can do this.  First, you’ll want to make sure that you have put drainage holes into the planter. You’ll want to space these out, with one hole every six inches. Make sure that these holes are facing away from your house.

If possible, you should try to put the raised garden bed in an area of the home that has a natural slope. This will encourage the water to run off away from the house. If there isn’t a natural slope, you might need to add some topsoil to change the topography. As you do this, you should be mindful of how adding new elements could affect the landscape. You don’t want a new path to become a place for water to pool.

You can also use a rain gutter between the garden bed and the house. This will catch any excess water. Though it is a small step, it can make a huge difference, protecting the foundations of your home.

Lastly, you should put a layer of gravel on the bottom of the raised garden bed. This will help break up the soil, even as it gets compacted. This will stop water from getting trapped in the soil, allowing it to drain away naturally. Often, you’ll need two to three inches of gravel at the bottom of the garden bed. Make sure that it is spread evenly. You can top this with a layer of crushed gravel.

Adding Plants to Your Raised Garden Bed

Once you have made the raised garden bed, there is only one thing to do. Add the plants. There are a few simple tips to make this process as successful as possible.

  • Pick the right plant species to suit the local climate. Consider the placement of the garden bed and the amount of sun it gets.
  • Don’t overcrowd them. The plant species will determine how close they can be.
  • Give them the right mix of nutrients
  • Check the best time of the year to plant them
  • Once you have put the plants in the raised garden bed, you’ll need to water them in well

Plants to Avoid Near Your House Foundation

Often, you won’t need to worry about what plants you are putting near your home foundation. Flower and vegetable roots won’t go deep enough to cause any serious damage. However, that doesn’t mean that you can plant anything. It’s best to avoid trees and shrubs.

The biggest problem with these plants is the root system. They will seek nutrients in the soil. In some cases, this can cause them to get into the water pipes beneath your home. As you can imagine, this can cause serious problems. They will be very difficult and expensive to fix, costing thousands.

Another danger is based on how high these plants can grow. This can lead to debris like leaves and branches ending up in your gutters. Too close to the house, and they will scrape on the windows and walls. The most serious issues come when these plants die. There is a risk that they will damage the roof.

How far away the tree should be can be calculated based on its expected height at maturity. You’ll need to keep around one to 1.5 times maturity height. For example, imagine that the tree will grow to 5 meters tall. In this case, it should be around 5 meters away. If you are in doubt, consult with a local arborist or nursery owner.

Before planting anything, check the overhead powerlines and any other obstacles.  

Final Thoughts

There are a few things to check before you install a raised garden bed. You’ll need to make sure that it’s at least four inches away and has adequate drainage. As long as you are doing this, you shouldn’t run into any problems. Though you’ll need to check the type of plants you are installing. You want to make sure that you pick species that will be able to cope with the increased amount of shade they will be receiving.