Importance of Proper Landscaping Around Your HomeHaving a well-landscaped yard is not only visually appealing, but it is also important for the safety and functionality of your home. Proper landscaping can prevent soil erosion, protect your home’s foundation, and increase the value of your property. One aspect of landscaping that is often overlooked is the proper pitching of the ground away from your home. This not only helps with drainage but also reduces the risk of water damage and flooding in your basement.
Understanding the Risks of Soil Gradually Moving Around Your HomeWhen the soil around your home slopes towards the foundation, it can cause water to pool and seep into the basement. This can lead to mold growth and other water damage issues, which can be costly to repair. On the other hand, if the ground slopes away from your home too steeply, it can lead to soil erosion and make it difficult for plants to grow.
How to Determine the Slope of Your Yard Away from Your HouseBefore you start any landscaping, it is important to determine the slope of your yard away from your house. You can do this by using a builder’s level or a simple string level. Place the level at the highest point of your yard, typically near the foundation of your home, and mark it. Then move to the lowest point of your yard, typically near the edge of your property, and measure the difference in height. The ground should drop by one inch for each foot you take away from your home within the first 5-10 feet around your home.
Steps for Pitching Landscaping Away from Your HouseOnce you have determined the slope of your yard, you can start pitching your landscaping away from your home. Here are some steps to follow: 1. Remove any excess soil: If the ground around your home is too high, you will need to remove some of the soil to create a slope away from your house. 2. Use topsoil to create a gradual slope: Use topsoil to build a gradual slope away from your home. It is recommended to slope the ground by one inch per foot for the first 5-10 feet around your home. 3. Create a swale: If your yard is sloped, you may want to create a swale to direct water away from your home. A swale is a low-lying area with gently sloping sides that collects water and directs it away from your home.
Choosing the Right Plants for Sloped LandscapingWhen landscaping a sloped yard, it is important to choose plants that are well-suited for the environment. Here are some plants that work well on a sloped landscape:
- Groundcovers: Groundcovers like creeping phlox and sedum can help stabilize the soil on a sloped landscape.
- Grasses: Ornamental grasses like blue oat grass and feather reed grass can add texture to a sloped landscape while helping to prevent soil erosion.
- Perennials: Perennials like coneflowers and black-eyed Susans are hardy plants that can add color and attract pollinators to your yard.
Maintaining Proper Drainage to Prevent Soil ErosionIn addition to proper pitching, it is important to maintain proper drainage to prevent soil erosion. Here are some tips for maintaining proper drainage:
- Install downspout extensions: Downspout extensions can help direct water away from your home’s foundation.
- Add mulch: Mulch can help prevent soil erosion by stabilizing the soil and absorbing excess moisture.
- Plant trees and shrubs: Trees and shrubs can help absorb excess water and prevent soil erosion.
Common Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid around Your HomeWhen it comes to landscaping around your home, there are some common mistakes that homeowners make. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
- Planting too close to your home: Planting too close to your home can lead to water damage and pests.
- Not maintaining proper drainage: Not maintaining proper drainage can lead to soil erosion and water damage in your basement.
- Using too much topsoil: Using too much topsoil can lead to an unstable slope and make it difficult for plants to grow.