Mulching Foundation Shrubs ?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by zooba72, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. zooba72

    zooba72 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Hello - I'm hoping someone can provide some input on the following questions.

    I want to mulch the flower/shrub beds that extend from my foundation. I'm concerned about attracting wood destroying pests. Can someone provide a recommendation regarding the type of mulch that should be used? I've been using wood chips in other areas of the yard, but am concerned about spreading them anywhere near the foundation.

    Second question (sorry) ... In these beds I found black plastic that was probably used for weed control. The stuff is buried like 9 inches down. Should I get rid of this stuff? The weeds/ivy have found a home above it anyway.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. RidgeRun10

    RidgeRun10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    There are a couple variables here. Do you have an issue currently on your property with wood destroying insects, such as termites? If so, gravel or river rock might be a better option. Also, if you have irrigation, is it pop up / rotary type sprinklers or surface drip irrigation? Drip irrigation reduces the amount of mulch that gets wet to a very limited area. Some wood destroying critters (like carpenter ants) love wet wood.

    As for the plastic, if it was me personally, I would remove it. Plastic (unlike a weed fabric) doesn't allow for drainage. If you have any drainage issues now or in the future, you'll wish you didn't have that plastic there. :usflag:
  3. zooba72

    zooba72 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Thanks for the response ... I would prefer not to use to rocks as I did this in my previous house and it's pain to get out once it's down. I was actually leaning towards cedar chips, or something like that and not putting it up against the foundation. I was going to leave an 18" buffer between the chips and the concrete. As of right now, I do not have any automated irrigation. That will be coming later .... This house has had some history of carpenter ants / termites.
  4. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,105

    When we moved into our home about 20 years ago, I put down black lava rock in the 4'x15' space between the house and the sidewalk. There are 3 small shrubs planted in this area as well. It looks almost the same as it did when I installed it.

    I use black mulch in the beds away from the house. They need new mulch yearly.

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