Ask a Question forum: Tiered garden

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Cincinnati, Ohio
Oddmouse
Jul 10, 2017 5:59 PM CST
Good Evening (Im In EST time zone) everyone,

I’m building a tiered garden that will hopefully be beautiful and everything.
I come to this forum tonight because of my shear inexperience. I currently have some bricks stacked and mud stacked that was going to be filler for the good dirt. I just learned that I’ll need to have drainage and the like for this garden.
The garden will be right up against the brick of my house and foundation. The house is a slab foundation so I don’t have to worry about a basement but the garden will be about 4-5 feet tall when all said and done with dirt that I will be adding water to.

So, I’ll be tearing everything down soon and moving all the dirt that I have currently to be replaced with gravel to start the process of creating drainage.

So on to my questions:
1. I was wondering if I can add a pipe that either pre-drilled or drill the holes myself, to the dirt/gravel mixture to better the drainage?
2.What’s the best gravel that I can use for this?
3.Do the size of the stones matter? Bigger or smaller?
4.How deep does the gravel need to be for proper drainage?
5.?
I’m the Mideast(southwestern Ohio to be exact) so in the winter, snow and ice/freeze will be an issue in time
Do you have any further suggestions for me?
I’m inexperienced, please assume nothing.

Thanks for reading my novel of a post

Thumb of 2017-07-10/Oddmouse/2b4992
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jul 10, 2017 6:59 PM CST
Putting dirt against house. Very bad ideal. Brick is pourous. It will sweat water through. Mold and water damage on other side.

Gravel on bottom, is bad.

If you have bad drainage problem. Perforated pipe at bottom is good, draining out of bed.

For well draining soil. I would use equal parts bedding soil to washed sand/gravel.
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Oddmouse
Jul 13, 2017 10:15 AM CST
Bump
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 13, 2017 10:39 AM CST
When I first read this post, like Phillip, I thought it was a bad idea.

They ALWAYS tell us to make certain that water drains away from the house.

Can't imagine how many problems your bed would be letting you in for.

Google extension service, and call or go down, and see if anyone there can convince you to do something else.

Personally, I would toss back the soil that you've removed.

I would use the bricks on a different project.

While you can plant vegetables or flowers next to the house... Building a raised bed there is definitely out.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 13, 2017 12:04 PM CST
Sorry if this is not the answer you are looking for but I have to agree with @Philipwonel and @stone.

Building a garden up against the bricks of your house is a super bad idea. Use the bricks to create your garden away from the house, somewhere that it will not undermine the integrity of your home.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 13, 2017 3:01 PM CST
I also agree about not making the raised bed against the house -- but those bricks would certainly make a nice garden bed elsewhere! I would also consider making the garden bed something less than '4 to 5 feet tall.' Just a couple of feet high would give you a nicely raised area for planting, and the drainage logistics should be much simpler.

You would probably also want to dig down (past the frost line? I'm not sure about that) and make a sand base for the bricks, to prevent the freezing/thawing from heaving them up and causing them to topple -- and if you are determined to go to the 4- to 5-foot height, that becomes even more important, and you will need to somehow hold the tiers of bricks together; I believe this is more complicated than just using mortar, but I'm not experienced at constructing that sort of brick wall.

Best of luck with your project -- I'd love to see photos of what you create! Smiling
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Oddmouse
Jul 13, 2017 3:41 PM CST
Well thanks everyone. I wish it was better news but can't win them all.

Guess I'll build a smaller garden that's about 2 bricks high that wraps around that section of the house
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 13, 2017 4:14 PM CST
Oddmouse -- speaking from experience, it's a lot better to ask the questions and find out you need to change your plan FIRST... I have a tendency to jump into projects then try to figure out what went wrong later, I'm afraid Rolling my eyes.
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Oddmouse
Jul 13, 2017 6:45 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:Oddmouse -- speaking from experience, it's a lot better to ask the questions and find out you need to change your plan FIRST... I have a tendency to jump into projects then try to figure out what went wrong later, I'm afraid Rolling my eyes.


Thanks. I'm pretty sure I'll be scrapping the project and repurposing the bricks.

I'll have to figure what the heck I'll be doing with all that dirt as it came out of an already built and functioning garden.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Jul 13, 2017 8:12 PM CST
Is a berm of any interest to you?
Cincinnati, Ohio
Oddmouse
Jul 13, 2017 8:44 PM CST
pirl said:Is a berm of any interest to you?


A what?
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Jul 14, 2017 8:08 AM CST
Generally a raised area within a lawn for planting: (for all the soil you want to use)
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