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Old 05-10-2020, 05:01 PM   #1
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Lansacape around house


So I would like to excavate and landscape around the front of the house. I have attached a picture.

Any ideas how deep I need to excavate? And what type of soil should I use to fill this? and How much should I slope it?
And final question, should I attempt this by hand (have time in my hand these days)
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:45 PM   #2
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Re: Lansacape around house


Not a gardener but if you want to start anew, rip out the woody stuff, Roundup the green stuff. If the soil is decent, you should be able to do it with a rototiller. If you till up a lot of roots, rake them out as you go - sometimes ground cover can re-start from fragments. Hard to recommend on soil since we don't know what you have. Heavy clay can be broken up with sand, some more topsoil, compost.
There should be slight drainage away from the house if the lot allows it. Certainly not towards. You might want to think about a patio stone or something for your a/c.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:46 AM   #3
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Re: Lansacape around house


I'm with lenaitch. Take out shrub(s) and ivy. Wait a couple of weeks and Roundup area. Cover with heavy duty landscape cloth and find someone to help you lay down patio stone, pavers, decomposed granite, bark or whatever seems OK.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:00 AM   #4
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Re: Lansacape around house


@CanadianSal , nice to meet you!

In general I heartily concur with @lenaitch and @Cedrus about soil fixing, except about adding sand to clay to break it up.

Don't. It can end up being this nasty liquid sandstone. (Once was more than enough.) Use lots of compost or other organics instead.

What, exactly, do you want to do? What's the look you're after? Maybe send a picture? Also where in Canada are you (I assume by your name that's where you are)?

Though I'm in California now, I used to live in Northern Ohio, just across Lake Erie, so I know the climate only too well . . . .
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:18 PM   #5
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Re: Lansacape around house


I am in Cambridge, Ontario. Something like this might be better:
https://s3.wasabisys.com/ceburattan/...000-x-2340.jpg
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:24 PM   #6
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Re: Lansacape around house


Nice picture!

That helps a lot.

I re-state my concurrences and add that if you can, you want to dig nice and deep, at least a foot. Break up the soil well and mix in plenty of well-rotted organic material. You can purchase compost, etc., but you can also use decayed leaves, etc., scavenged from the woods, or mix in grass clippings. Soil is the foundation of your garden and if you take the time to prep it properly, it will be much the better in the long run.

There's lots of pretty plants you can use; you have almost the same climate as we did back in Cleveland, maybe a wee bit colder in the winter.
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:06 PM   #7
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Re: Lansacape around house


Thanks - do I dig right up to the foundation wall? What do I need to consider about drainage if I do dig down 1 foot?
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re: Lansacape around house


In my opinion, if you are going for the look in the picture, I would only worry about good quality soil around the bushes - perhaps a couple of feet wide and a foot deep. I also wouldn't worry about the soil right up against the house unless you are planning to plant there. As far as drainage, unless you are on hard clay (don't know about the Cambridge area), unless you have a drainage problem with your current garden I wouldn't overly worry about it. You're not likely to make it worse.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:46 AM   #9
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Re: Lansacape around house


@lenaitch raises a good point. I concur. You DON'T want to plant too close to the house; you want to have room back there to paint, etc., later on. This is particularly helpful if you fall in love with, say, roses.

I also agree as to the drainage; unless you've had pools of water collecting there in the past. (In Cleveland parts of the old family yard did become ponds after it rained.)
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:09 PM   #10
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Re: Lansacape around house


Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianSal View Post
I am in Cambridge, Ontario. Something like this might be better:
https://s3.wasabisys.com/ceburattan/...000-x-2340.jpg

What is that tree and what are the flowers?


Very nicely arranged.
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