Should You Place Raised Garden Beds Next to Your House? Things to Consider

Raised garden beds are a great way to grow flowers, herbs, vegetables and other plants, especially if you have limited yard space. But is it okay to install raised beds right up against the house? Or is some space better? Here are things to think about when deciding where to best locate your raised garden bed.

Potential Issues with Raised Beds Next to Houses

Putting raised beds too close to the outside of the house could lead to a few issues:

  • Moisture damage – Soil up against siding or wood walls can transfer moisture and lead to rot, mold or insect damage over time.

  • Rats, mice, and other pests can get into your walls or foundation more easily if the soil is touching it.

  • Weed growth – Narrow gaps between the bed and house can become packed with weeds that are difficult to remove

  • Drainage problems – Water runoff from the raised bed should drain away from the house not pool near the foundation.

  • Difficult maintenance – It’s tough to paint, repair siding, or perform other exterior maintenance with a raised bed in the way.

  • Blocked access – Beds right against windows or doors obstruct emergency or utility access.

So in general, it’s best to leave some space between a raised garden bed and your home’s exterior walls. But what’s the right distance?

Recommended Clearance Between Raised Beds and Houses

Many experts recommend maintaining at least 6 inches of space between a raised garden bed and your home’s siding. A gap of 1 foot or more is even better.

This leaves room to:

  • Allow air circulation and drying to prevent moisture damage.

  • Reduce chances of pests entering through gaps.

  • Access for weeding, trimming and other tasks.

  • Keep soil and mulch from touching siding.

  • Ensure water drains away from the foundation.

  • Perform exterior maintenance like painting.

  • Prevent damage if soils settle over time.

If you already have an existing raised bed right against the house, try pulling it away from the wall at least a few inches. Or you can install a physical moisture barrier between the bed and siding.

Barriers to Install if Raised Bed is Next to House

For beds that must abut the house, installing an impermeable barrier can help protect siding:

  • Use sheet metal or vinyl to create a waterproof shield between bed and wall.

  • Attach roofing paper on the wall as a moisture barrier.

  • Line the bed with rigid plastic or landscape fabric pinned tightly to the house.

  • Create a gravel strip at least 6 inches wide between bed and house.

  • Install gutter downspout extensions to carry roof runoff well away from the bed area.

  • Seal any gaps or openings with exterior caulk to keep pests out.

Even with these precautions, minimizing direct soil contact is wise to avoid potential foundation or structural issues long-term.

Ideal Locations for Raised Garden Beds

The very best spots for raised garden beds are:

  • In open lawn or garden areas, with good drainage and air flow.

  • Against fences or freestanding walls, keeping beds 6 inches away.

  • On patios, decking or gravel, with no direct soil contact on the house.

  • With a concrete path between the bed and any house walls.

  • Over a slope, where drainage flows away from the foundation.

  • Under small roof overhangs to allow bed access but prevent direct rain contact.

  • On the sunny side of the house for best light exposure.

  • Near hose bibs for easy water access.

Tips for Constructing Raised Beds Near Houses

If you do end up installing a raised bed close to your home’s exterior:

  • Select rot-resistant wood like cedar or redwood, or use plastic, composite, metal or masonry beds.

  • Elevate beds on bricks or blocks to prevent direct soil contact.

  • Make sure any wood framing has been pressure treated if using lumber.

  • Line beds with landscape fabric to reduce moisture penetration.

  • Angle any nearby downspouts to direct rainwater well away from the bed.

  • Create a gravel perimeter for drainage and separation.

  • Ensure the surrounding ground slopes away from your home’s foundation.

  • Use drip irrigation instead of overhead watering to minimize moisture.

  • Add a layer of gravel in the bottom of the bed for drainage.

  • Check for cracks or holes in exterior walls that need sealing.

Watch for Problems with Existing Raised Beds by Houses

Keep an eye out for any issues if you already have raised beds right against your home:

  • Pest entry – Inspect for signs like chew marks or droppings around joints. Seal any gaps.

  • Moisture damage – Look for softened, blackened or peeling paint or siding. Improve drainage.

  • Rotting wood – Check frames for cracks, decay or sagging. Replace damaged lumber.

  • Weeds – Pull out any weeds growing in gaps between bed and house. Mulch well.

  • Soil contact – Ensure soil level stays an inch below siding. Prevent backfill buildup.

  • Drainage – Confirm no puddling near the foundation. Slope beds and surrounding ground away.

  • Plant overgrowth – Trim any plants touching siding to allow air circulation.

Addressing any issues promptly can help avoid more severe moisture or pest damage. In some cases, relocating beds farther from the house may be needed.

Maximizing Your Raised Bed While Protecting Your Home

With smart planning and care, you can install raised garden beds that boost your yard’s beauty without compromising your home’s integrity. Follow best practices for placement, drainage and construction. And do periodic checks to keep your house safely separated from the soils nourishing your plants.

9 Beginner Raised Bed Garden Mistakes to Avoid


Can I put a raised bed against my house?

In addition to setting a raised garden bed along the fence line, you can also set it on the house, driveway or front yard.

Should you have garden beds next to a house?

Garden beds can spell trouble A little thought should go into it before just deciding to make every available spot a new garden. We advise our customers to keep garden beds well away from the house and especially external walls. My advice would be to have garden beds around fence lines rather than close to the home.

Can you plant a vegetable garden next to your house?

Your garden will need to receive six or more direct sunlight hours per day, all year. Really though, you’re aiming for as much sun as possible. Ideally, you’ll position your garden on the south side of any tall structures, such as homes, garages, tall sheds, and fences.

Should you build a raised planting bed?

By building a raised planting bed, you can set up your seedlings with a loamy home as fecund as the Fertile Crescent. Surrounded by timbers and filled with rich soil, the raised bed lets you customize your plants’ nutrients and moisture. It also brings the garden to the gardener, allowing you to easily maintain your plants without stooping.

How to build a raised garden against your house?

The following steps must be followed to build a raised garden against your house: 1. Dig down into the soil Deeply dig the ground (almost 10-20 inches deep) for the construction of a bed. Compact the surface soil with the help of a heavy log and level the surface using a level meter for good drainage.

What is a raised garden bed?

A raised garden bed is precisely what the name suggests – a raised garden is a method of growing plants higher than the ground. Where soil is enclosed in freestanding box or frame built with wood, but cinder boxes and metal are options as well. They allow gardeners to place soil aboveground and plant their crops there.

How do you build a raised bed?

There are several ways to put together a raised bed. Here is one of the simplest methods. To build one garden bed that measures eight feet long, four feet wide, and six inches deep, here is what you need. Cut one 2x6x8 in half, making two four-foot sections. If you don’t have a saw at home, then ask the lumber company to cut it for you.

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