Should You Place a Garden Bed Against a Brick Wall?
Have you imagined enjoying your meal with your friends and special someone in your garden? Isn’t it relaxing how different plants and flowers bloom next to your wall?
Placing a garden bed against a brick wall is a great idea for aesthetic purposes and maximizing the green space. However, it is not good if the brick is not facing east and when the garden bed does not have a proper drainage system.
You might be wondering putting a garden bed against your wall is good or bad. Let us continue reading to know the reasons when you should do it and when you should not.
Place a Garden Bed Against Your Wall (2 Reasons)
There are two reasons to place a garden bed against your wall 1) save space and resources, and 2) aesthetic purpose.
1. Save Space and Resources
Making a garden bed can help you save space and avoid clutter such as pots, plant racks that, if in large number, make the garden unpleasant. Less is more and having a few large units (such a garden bed) will definitely improve any green area you have available.
2. Aesthetic Purpose
Garden beds against your brick wall will add beauty to your garden. Apart from saving space, your garden will look elegant. It will provide you a place to relax, especially when you have an outdoor table and chair receive in your garden. You can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with your partner or friends.
Why You Should Not Place a Garden Bed Against Your Wall
A garden bed should not be placed against a brick wall as it can a) crack the wall over time or b) in case there is a poor water drainage system.
Roots Cracking The Wall
It is not advisable to place plants close to any wall because the roots will damage the bricks. I recommend you to put the plants at least 30-40cm away from the wall. The distance will the plants to grow and at the same time protect your wall.
You may opt of having raised garden beds instead. Let us continue reading to know more about it.
Poor Water Drainage System
Water drainage is important in garden beds, especially in-ground beds because too much water can affect plant growth. Too much water causes the soil to be compacted and hinders the air to pass through the soil. The absence of air leads to the rotting of roots. To avoid this root problem, I recommend creating french drainage.
A french drain is just a PVC pipe with drilled holes. Wrap the pipe with a net or window screen to prevent the soil from filling in the pipe. It has to be buried deeper to allow water to flow away from the bed.
Which Plant To Use and Avoid Close To a Wall/Foundation?
Plants that can be placed close to a wall and do not cause foundation damage are those that develop mainly taproot roots. Examples of such are carrots, mango, papaya, walnut tree. On the other hand, plants that develop mainly adventitious or fibrous roots should not be close to a wall as they can cause stability issues over time.
|Plant Good For Wall And Foundation (Taproot)||Plant Bad For Wall And Foundation (Adventitious or Fibrous Root)|
There are two types of root structures; taproot and adventitious or fibrous root. Plants often have a dominant type of roots, despite often they are both present in plants.
Taproot is the main root system that is deeply rooted vertically to the ground. They specialize in food storage and typically have a single primary root where secondary roots grow from the main root. This root system anchors the plants in the soil, which helps absorb water below the surface and allows plants to survive during drought.
Adventitious or Fibrous roots come from another organ because they do not have the main root. They are found mostly in monocots like grasses, lilies, and orchids. They cannot survive in droughts, and they quickly dry out. Plants that develop such types of roots are dangerous for any nearby wall and should not be placed near any wall.
How To Protect The Brick Wall From the Garden Bed
Placing a barrier between the soil and the brick wall is shown to provide effective protection against wall damage.
Moisture from the soil can slowly damage your brick wall. To prevent this, it is advisable to put weed barrier fabric which you can get on Amazon. This will not only protect your brick wall but also help control the growth of weeds. You may also lay down the fabric before adding soil to your garden bed.
What Is A Raised Garden Bed?
The raised garden bed is an organic way of planting in a container or box made of wood and filled with soil where plants grow.
Apart from wood lumber, the raised beds can be made of bricks, steel, stones, or other durable materials that can withhold plants and soil.
Let us find out the advantages and disadvantages of having raised garden beds.
5 Advantages of Raised Garden Bed
The five benefits of a raised garden bed are 1) aesthetic use, 2) pest and weed control, 3) ergonomic, 4) choice of soil and 5) easy drainage.
1. Aesthetic Use
Raised garden bed is more pleasant to the eye than an in-ground garden bed. If it is made of wood or any materials, you can paint or put designs to add more to its beauty.
2. Pest and Weed Control
The height of the raised garden beds can provide a first defense against slugs, and wildlife attacks. To protect the plants from flying pests and insects, you may also opt for a mosquito net to lay on top.
Raised garden beds can be easily free from weeds since you have control of the type of soil to use. Also, you can place a holed black plastic or a soil barrier at the base of your container before putting the soil. This will help block the weeds from the ground and keep your plants getting the right nutrients to thrive well.
Many appreciated the comfort of raised garden beds. Indeed, less bending is involved and any back strain is lessened. They are very helpful to those in a wheelchair and those who are having a hard time bending closer to the ground.
5. Choice of Soil
You can choose the right soil combination that you want to use depending on the plants you want to grow. Moreover, you will be assured that the soil you will be using will be free from weed roots to secure your plants in getting the right nutrients they need for thriving.
6. Easy Drainage
There is no need for you to dig deeper to provide a good drainage system to your plant bed. The structure itself will help you in the drainage system because excess water will be absorbed immediately on the ground or overflow from the garden bed.
2 Disadvantages of Raised Garden Bed
The five disadvantages of the raised garden bed are 1) costly, and 2) impermanent.
The disadvantages are few compared to its benefits. It is essential to be aware of them so that you will be guided if you want to pursue making a raised garden bed.
You need to buy the materials that delimit the raised garden bed and you should also purchase the soil. Unlike in-ground garden beds, you simply dig out the soil and put additional soil depending on the type of plants you want to grow.
Garden beds are everything except permanent. Over 2-3 years of exposure to the elements they will be weakened and get broken, especially if made on wood (like mine – lost of DIY).
Beauty always has a price to pay. As a gardener, expenses are just nothing compared to the therapeutic and relaxing experience of seeing your garden over a cup of tea or coffee.
Summary of Should you Place a Garden Against a Brick Wall
The three things to consider in placing a garden against a brick wall are soil depth and length, root structures, and the barrier between the soil and wall.
Placing a garden bed against a brick wall can save you space and add beauty to your garden. However, only plants with deep roots should be chosen to avoid damage to the wall or cracks that can compromise its stability over the years.
“What Are The Differences Between Tap Roots And Adventitious Roots Of Plants?” in World Atlas
“Soil Depth” in Science Direct
“Can any plants live without sunlight?” in The Home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
“Plant Structures” in Sparknotes
“Raised Bed Gardening Guide” in Lifetime