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7 Best Landscaping Materials To Use Around Foundation

Are you getting ready to landscape your yard and need to know what landscape material is best to use around the foundation? Well, you've come to the right place. We've put together this guide to help you find the perfect landscaping material for your yard.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

  1. Grass
  2. Flowers
  3. Gravel
  4. Wood mulch
  5. Rubber mulch
  6. Cement
  7. Shrubs

So, when should you choose to use rocks, grass, or mulch? And what kinds of plants and flowers do best around the foundation? Keep reading to learn all about the best landscaping materials to use around your home.

Green house with porch and gravel driveway, 7 Best Landscaping Materials To Use Around Foundation

Why Should You Put Landscaping Materials Around Your Foundation?

Properly maintaining the area around your foundation will extend its lifespan, helping to prevent damage. Water that runs off your roof and lands near your foundation can cause major damage over time. Even trees growing too close to your foundation can cause damage to it as their roots grow.

1. Grass

Green grass

If you have a good gutter and drainage system set up that leads away from your home's foundation, grass may be the best option for your home.

It does a good job of soaking up excess water which improves the conditions around the foundation. If you get a lot of runoff, have an inconvenient slope, or deal with an abundance of rainfall, grass may not be enough.

Scotts Turf Builder Rapid Grass

This grass seed grows quickly so you can get your landscaping project done faster. It comes in a 5.6-pound or 16-pound bag so you can choose a size to fit your needs.

Click here to see this grass seed on Amazon.

2. Flowers

Beautiful flowers in the clear sunny day

Using flowers around your foundation will help soak up excess water and add curb appeal. Choose the right type of flower for the location by taking sun exposure, moisture levels, and growing zones into consideration.

Flowers can also be combined with mulch or stones depending on the plant's needs and your home's drainage needs.

Purple D'oro Daylily Bulbs

Daylilies love water, making them a great flower to use in wet areas, like around your foundation. This comes with 3 bare roots to plant where you want, and they offer a variety of colors and species.

Click here to see these lilies on Amazon.

3. Gravel

Green house with porch and gravel driveway

Using gravel around your foundation can help improve drainage, and it can be used to separate plants and prevent weed growth.

Pea gravel or crushed stone are both good options; try to choose a smaller size for optimal drainage. Rocks are best used when you have a decent slope for the water to drain away from your home.

Southwest Boulder & Stone Landscape Rock

This crushed gravel is perfect to use in your landscaping projects, and it comes in a variety of colors. You can also order between 20 and 2,000 pounds worth of stone to meet the needs of your project. 

Click here to see this gravel on Amazon.

4. Wood Mulch

Man mulching yard in suburban house

Mulch is a good option that will soak up the excess moisture around your foundation and contribute it back to any plants in your landscaping.

Since it's made from chipped wood, it can attract termites when not properly maintained, which isn't something you want near your home's foundation. It comes in a variety of colors and can really perk up the exterior of your home.

Oldcastle Pine Mulch 

This pine mulch is a great option for gardens and will soak up extra moisture too. As it degrades, it deposits nutrients into the soil to keep your plants healthy and happy.

Click here to see this mulch on Amazon.

5. Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch closeup

Rubber mulch is a great material to use around your foundation, and it doesn't attract termites like its wooden counterpart.

It also lasts much longer than wooden mulch, which decomposes and needs to be replaced every few years. Since it doesn't decompose, rubber mulch won't contribute any nutrients to the soil for your plants either.

Click here to see this rubber mulch on Amazon.

6. Cement

Pedestrian sidewalk

Add a sidewalk around your house to help protect your foundation and encourage proper drainage. Cement can be poured and molded with drainage in mind, giving it a slight slope. Or, adding a runoff ditch included can do wonders for your foundation's future.

Installing a cement sidewalk will also help you cut down on the amount of maintenance that comes along with grass, flowers, mulch, and plants. 

7. Shrubs

Shrubs and bushes growing below the front porch of a house

Choose shrubs and bushes that love wet conditions to help soak up some of the water around your foundation.

Plants like black chokeberry and American cranberry bushes enjoy wet environments and grow well in a wide range of hardiness zones. Using shrubs can also provide your home with an elegant exterior and greatly adds to curb appeal.

Big Pack Black Chokeberry Seeds

This pack of 1,000 black chokeberry seeds should be plenty to put around your home. These bushes offer flowers and edible berries that can be used to cook jams, jellies, and syrup.

Click here to see these seeds on Amazon.

Is It Good To Add Sand Around Your Foundation?

No, adding sand around your foundation will do more damage over time. Sand doesn't do anything to absorb water and will allow it to pass straight to your foundation and cause issues. You should choose a good quality loam if you need to add more substrate around your foundation.

What Keeps Water Away From House Foundation?

The best way to keep water away from your home's foundation is to have proper drains and gutters installed. This will prevent the water from pooling up or eroding the soil around your foundation. Gutters go around your roof to catch the rain runoff and direct it in a more convenient direction.

Should I Use Landscaping Fabric Too?

Installing landscaping fabric in the garden

Landscaping fabric is a handy way to minimize your upkeep. It can help your mulch last longer, will keep your gravel in place better, and prevents weeds from growing into your garden areas. This can be a major advantage if you don't want to deal with a lot of weeding and other time-consuming maintenance hassles.

Does Cardboard Under Mulch Attract Termites?

Yes, using cardboard under your mulch instead of landscaping fabric creates the perfect environment for termites and other pests to thrive.

The same goes for newspapers, which is another common alternative to landscaping fabric. It's important to keep termites and other pests away from your home because they can easily spread into your house and begin causing major damage. 

What Is The Best Mulch To Use To Avoid Termites?

If you want to use wood mulch but you're worried about termites, cedar mulch is a great choice. Cedar repels most insects and pests, which is why it's a popular option used for closets and storage chests. It has a strong and pleasant scent that bugs don't like, so it will prevent them from turning it into a new home.

Timberline Cedar Mulch

This cedar mulch is the perfect option to use around your home's foundation. It works great to wick moisture away, smells fantastic, and it will repel pests.

Click here to see this mulch on Amazon.

Is It Okay To Put Wood Chips Around Your Foundation?

Yes, and if you're worried about termites and other pests, you can use a combination of materials to protect your home better.

Try using gravel around the first 6 to 12 inches of the foundation and then use mulch past that point. The layer of rocks will prevent termites and other bothersome pests from getting to your home easily.

Can I Mulch With Grass Clippings?

Using grass clippings as mulch is a great option if you want to add nutrients to your soil for plants, but it won't do much to prevent water buildup.

Dead grass breaks down quickly to contribute to the health of your garden, which is a great way to put your clippings to use. Always use dry grass clippings, and avoid creating deep layers of grass that can suffocate your plants.

In Closing

Now that you know all about the best options to use around your home's foundation. you're ready to decide which option is best for your home.

Don't forget to consider pest resistance when using plants or mulch, and no matter what material you chose, you will still need to install gutters. Good luck with your landscaping project, and have fun transforming your home's exterior. 

For more help filling in a space around your foundation, read our article Gap Between Foundation And House – What To Do?

For more help learning how to place plants around your home's foundation, read our article How And What To Plant Around House Foundation