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Cass County Extension

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Foundation Plantings

Are the plants around your home foundation kind of drab looking or missing completely. Now is the time to think about planting some new ones.

Foundation plants are designed to soften the harsh lines or to emphasize the good lines of your home or to direct the viewers attention. The corners and the entrance of your home are the most important. Use the tallest shrubs at the corners. When mature, these shrubs should reach 2/3 to 3/4 of the distance to your eaves. On each side of your corner shrub you should use a smaller shrub. This prevents an abrupt drop off from the tall shrub to ground level.

Next to the entrance of your home, use medium sized shrubs, which mature at about 1/2  the height of the doorway. When using the corner and entrance plantings together they may merge along short walls or remain distinct along longer walls. If the entrance of your home is near one end, restore balance to your home with heavier plantings at the other end. L-shaped homes should have the tallest shrubs at the corners to emphasize the entire length. If you have a very wide house, use tall shrubs at intermediate corners to reduce the apparent length.

Here are a few things to avoid doing when you put foundation plantings in by your home. Don't plant a row of evenly spaced plants across the front of your home. Use your shrubs in groups. Another caution, don't over plant. When shrubs are put into your plantings, they should be spaced according to their mature size. If your home has an attractive foundation, don't plant shrubs all across the front to hide the foundation. This just isn't necessary and doesn't look good.

Todd Weinmann, Extension Horticulturist & Master Gardener Coordinator
Phone: (701) 241-5707

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