Need Ideas for this bare spot & moldy siding in my garden

I'm looking for ideas to add interest to this part of my garden. It is next to our back deck, gets varied sun, mold/mildew grows quickly on the metal siding -- any tips for removing/preventing this would be super helpful!! -- access is needed to the dryer vent seen in the photo. Not pictured (because they've already died back) are 3 sunny yellow Black-eyed Susans planted in a row, about 10" away from the house, and 3 deep purple irises planted just in front of them.
q need ideas for bare spot moldy siding in garden, garages, gardening, outdoor living
  14 answers
  • Tara Kotry Tara Kotry on Sep 06, 2015
    Firstly, you probably are getting the mould and mildew because the plants you state that are there are preventing the dryer heat from clearing the house properly when they have grown. Transplant those specific plants to another area and pressure wash the side of the house, then try planting a couple of hostas ( at least one should be verigated for colour on the leaves), they do well in sun or shade they grow relatively low and they flower.

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    • Tara Kotry Tara Kotry on Sep 12, 2015
      Jennifer, hostas a quite decorative especially the ones with verigated leaves. And some of them can get quite big. So if you only need a couple of plants they could be your solution as the do flower also. As for cleaning the siding, besides the pressure washer I just read an article that hydrogen peroxide diluted in water cleans a lot of different things. And it will not harm your plants because it is a natural product. Try spraying it on first give a little scrub then pressure wash.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 06, 2015
    Due to the mildew in tat location, how about making that portion a container garden,

  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on Sep 06, 2015
    With that dryer vent there, I would think that something that likes humidity would be a good plant...the hosta idea is a good one or hibiscus but, because you live in MA I would follow Janet Pizaro's suggestion and put them in really nice looking containers that could be moved into a protected spot in the winter. Perhaps a grouping of three...a larger one and two smaller ones with a lot of color on them.

  • DC DC on Sep 06, 2015
    To get rid of the mold ..........all you need is some bleach. Maybe dilute it about 3 parts water to 1 part bleach. Put it in a spray bottle, spray it on, and let it do its job, then rinse it off if you want.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Sep 06, 2015
    Moldova or mildew need dark and damp to grow remove the large plant wash with the bleach,spray paint a simple bench maybe cinder blocks a nice sturdy panel. Paint in a nice color. Place away from wall so it gets air and as much sun as possible. Put potted plants on it and table top decor. Maybe a large art piece on the wall.

    • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Sep 12, 2015
      Thanks, these are thoughtful suggestions. The mold grows no matter what is/isn't next to the siding. This area used to be just a strip of grass, and the mold still grew... The plants have not increased, nor decreased the amount at all.

  • Renata Renata on Sep 06, 2015
    First of all If u have mold I would worry it was under the siding. I would have a pro check that out before doing anything. For just cuteness I would look into making one of those room dividers out of lattice. I think that would look real cute and then u could possibly hang a couple of little cute bird houses on the lattice.

    • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Sep 12, 2015
      Ah, what a smartie you are!! I will definitely look into that possibility, thank you!! I also love your room divider idea & bird houses! Thank you!

  • Sarah A. Victory Sarah A. Victory on Sep 07, 2015
    I was also thinking the tall grass might contribute to the mold although most vinyl is subject to mildew. You might want to curve your bed around and add a bird bath or some type yard decoration. My dryer vent comes out of a brick wall but is close to the patio storm door and this creates moisture and fogs up the storm door depending on the weather so this could be some of the moisture problem also.You might want to keep a spray bottle of bleach solution handy. Good luck!

    • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Sep 12, 2015
      Thank you, yes the dryer vent could be the issue, as the mold grew there even when this area was just a strip of grass. I added the plants in hopes that it would hide the mold. Our siding is actuly metal -- not sure if that's part of the issue too...

  • Nan Nan on Sep 08, 2015
    Your tall grass is beautiful but a little large for the area not to mention the tall plumes they create in the fall. I would trim the ornamental grass a few feet shorter (I shape mine twice a year) and away from the structure which will increase air circulation and hopefully end your on going mold issue. Be careful with bleach as it will kill your plants. I would add metal art or some kind of yard art that will add height and character and balance out with the height of the grass.

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    • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Sep 12, 2015
      I like your idea of adding art to add interest. Do you have any suggestions as to what art I can add?

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 08, 2015
    nan you do not prune grasses. They are cut back in early spring. If your are pruning your grass than you are cutting off the plumes which adds to the beauty of the grass.

  • Jody Hinkle-Runella Jody Hinkle-Runella on Sep 08, 2015
    Cut your foliage back at least 18 inches from your siding. It retains water

    • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Sep 12, 2015
      Thanks, yes, but this area grew mold even when it was only a strip of low-growing grass. I planted the plants there to hide inevitable re-growth, as it is unsightly. Do you have any ideas on non plant ideas to add interest?

  • Nan Nan on Sep 10, 2015
    Janet, It is fine to prune and shape grass. It is very forgiving and recovers very quickly. If you prune in early summer you will still have fall plumes if you like the will just be a shorter plant which will help with air circulation.

  • Karen McNulty Karen McNulty on Sep 12, 2015
    take everything out and put in a rock garden with cacti of all kinds, or pretty container garden with interesting art sculptures and maybe put in a drain as in lay a gutter on the ground, and which would be elevated slightly so when you power wash it runs down the drain

  • DC DC on Sep 12, 2015
    I don't think so, but it would be best to try it on an expendable plant (if you have one.) Try to you spray it on the house w/o contacting the plant would be best. Even w/ the run off from the rinse - I think there is enough dilution w/ water that it shouldn't hurt your plants. BUT LIKE I STATED, TRY IT ON AN EXPENDABLE PLANT - I WOULD HATE TO HAVE YOU DO THIS AND KILL ALL YOUR NICE PLANTS! I have actually used bleach to try and kill some grass..........didn't work; but some plants might be different.

    • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Sep 12, 2015
      Lol thanks for the precaution, I do have a section to the right of this picture that would be the perfect "test spot". Thanks again for your help!

  • Tara Kotry Tara Kotry on Sep 12, 2015
    I hope these pictures might give you an idea of the variety of hostas out there.