Once your new deck is installed, you'll probably want to landscape around it. When choosing plants for the area in and around the deck, it's important to consider the ways in which your landscaping will affect the deck itself. The plants you choose will affect your deck maintenance routines for years to come.
Avoid Vining Plants
Vining plants like ivy or morning glory can make an easy to grow ground cover for the area around your deck, but under the right conditions, many vining plants can grow out of control. Once a vining or climbing plant begins to wrap around your deck, it can trap moisture in the wood, and that can lead to the quick deterioration of the decking material. Landscape with plants that are easy to contain and keep trim. For example, small, easily sculpted shrubs like boxwood can be trained to grow away from the deck and will never trap moisture in the wood.
Keep Landscaping Open At Access Point Under the Deck
You might find it tempting to landscape the entire perimeter of the deck, but don't forget that you're going to need access to the area beneath the deck. Leave a space between some of the plants that will enable you to climb beneath the deck for regular maintenance.
Mulch Around and Beneath the Deck for Easy Maintenance
Wood mulch will keep the ground around your deck looking trim and well-maintained. Mulching beneath the deck also has benefits, as it can prevent the growth of weeds and prevent the area from becoming muddy after heavy storms. However, wooden mulch can create problems in the area beneath the deck, because it traps in moisture and then slowly decomposes. Over time, wooden mulch can cause the wooden posts to become moldy and water damaged. If you want to mulch the area beneath your deck, use rock mulch instead of wood.
Add Greenery to the Deck Itself
You can add greenery to the deck itself with planter boxes and plastic pots. Avoid placing pots directly on the deck floor, as moisture can become trapped beneath the planter and will eventually cause the wood to deteriorate. To prevent this from happening, put any pots up on planter stands.
Planter boxes can also be a good addition to the railings of your deck. Use plastic planter boxes that have solid bottoms, with no ability for water to leak out. This will prevent water from regularly flowing out of the planter box and damaging the railing.
For more help with decks, contact a company like Think Beast.