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What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

Posted by SeaOtterCove 2b BC (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 21, 05 at 14:03

I am starting to figure out how to landscape my backyard. Right now I don't have much back there. I am going to put a bed up next to the back of the house where the dryer vent is. Right now I had thrown in a cedar that use to be in the front of the house in front of the vent. They came with the house and I didn't care if they lived or died. Well, it died from the heat but I would like a shrub there as it is a large expanse of wall. Would something deciduous do okay? With the variation in temperatures there in winter depending on if the dryer is on or off, should I go really hardy or it is a chance to zone push? What does everyone else have in front of theirs? Or should I just stick to perennials? The spot gets some morning sun and then it is full shade for the rest of the day. I had thought of a climbing hydrangea but I'm not positive if one will grow here or not.

Syreeta


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

You should search the site, Syreeta - i'm sure there was a thread about this very thing in the past year or so. I'm not sure which forum it was though - it would be either this one or Northern, i would think.


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

Marcia,

I did search the forum and we did have a thread in August that mentioned a dryer vent but it was only in passing when someone was having a hard time with a full sun/dry location. The only other 'good' information I found that I might not of thought of was that because of the moisture plants might get mildew. I.E. roses, hollyhocks or phlox. Due to that, do many shrubs have mildew problems? I can't really think of many that do, I seem to remember lilacs might. They want more sun than this site offers so it doesn't matter.

Syreeta


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

I just tried searching the entire GW and didn't find anything. Gad, maybe i'm hallucinating! LOL

As far as PM problems, there are plants that are susceptible to it - verbena and phlox are two that come to mind immediately. Usually plant descriptions will tell you of potential problems, so you would probably want to use plants that don't mention PM as one of their problems.

What i remember about that thread was something about there being more warmth where there's a dryer vent and that might cause a freeze/thaw problem. I have a shrub planted near our dryer vent, but it's away from the outer wall and there hasn't seemed to be a problem there yet.

Maybe someone else can help. Sorry!


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

  • Posted by mcav0y z3/4 Anchorage (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 24, 05 at 21:27

Just an idea, but since you can't move the vent, can you make a heat/moisture deflector? I am thinking of some flashing under the vent that sticks out about at a 45 degrees angle upwards. That way the air from the vent will hit the deflector and distribute up, or at least, not directly on the plant below it. Almost like a wind block.

Kim


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

I had a dryer vent on the north side of the house, with bergenia and hostas nearby. (I say 'had' because we now have a deck built in that spot so therefore no plants). The dryer vent melted the snow that was right underneath the vent, about a foot wide circle. I suppose every situation might be different. In winter there would be bare wet soil, or a puddle on laundry nights. The plants did okay but they weren't directly in the path of the airflow. One plant was maybe 18 inches to the right of the vent, another 18" to the left. As for woody plants, I don't think they would appreciate being around the dryer vent as the branches would continually warm up and then refreeze, which would mean winter damage.

As for a chance to zone push here, I don't think it's a good location. It would be different if, say, it stayed warm constantly, but once the dryer goes off it is "back to winter" for any plants in the area and depending on the path of the warm air, they might not have good snowcover.

Glen


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

Syreeta,

I have the dryer vent at the front of the house by the walkway........I grow annuals there....some double tulips and a few asiatic lilies. It doesn't hurt them in the spring summer......and there is nothing on top of the ground in the winter so it doesn't bother the lilies or tulips....the bulbs are planted 6 to 8 inches deep.

Don't think a shrub or other perennials would work there.....In fact I would plant shrubs and stuff like that at least 3 feet away from the dryer vent....5 feet would even be better.

Sierra


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

I have this same problem and have been struggling with it for years. Tried a shrub but it would not tolerate the heat/freeze-thaw cycles; perennials, too but again they would not survive for very long. I also tried the deflector idea that was posted earlier; I used a piece of above ground swimming pool wall in a curved shape with driveway reflector metal stakes and bungee cords to keep it supported. Sound ugly? Well it was so I gave up on that idea although it did work reasonably well. I always was on the lookout for something that would be a more attractive alternative- solid fireplace screen or something to that effect but never did come across anything that would be of reasonable cost. So what did I do? I ended up using a free standing water fountain that was no longer functioning to block the sight of the vent(making sure there was enough airflow around the vent) and planted it up with flowering annuals. This looks attractive and hides the vent but is not the solution that I wanted. I would be happy to hear if anyone else has any suggestions.


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

The vent is about 4 1/2'-5' above ground so I would think perennials would be okay. I like the idea of a deflector but am worried about it filling up with snow and then turning to ice with the heat than freezing temps. If I could figure out some way of using the flexible hose that is used indoors for the dryer I might be able to direct the heat to the left where there is gravel under the deck. If I do that, I should be able to grow a shrub there. What do you guys think? Here is a picture showing the large expanse of wall. I think it does need something more than just perennials.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I will be moving the rhubard to another location so the shrub could be moved over from where my nice current dead shrub is. Oh, and ignore the half finished paint job on the deck. We didn't get enough nice days to paint.

Syreeta


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

This is pretty ugly too, but in our other house, dh used a piece of PVC pipe that he attached to the opening of the vent and directed the flow further away from the house. For some reason, the air flow was causing a mold or mildew on the siding.

Btw, i like the idea of painting the vent the same colour as the house. :)


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

Oh dear that cedar looks unhappy :( I concur with Sierra and others that you're best off with something herbaceous that will die back to the ground in winter. I am lucky in this sense that my dryer vent is up in the roof gable, but unlucky in the sense that the attic is unheated and every couple of years it all freezes solid with ice and lint and I have to get up in the attic and take it all apart. Dumb arrangement. Anyway last winter I think it got it sorted out.

Marcia I remember that conversation too, it was about which rose bush to plant under a vent.


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

I have enchantment lily growing in front of the dryer vent. It has been there for over thirty years. It isn't my favorite lily but it is hardy and no one knows the dryer vent is there. This year I have placed a large sedum there as well so if it survives and does well I will let you know. I wanter both early and late color. I would certainly try some different types of plants such as lilies to see what does well.


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

  • Posted by Pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 9, 05 at 21:25

The back of our house faces north, and also has vents (4 various) as well as the utility meters and the water tap. There's also a couple of basement windows that I didn't want to cover up with plants. The deck is also back there spanning half the house. I put in a strip of crushed rock along the house (about 4' deep) and then a 6' deep flower bed in front of the crushed rock, and have planted cedars in the bed to hide it and the back of the house. There's also a narrow rock path that leads to the rocked area (meter man access).

Of course, when looking at it from the side the rock strip is noticeable, but it's neat in appearance and obvious access is needed for all that stuff going on back there. It's a great place for summer projects and holding potted plants waiting to be planted out of the sun and wind. When looking at the area from the yard the rocked strip is barely noticeable, and once the cedars grow up shouldn't be noticeable at all. I also have some shrubs planted on the side of the deck, similar to your pic.

Having said all that, at our house in Ottawa there was a cedar bush growing right in front of the dryer vent. It was there before we moved in, and still there when we left. The back of that shrub was pretty ugly but it was pretty close up to the house/vent so the ugly part wasn't noticeable unless you crawled back in there (yes, I did). The front of the shrub looked fine. The vent was low down, though, only about a foot or so up from the ground - maybe that helped whereas your vent, higher up, would deflect that air straight onto the shrub.


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

Well, if it is an electric dryer, get one of those gadgets that allows you to vent to the inside in the winter. You save the heat and moisture that would otherwise be lost.

I have a gas dryer so I vent it to the outside year-round. I have roses there in the summer and in the winter bags of leaves covering the roses. The roses surprized me by not being bothered much by the vented hot air in the summer and, of course the leaves don't mind at all.

It looks a bit ugly for a short time in the fall after the roses are trimmed and covered until the bags are covered with snow, but I just don't spend time looking at it then.

Regards,

Charles


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

I have several mahonia grape holly growing about 15" from my gas dryer vent for about 5 years, they are underplanted with pachachandra(?). It is almost full shade since it is between 2 concrete walls and gets about 2 hours of direct sunlight in the summer. I never water them either. the vent is about 3 feet off the ground. keep trying.


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RE: What To Do With A Dryer Vent?

So I have heard that planting around dryer vents is bad for plants. Is the issue just the thawing and refreezing in the winter or will the heat in the summer months have a affect as well. The vent in question in my backyard is maybe a foot off the ground and I was hoping to plant some pentas and phlox there. Any advice from anyone would be helpful and apprecaited.


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