Amending soil for shrubs, etc

Hello, When gardeners talk about 'amending soil with compost', what does that mean?? . Here is my question...Say I am building raised beds. I want to plant shrubs in the raised beds. I am using lousy soil from another part of the yard. I will amend the soil....But...is it important to put compost in the entire bed, or within an area around the roots, and/or what?? . Thank you.
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Spread it over the entire bed, and mix it in evenly, before you plant the shrubs.
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On Fri, 20 Apr 2007 15:10:43 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@THE-DOMAIN-IN.SIG

EVENLY is the operative word!
BTW, if your "lousy" soil happens to be on the alkalineside (like So. Calif adobe) you might want to add something to rectify the acid-alkaline balance. Also, if soil is "heavy", you could add some vermiculite or Perlite that creates "gaps" in soil. I'm not explaining this very well...<g>
Persephone
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<Persephone> wrote in message says...

Sand would last the longest and look the best. Vermiculite collapses in time and the stark white of perlite is very unattractive.

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Two schools:
1) Amend soil when you want to plant shrubs or anything non-native and be prepared to add compost yearly to keep those non-native plants happy and healthy.
2) Loosen the soil, plant the native or adapted plants which are good for your conditions and backfill them with the same soil without amending it, but putting an inch or two of compost on top of the soil and very gently mix it to a depth of an inch and cover that with minimum of two inches of shredded mulch. Do not use deco chips.
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