roots everywhere

The top 5-6 inches of soil in my raised beds contain a thick meshwork of fine roots. The roots are so thick that the soil forms a "crust" and does not allow water to penetrate easily. I have a few shrubs in the raised bed and I'm thinking they must be the source. Anyone else have this problem and any ideas on how to solve this problem? Thanks.
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Yes, put a layer of finished compost on top and top that with a few inches of shredded mulch. Do not put the mulch right up to the trunk of the shrubs or you can cause problems with rot or too much moisture near the crown of the plants. Before you mulch, fully saturate the plants in the ground.
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Asolutely no mulch volcanoes around trees and shrubs unless you own a Wal-Mart parking lot and then it is expected. Most all roots are in the top foot of soil, that's where the air for respiration is. Take a spade and turn the blade so you pierce the soil in line with the shrub as if the shrub was the hub of a wheel and the spade was making the spokes. Pry the spade back and forth a bit and drop some compost in the slots. Topdress with an inch or so of sifted compost or shredded leaves. Keep adding them as they decay and disappear as organic material does get consumed.
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You must not live in my region. Mulch volcanoes are considered a status symbol and a sure sign that you are a skilled gardener! Most of the people in my neighborhood garden by the cubic foot. Every year the trucks roll up and dump yards of much in driveways. Other people have a few skids of bagged mulch delivered. When I mention to people that volcano mulching is contraindicated, they look at me like I am from Mars. Mulch volcanoes have replaced used tire planters around here. A guy a few doors up the street just had a tree removed. They had the stump ground out and planted a very small tree where the stump was. All the chips from the stump are piled around the tree, making a volcanoes that is about 18 inches high. At least he had the stump removed. Most people are cutting down their trees and leaving two to three foot high stumps in the front yard.
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Oh yeah, you are right about mulch volcanoes! Everyone here does that too. You can tell a good landscaper or yard person by the mulching and pruning.
--
gloria - only the iguanas know for sure



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One of our neighbors found themselves with big big oak tree stumps, so they had someone carve them! They are wonderful bears, inquisitive cubs and all! We love to look at the creativity of working with wood stumps and sometimes they can downright useful!
--
gloria - only the iguanas know for sure



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escape wrote:

Piling all that on the shrubs roots may smother and kill them.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis Wrote:

Two or three inches of compost or mulch won't hurt your shrubs, but n deeper.
New
-- Newt
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