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.
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.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend?
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
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.
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.
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!
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