the collecter
Full Member
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:59 am
Location: Nj
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Making a garen in my back yard

I have a few questions about a garden I'm making in my back yard

I am growing bonsai trees so the root growth can not grow too deep
How can I prevent this from happening?
Is there something I can put under the soil to prevent this?

I do not want pots in my garden

All feedback is greatly appriciated
~the collecter~

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Well, technically speaking if the tree is not in a pot; then it won't be a bonsai because bonsai means: Tree in a pot. But, yes, you can bury a piece of wood or even lay down a plastic sheet and place soil (I would personally go with a sheet compost) over that and this will prevent the roots from going to deep.

I guess you could consider this set up a pseudo pot and then call your tree a bonsai by that means.

Anybody else have experience with deturring root growth?

Senior Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:37 pm
Location: 5a - Maine

If you plant a box in the ground (you would need wood or some other material to block the roots) then you need to ensure that there is proper drainage. Without that, the roots will likely rot or be overcome by fungus. So you need to have holes in the wood. If you use plastic, it needs to be a strong, sturdy plastic or the roots will just break through it (taproots especially have suprising strength, and I've seen them actually push the tree out of the ground because the root was growing but had not room to do it in). I suppose you could try a synthetic burlap of some sort (real burlap will decay very quickly, which is why they use it), or really, you could plant the pot so that it cant be seen (which is kind of like what a wood box with holes in the bottom would be anyway). With a pot, you could dig it up every so often and do a little work on the roots to ensure that they don't get out of control and just grow through the pot (or the wood box with holes, or the plastic with holes, or whatever). If you are really way super beyond opposed to planting a pot in the ground, then you could try a big layer of heavy duty gravel, but that would be a whole lot of work, expensive, and would probably not work forever.

If you do decide to go with wood, remember that it will decay a whole lot faster when it is planted under the ground, with the moisture and the bugs and all those other things that would compost wood in the ground in nature, and will need to be replaced fairly often.

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:56 pm

:roll: I built a 5'x30' raised bed and used that black ground cloth like used at nurserys, I put three layers of this under the bed. I used three layers to insure no roots get below it. The fabric does allow some water to pass through it. It should work buried in the ground also, but you will still need to provide extra drainage, maybe even install a french drain down the center. As my bed is raised, drainage is easy. To install a french drain, dig a deep pit at one end of the bed on the outside edge. If you are on a sloping surface then skip the pit. Fill it up with gravel, then spread a layer of gravelon top of the nursery frabric so that it connects with the pit. Replace your soil and plant. I found my fabric on the internet it comes in 3', 6', and 12' wide cut to what ever length you need. you may want to take a look at this method[url][/url]

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