mlwilson
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:05 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Mulching around lilacs?

I have been battling virginia creeper, grape vines and wild violets in my lilacs. My lilacs are mature and line my backyard lot line. (the row is about 15 feet deep by 10 feet long) I have been fairly successful by pulling out the vines and they have significantly diminished. Grass does not grow in the undercanopy and I would like to bring in fresh dirt mixed with compost to even out the area.

My question is, can I safely use a water permeable barrier around my lilacs? I would like to put down mulch and plant some ferns and hostas and other plants that will do well in the shade. What type of mulch would be safe to use over the barrier?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Newt
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi Mlwilson,

Lilacs prefer a more alkaline soil with a pH of 6 to 7.5. Violets prefer a pH of about 5.5 to 6.5, so adding a cup of lime to the soil around each lilac and scratching it in might help to control the violets a bit. Mowing or using a scuffle hoe before the violets finish blooming and go to seed might also help to get rid of them.
https://homeharvest.com/flowersornamentalstreesshrubsphpreference.htm

My question is, can I safely use a water permeable barrier around my lilacs?
Sure you can, but keep in mind that seeds will sprout in the mulch you put on top and planting into the the barrier will be difficult. You will need to cut into the barrier and plants that spread by runners will struggle and probably not spread. Your ferns come to mind.
What type of mulch would be safe to use over the barrier?
Whatever you fancy, but pine straw probably wouldn't be good due to it's tendancy to be acid. I use shredded bark for my lilac.
I would like to bring in fresh dirt mixed with compost to even out the area.
Do be careful you don't put more then an inch of soil over the roots of the lilacs or you risk smothering them.

Newt

Return to “Lilacs Forum”