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Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:14 pm
Location: Wisconsin

planting around trees

I am in the midst of clearing a portion of our yard for a shade garden. There are quite a few trees, (hence the shade---duh), but most of those are in the grassy area. Some of them are close together and I don't like mowing between them. I was thinking of making a planting area under them, but not sure how much soil I can safely put around the trunk of the tree. The soil right around the trees is pretty root filled, so I don't know that I could just plant without using a raised garden technique. So, how much soil can I safely put around the base of the trees? I will post a pic when I get the area cleaned up.

Thanks for your help and sorry for the rambling.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

planting around trees

Sounds like a good idea. You don't want to put any soil up against the tree trunks, so leave 4-6" away from the trunk. And you don't want to smother the tree roots, so you don't want to pile your soil real deep over them, but 3" or so should be fine. Just remember that the trees will be sucking up a lot of water, so plant things that are a little drought tolerant.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:00 pm
Location: Austin, TX

I planted a bunch of Caladiums under one of my trees. It was pretty root filled, but not too bad, so I added about an inch and half and they grew real well. I even put about 3 inches of conpost from my compost pile right up next to my tree about 5 inches wide and it hasn't hurt it, but I wouldn't recommend dirt that close. My compost drains real well, and is almost like mulch.

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