The Q&A Archives: Soil

Question: Can I plant Swiss chard where there has been a bottle bush? Grass never grew well under the bush so we removed it.

Answer: Sometimes shrubs cast enough shade to keep grass from growing underneath. The roots of shrubs might also grow close to the surface of the soil, competing with the roots of other plants for moisture and nutrients. So, there's not necessarily something wrong with the soil when plants won't grow, but a result of too much competition. Now that the shrub has been removed, dig the soil to loosen it, add some organic matter to enrich it, and then plant your Swiss chard. It should grow without problem.

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