The Q&A Archives: Soil Prep for Lilacs

Question: Do I need to prepare the ground in any way prior to planting bare root lilac bushes? I don't know how acidic the soil is (or how to find out, if it matters).

Answer: Lilacs prefer a near-neutral soil pH or one that leans towards the alkaline side. The soil should be loamy and well drained. Work lots of compost into soil around the planting area, not just in the hole, or the roots may not want to grow beyond the hole! Place the plant in a hole wide enough to take the root without cramping. Fill the hole with a mix of topsoil and compost. Mixing in bonemeal (a cup or so) will go a long way toward giving it a good start. Keep it moist, but not wet, for its first season.

If you want to have a soil test, contact the County Cooperative Extension office in Flint for more information.
Cty Bldg. #2, G4215 W Pasadena Ave., 810-732-1470. Good luck with your lilacs!

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