The Q&A Archives: Soil

Question: We converted a screen porch to a 3 season porch

We have very wet soil and I would like to plant something in front of the proch like bushes, evergreens or something. But with the wet soil - what can I plant? Would appreciate any suggestions you can give. Plus - the soil is so wet grows moss like stuff.

Answer: There are a number of plants that will tolerate a wet soil, but sometimes it is better to correct the cause of the wet soil -- constantly wet soil can ruin the building foundation, for one thing. Also, if the cause of the constantly wet soil is lack of guttering or overflowing guttering, the pounding rain water will smash your plants. Finally, moss can be a sign of poorly drained and/or compacted soil and/or overly acid soil. You might want to run some soil tests and see if the pH is extrmely low because this could make it difficult to grow plants there. You will also probably need to work in a generous amount of organic matter prior to planting. Here are some plants to consider: shrub dogwood such as Cornus sericea, a dwarf form of Summersweet (Clethra), or the evergreen inkberry holly (Ilex glabra). Some groundcovers might include lily of the valley or sweet woodruff or violets if it is shady, a dwarf astilbe if it is sunnier.

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