The Q&A Archives: Soil enrichment

Question: Thank you for your prompt answer to my question of how to get rid of the moss in my new flower garden. However, I failed to mention that I did have one azalea planted in the corner of the bed. I do have access to some composted soil. Would that help? Can I put the lime on some of the bed, but not near the azalea. The bed is not very big and the azalea is in the corner next to the porch. After I try to incorporate these items into the soil, can I then put hard wood mulch on the bed to help with the weeds and moisture during dry weather? Thank you for the help. Patsy C. Christian

Answer: Sounds like a good plan to me. Digging the soil will help loosen it and improve the drainage. You can dig in compost, and then sprinkle a little lime over the top of the bed. Keep the lime away from the azalea; dig it into the soil a bit and then cover with wood mulch. The lime will take a while to break down and sweeten the soil. In the meantime, the mulch will help moderate soil temperatures, slow evaporation and suppress weeds. If you can spread a little peat moss over the root area of the azalea and cover that with wood mulch, that should make your azalea happy, too.

Good luck with your garden!

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