The Q&A Archives: planting in a new backyard

Question: Hello!

We just moved into a new home and have foundation dirt that is so hard to dig into. Where do we begin? We've put in concrete and wanted to plant 2 citrus trees and something to grow up along our back brick wall. How to we treat the dirt and what's a good ivy type or wall covering plant that has flowers on it?

Please help. Thanks,

Answer: You'll want to amend the soil in the planting areas with organic matter to help your plants grow well. Citrus trees will adapt to the native soil, but vines and flowers will appreciate your efforts to improve the soil. Begin by spreading a 4-5" layer of organic matter (compost, aged-manure, etc.) over the planting bed and digging it in to a depth of 8-10". Then level the soil and plant your plants, covering the bare soil with an additional 2-3" of organic matter. This mulch layer will help slow evaporation and suppress weeds. Ivy will cover a wall but can get out of hand in a hurry. How about evergreen honeysuckle or star jasmine instead?

Good luck with your new landscape!

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