The Q&A Archives: My soil is very poor. Claylike, rocky and hard.

Question: My soil is very poor. Claylike, rocky and hard. I have been having a hrd time growing shrubs in this flower bed. Any suggestions as to what shrubs and or ground covers would grow best in this type of soil? I am in need of some serious help! My front yard has a mix of sun and shade depending on the time of day. Thank you!

Answer: Some plants that thrive in heavy, poor, and shallow soils include Michaelmas Daisy (in fact most Asters will do well under the conditions you describe), Helenium, Viburnum plicatum (Japanese Snowball, Weigela, Rudbeckia, Buphthalmum, Solidago, Crataegus (Hawthorn), Forsythia, Spiraea arguta, Salix (Willow), Anemone, Lysimachia clethroides (Loosestrife), Leopard's Bane, Monarda (Bee Balm), Daylily, Foxglove and Prunella. Be sure to mulch the garden with organic matter to help the soil retain moisture and help suppress weeds. If you can dig the organic matter into the soil at the end of the season you'll eventually improve the soil and make it more hospitable to a wider range of plants.

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