The Q&A Archives: Soil/pest issue?

Question: Something in my soil is making my plants not grow on one side of my landscaped area. What can I put on it? I was told I might have a fungus or something.

Answer: Without knowing what the problem might be, it's hard to recommend a treatment. You can have your soil tested to find out what's causing the problem or you can just assume the soil is poor and lacking in nutrients and amend that part of the bed. Organic matter such as compost can improve poorly draining soils and add nutrients. Start by removing all the plants from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the bed. You can use compost, aged manure, shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your flowers and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular garden.

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