The Q&A Archives: Clay dirt

Question: We have a hill in the back yard and when i have tried to plant on it the dirt surrounds the plant and it cannot or does not grow. I have tried putting rocks at the roots and that does not seem to work. Do you have any info on what to do?

Answer: Planting on a hillside can be difficult because the water you use generally runs off rather than soaks into the soil. Try making basins around each plant by leveling the soil around the planting. Build it up in the front with a mound of soil and some rocks so that there is about a 12" shelf in frontof and on the sides of the plant. Then water by filling the basin and allowing it to drain, then filling it a second time. This will keep the water over the root mass and allow it to percolate down and wet the entire root mass. Once the roots are established they should be able to anchor themselves enough to prevent soil erosion on the hillside.

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