A Garden under Arborvitae - Knowledgebase Question

Lake Placid, Fl
Avatar for sk8rski
Question by sk8rski
July 2, 2010
The shallow roots make it difficult to get a planting hole dug out. I used a dandelion-fork to scrape some soil and then mounded more around each plant. With these pervasive roots, am I just wasting time by trying to garden in this area? I planted salvia, daylilies, coleus and begonia nelumbifolia. The huge arborvitae gives great shade in the heat of the day in an otherwise parched yard.
T Y!

Answer from NGA
July 2, 2010
The arborvitae roots will compete with your new plants for moisture and nutrients so you may need to water them more often than you otherwise would. I've gotten some shallow rooted annuals and perennials to grow in a similar situation so it is possible, but it can require more care. You might want to use a foliar fertilizer such as Miracle Gro, feeding your little plants once every 4-6 weeks to make sure they get their share of nutrients. Good luck with your new garden.

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