hard soil - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for drlynda6
Question by drlynda6
August 19, 2010
I have a spot with several volunteer maple trees and they have crowded out the bushes under them. Not much grows under there. I would like to add some packysandra, do you have nay other suggestions. What can do to amend the soil?

Answer from NGA
August 19, 2010
The shade is probably contributing to your difficulty in getting things to grow. That's not unusual, though. Think of a dense woody area--often there is little growing underneath the trees in the shade, except maybe some ferns. I hesitate to recommend you do anything underneath the tree. Maples have lots of shallow roots, so you don't want to disturb that area too much. If you damage roots, you leave an open wound that invites pest and disease. If you really want something, a shade loving ground cover like pachysandra will work. If you choose to try a ground cover, be very gentle when planting, and add no more than an inch or so of material to the ground underneath the tree. Be sure not to put soil up against the trunk, as this creates a condition that also promotes fungal disease. I hope this info helps.

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