clay soil - Knowledgebase Question

Redford, Mi
Question by leannegarret
March 21, 2010
I have a raised garden which I filled with soil from other parts of our yard. That was 3 years ago, and the ground remains hard. Some of the perenials I've added aren't doing well. Should I soe in some gybsom pellets around existing plants? Or should I just start over? The one plant that is taking over is the sedum, which is a great ground cover, but may be choking out the other plants. thanks

Answer from NGA
March 21, 2010


I'd take this opportunity to renovate the bed before spring growth begins. Start by removing the existing plants and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the entire bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), 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. Replant everything 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. Good luck with your garden.

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