After the Shrubs Are Gone - Knowledgebase Question

Chesterfield, Vi
Question by anike_mckoy
May 9, 2010
My husband and I moved in a house last year, and I just dug up some old shrubs a couple of days ago that were there when we first moved in. The soil is kind of hard and dry, and in some places it looks kind of clay-like underneath the soil. What should I do to prepare the soil for new plants? What about old roots that may be left behind from the old plants? Holes from old plants? Please help.

Answer from NGA
May 9, 2010


Depending upon the kinds of shrubs you removed, the roots may simply die out - or they may sprout new stems. If you can remove all the old roots, the shrubs will be gone for good. If some of the roots remain you may end up cutting off suckers for a few years until the roots finally give up and die. If you have deep holes in the planting bed you may need to import some soil from another part of your yard, or fill the holes with pre-packaged topsoil. Whichever you do, level the area and spread 3-4 inches of compost or other organic matter over the top and dig it into the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches, then level the area again and plant your perennials or new shrubs. Water them well and stand back and enjoy. Best wishes with your project!

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