Perennials forum: Raised bed help

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Name: Darcy
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
Feb 1, 2016 8:43 PM CST
I'd love some thoughts...when you plant perennials in a raised bed you put everything nice and level etc.....then over time the soil starts to break down and some things sink really far down (usually the things that don't like mulch), and others not so much (things that need mulch). Do you add dirt around the stems of the plants that sank (let's say, a rose bush or peony) or dig out the higher plants? If I remove dirt to make the roses happy, I'm left with very little material in my box, which kind of defeats the purpose. If I add dirt around the roses, I'm afraid the stems will rot.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 1, 2016 10:06 PM CST


My thought would be the crown would rot if you just added dirt on almost all plants.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 11, 2016 8:19 AM CST
Adding more soil or compost around the roses is fine- I plant mine deep so they can access moisture and for winter protection and I pile compost around them and over the crown, especially the grafted roses. Often the grafted plants will produce roots on the canes and essentially become an own root plant.

Peonies on the other hand shouldn't be more than 2" deep over the crown and planting too deeply can keep them from blooming. As Bob said, other perennials could experience crown rot if covered too deeply.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Darcy
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
Feb 11, 2016 10:55 AM CST
Thanks Neal!

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