All Things Gardening forum: Tough soil, root filled.. best way to dig?

Views: 732, Replies: 10 » Jump to the end

grdnrook
Sep 4, 2017 10:11 PM CST
Hi Guys --

Looking to plant a number of plants in this area (see pic).

Root is very firm, filled with roots. Trying to make way with a shovel seems impossible.

Any recommendations on what other tools or methods a landscaper or a professional gardener would use?

Looking to dig 3-4 holes about 18 inches apart.. maybe 8-12 inches deep.
Thumb of 2017-09-05/grdnrook/a14185

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Sep 5, 2017 9:47 AM CST
Someone on this site had used one of the special pin point pressure nozzles on their garden hose to "shoot" through the soil without damaging any existing roots. You might try that.

Looking at the photo I am wondering where the roots are coming from???
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
Image
Weedwhacker
Sep 5, 2017 9:53 AM CST
Welcome to NGA, @grdnrook .

I was also wondering where the roots are coming from?

At any rate, I have a tool called a "tiller mattock," something like the one shown here: https://www.grainger.com/produ...

I believe I bought mine at Home Depot; it's heavy enough to really dig through tough soil and roots, and sturdy enough to pry rocks out of the ground. (I have LOTS of both roots and rocks!)

Best of luck with your project! Smiling
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map

SeniorSitizen
Sep 5, 2017 10:02 AM CST
If you haven't done so, Please - Please make a phone call and have all utilities located before you dig. Your state has a number I'm sure as most do.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Sep 5, 2017 10:09 AM CST
Instead of digging, you could get large decorative pots to plant in.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Bonehead
Sep 5, 2017 10:14 AM CST
And perhaps load up the soil with shredded leaves and let them break down over winter to kind of loosen things up.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Sep 5, 2017 10:36 AM CST
Weedwhacker said:https://www.grainger.com/product/22F045?cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA&s_kwcid=AL!2966!3!166596380534!!!!87507300597!&ef_id=V7edNAAABbjAzmmP:20170905154920:s&kwid=productads-adid^166596380534-device^c-plaid^87507300597-sku^22F045-adType^PLA



The link did not work for me. Please check it. Thanks.

I have a mattock tool but I agree that it would be wise to use the 811 Call Before Your Dig. One of my neighbors stuck a shovel in the ground and broke a natural gas line.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
Image
Weedwhacker
Sep 5, 2017 10:45 AM CST
The link works fine for me -- but here's a screenshot for anyone that wants to see a similar tool to what I have

Thumb of 2017-09-05/Weedwhacker/4c25e0

“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map

grdnrook
Sep 5, 2017 10:01 PM CST
Poor picture and lack of detail on my part. The little pot in the picture is sitting on top of a stump that once was a large tree :)

On the left hand side, is where I have an establish palm.

I will proceed with that Mattock.

When I had a gardener, I had asked him to remove a similar tree on the other side of the yard. To my surprise, when I got home and asked how it went, he said "easy" and the hole was not butchered at all. Compared to some of my creations, it was neat and tidy. I asked him what he used and he responded a shovel. Blows my mind that it was as simple as that because as I said, it is nearly impossible to break ground in that area.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Sep 6, 2017 1:11 PM CST
Rent a small front tine roto-tiller.
Go back and forth till it is to the texture you want.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Sep 7, 2017 11:11 AM CST
@grdnrook where are you?

I find that it depends on the season, and what I use to "prime the pump" so to speak....

At my house, I cleared out a thicket for my vegetable garden.... After the top growth was removed (by hand), I still had to deal with a ton of muscadine vine.

Compared to the grape, the tree roots were nothing flat.
The tool pictured would not be up to the work I do.

At my house, I covered the area with several inches of horse poop for a couple months.
After priming the soil with manure, I attacked the soil with an actual mattock.
I did first rake back the manure....

I would not try to plant that area without first digging the entire thing.
It's ok to go out and dig it a couple foot at a time.. then take a break... Go back inside and watch daytime television until the commercials come on... And then dig a bit more.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« All Things Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Adenium Obesum"