All Things Gardening forum: Some help for a wet behind the ears person on "well draining soil"

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 711, Replies: 24 » Jump to the end
Name: Casey
Hull, Texas (Zone 9b)
Mr_brightside
Mar 27, 2018 1:03 PM CST
Hello everyone my name is Casey. This is my first year of home ownership as well as my first year trying to grow things as well(so when interacting with me just treat me as though I only recently discovered that plants require water to live lol).

So what I want to do is eventually turn the 3 acres around my house into a prehistoric tropical jungle. The previous owner had a thing for lots of grass and sporadic placement of bushes(mostly crate myrtles) that I just do not enjoy haha.

Now this brings us closer to the question, here's the problem: the property my house is on used to be like 500ft below sea level, so to counter this, the previous owner had a very large pond excavated and used all of the excavations to raise up the 3 acres where the house would eventually sit, which is all wonderful when a hurricane hits and my house is high and dry, but it leaves the problem my property is a giant hardened clay hill lol.

Now, of course in my research I have read many guides on amending soil to establish well drained soil, but in my case I'm dealing with gigantic quantities.

One of the things I tried for my first planter for some palm and banana trees was to excavate a 3' x 3' x 60' hole in the clay and replace it with a nice 3 part flower bed mix that I can buy locally in bulk. Unfortunately it taught me a very difficult lesson that all I had really accomplished was excavated a bathtub and filled it with dirt and plants, so when the rains came I just had a bog off of my front porch with drowning palm trees.

Luckily I was quick enough to recognize the problem and basically uproot my freshly planted trees, add a large amount of soil to basically raise the roots up out of the very bottom of the hole and save most of them.

So this year I very much want to go into my big wide open spaces of my lawn and plant some fast growing shade trees that will hopefully, in many years time, create the canopy for my own private jungle. But I need a plan for dealing with my terrible soil. And now we've made it to my question!

So my new plan will to be abandon working my soil, and instead just having good soil hauled in and stacked. Obviously for 3 acres we are talking about a ridic amount of soil, but I figure if I just take it slowly, start with a handful of Rainbow Eucalyptus and Royal Empress trees with enough soil to get them about...let's say 2 ft above the current layer a clay, would that be a viable option for my trees to survive? Or will they quickly grow beyond the 2' of quality soil down into the clay and be drowned the first time the rains come?

I'm trying to avoid having to work all of the soil in my yard, but if I have to I'll just buy an industrial tiller attachment for the CAT and just go to work...anyways sorry for the long post but thanks for any advice y'all can give! Thank You!
Thumb of 2018-03-27/Mr_brightside/f480b2
Thumb of 2018-03-27/Mr_brightside/30dc38
Thumb of 2018-03-27/Mr_brightside/f66bf9

Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 27, 2018 1:14 PM CST
If you can afford it, when you plant trees, or just to give you places to put them in the future, rent a skid-steer with a large diameter post hole digger and drill a hole as deep as you can below each tree, six feet minimum.
Fill most of the hole with rocks largest on the bottom, then sand.
This will give you a dry well that will remove excess water.
Three feet of dirt for growing should be enough depending on the size of trees you will put in.
Name: Greg Chrislip
Lawrence, KS (Zone 6a)
Sempervivums Cactus and Succulents Bookworm Cat Lover
Image
GregC
Mar 27, 2018 1:14 PM CST
If you put your location in your profile, people in your hardiness zone can be of great help. I'm way too North for a tropical paradise.
Crazy Entomologist
โ€œThe centipede was happy, quite, Until a toad in fun Said, 'Pray, which leg goes after which?; This worked his mind to such a pitch, He lay distracted in a ditch, Considering how to run.โ€
Name: Casey
Hull, Texas (Zone 9b)
Mr_brightside
Mar 27, 2018 6:19 PM CST
RpR said:If you can afford it, when you plant trees, or just to give you places to put them in the future, rent a skid-steer with a large diameter post hole digger and drill a hole as deep as you can below each tree, six feet minimum.
Fill most of the hole with rocks largest on the bottom, then sand.
This will give you a dry well that will remove excess water.
Three feet of dirt for growing should be enough depending on the size of trees you will put in.


Hmm, I like this idea, I have access to a CAT 299C as well, I might give Sunbelt a call and see if they'll rent me a decent size auger for this project! Thanks for the tip!

GregC said:If you put your location in your profile, people in your hardiness zone can be of great help. I'm way too North for a tropical paradise.


Yes good idea! Greetings from beautiful Southeast Texas! If anyone has any first-hand tropical experience out here, I would love to get some advice! Smiling
Coastal TX (Sunset 28/31) (Zone 9a)
JuniperAnn
Mar 27, 2018 6:54 PM CST
Texas A&M recommends expanded shale for aerating clay soils, but I don't know how much that would cost in bulk. Probably a lot. :/

One option for lowering your costs / efforts would be to alternate amended areas with areas filled with clay-friendly plants. Zone 10 is sometimes considered to be the start of the tropics, so we here in the subtropics have some choices with a fairly tropical feel.

For full sun, maybe consider:
Crinum lilies
Agapanthus
Some native hibiscuses (kostelezkya virginica, hibiscus laevis)
Daylilies
Baptisias (baptisia alba, baptisia australis, baptisia australis minor, baptisia bracteata)
Chile pequin (a native pepper that I hear is very hot)
Turk's cap


For part shade, maybe
Sabal minor (our only native palm, I believe)
Sago palm
Canna lilies
Althea
Daturas & brugmansias (if you have no small children or particularly adventurous teens around; they're hallucinogenic)
Chile pequin
Turk's cap
Ginger lily / butterfly lily
Spider lilies (hymenocallis)
Passionflower (passiflora incarnata or passiflora foetida are natives)

(Multiple edits to get rid of extra "help" from autocorrect).

[Last edited by JuniperAnn - Mar 27, 2018 7:35 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1669392 (5)
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Mar 28, 2018 7:07 AM CST
The problem with using equipment to break up the clay.... Generally it just adds to the problem.

Bringing in soil and adding it to the compacted soil generally means having low organic sand piled on top of compacted clay, now two problems rather than one.

Lot of people looking for that instant easy fix, and.... End up making things a lot worse.

Personally, I've been having the best luck by piling large piles of organic material, and leaving it for months... Think about what the compost pile does for the soil it is piled on...

Thumb of 2018-03-28/stone/1e3d42

Eventually the organic material gets used, and then.... I can do something with the area that I had it piled. Makes it a lot easier when the microbes have loosened the hard pan.

Name: Casey
Hull, Texas (Zone 9b)
Mr_brightside
Mar 28, 2018 8:42 PM CST
stone said:The problem with using equipment to break up the clay.... Generally it just adds to the problem.

Bringing in soil and adding it to the compacted soil generally means having low organic sand piled on top of compacted clay, now two problems rather than one.

Lot of people looking for that instant easy fix, and.... End up making things a lot worse.

Personally, I've been having the best luck by piling large piles of organic material, and leaving it for months... Think about what the compost pile does for the soil it is piled on...

Thumb of 2018-03-28/stone/1e3d42

Eventually the organic material gets used, and then.... I can do something with the area that I had it piled. Makes it a lot easier when the microbes have loosened the hard pan.



I appreciate the comment! But now I'm a little confused, could you explain how using equipment to break up clay adds to the problem?

JuniperAnn said:Texas A&M recommends expanded shale for aerating clay soils, but I don't know how much that would cost in bulk. Probably a lot. :/

One option for lowering your costs / efforts would be to alternate amended areas with areas filled with clay-friendly plants. Zone 10 is sometimes considered to be the start of the tropics, so we here in the subtropics have some choices with a fairly tropical feel.

For full sun, maybe consider:
Crinum lilies
Agapanthus
Some native hibiscuses (kostelezkya virginica, hibiscus laevis)
Daylilies
Baptisias (baptisia alba, baptisia australis, baptisia australis minor, baptisia bracteata)
Chile pequin (a native pepper that I hear is very hot)
Turk's cap


For part shade, maybe
Sabal minor (our only native palm, I believe)
Sago palm
Canna lilies
Althea
Daturas & brugmansias (if you have no small children or particularly adventurous teens around; they're hallucinogenic)
Chile pequin
Turk's cap
Ginger lily / butterfly lily
Spider lilies (hymenocallis)
Passionflower (passiflora incarnata or passiflora foetida are natives)

(Multiple edits to get rid of extra "help" from autocorrect).



Omg thanks for the suggestions! I always wonder what our palmetto plants were growing in the area and now I know exactly what their name is so I can look up how to get some planted, haha I found a small specimen at the back of my property and after like 8 hours of digging I finally got the little guy dug up and moved to my planter...but unfortunately he didn't survive...no clue what I did wrong Crying

So when you say to alternate amended areas with clay-friendly plants, basically I would plant some nice things on the list in an area and let them grow for a while...but after a while I would dig them up and move them or something? Haha like I said, just kind of treat me like I just now discovered plants require water to live lol 'cause this is all really new to me lol
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Mar 29, 2018 6:26 AM CST
Mr_brightside said:I appreciate the comment! But now I'm a little confused, could you explain how using equipment to break up clay adds to the problem?


Equipment packs the clay below where the blade reaches. Ever hear of a tractor pan?
Never use heavy equipment in the garden.... I wouldn't even use a tiller.

If the soil hasn't dried enough, the equipment may create large cement like clumps that take years to break apart...

Re the suggestion about using an auger, and rocks, and whatever.... Remember the bathtub experience? I wouldn't plant anything with an auger.

Best to work organic amendments into a large area... Most Trees send their roots into the surrounding soil in the top few inches... Trying to get the trees to grow in an auger dug hole is going to be a non-starter.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 29, 2018 10:55 AM CST
Stone do not forget the hill he is planting on is not natural so he is not destroying the natural ecology.
I have planted a lot of trees, more than I want to remember with a post hole digger and where soil had been added in housing areas breaking through the unnatural, usually clay, new soil allows drainage that decades of mother earth news type process will never do.
Failure to break through results in dead trees.

Casey one thing you can do if you get a post hole digger, as I said get the largest, diameter and longest one possible and drill a test hole to see what is down there and how far it goes.
Drill a hole or holes, different depths , if necessary, and fill with water.
Check drainage rate.
If it does not drain, you have serious problem.

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 30, 2018 8:56 AM CST
Hi & welcome! What fun to have such a big "yard" to play with! :+)

Agree with Stone's suggestions about organic matter. Leaves, manure, yard clippings, kitchen scraps, etc... Taking a few shovels of "good soil" from a more moist part of your property and putting under the organic matter could help inoculate your soil with microbes & other tiny soil dwelling critters that aid in the decomposition of organic matter. If the soil does not seem to have any, buying some worms & putting them under a pile of organic matter could help jump-start things too. A superb 15 min video about the basics of soil microbiology:
https://permaculturenews.org/2...

Beyond my area but you might want to investigate legumes and their ability to fix nitrogen into the soil, & cover crops. For native trees that grow in similar conditions, I wouldn't worry much about amending the soil.

Please read about Paulownia trees before purposely cultivating them.
https://www.texasinvasives.org...
http://www.tsusinvasives.org/h...

Catalpa trees are similar, and native:
http://texastreeid.tamu.edu/co...
Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Coastal TX (Sunset 28/31) (Zone 9a)
JuniperAnn
Mar 30, 2018 5:09 PM CST
Mr_brightside said:

So when you say to alternate amended areas with clay-friendly plants, basically I would plant some nice things on the list in an area and let them grow for a while...but after a while I would dig them up and move them or something?


No, I meant alternate geographically, not chronologically. Pick some areas where you want to cultivate clay-hating plants, and amend those areas. Then, in the other areas, plant clay-tolerant plants and don't amend the soil except for with a little mulch or yard clippings on top to keep the soil moist and feed the worms and bugs that poop out natural fertilizer.

Though if you wanted, you could plant clay-tolerant plants now, and dig them up and amend soil later. It depends on how your calculations for various short and long term financial and labor costs work out.

Just thinking about all that work makes me glad we live on a medium-small suburban lot!

Coastal TX (Sunset 28/31) (Zone 9a)
JuniperAnn
Mar 30, 2018 5:24 PM CST
I particularly recommend agapanthus as a starter filler plant. They grow FAST when they're not crowded and slowly when they are crowded, so they fill up areas quickly if you spread them out, but won't be invasive on your property. In our warm climate, you can dig them up and divide them twice a year (spring and fall) to keep the growth as fast as possible (you won't get many flowers that way, but you will get lots of tropical-looking leaves). They don't like hard freezes, but you don't get many of those.

You'll get the best selection at garden centers in spring, but the best prices in fall. Everything in the Houston Garden Center chain goes on sale for 70% off in October, so that's a good time to fill up on fillers (buy the most crowded agapanthus pots you can, tho you won't be able to see the bloom colors then). It's also a good time to be a little spontaneous and take a chance on things you aren't sure will work. And the hardest time on our lnew plants here is the heat of August, so planting in October or November is a great way to give plants a head start. They WILL be a little extra frost tender that first winter if planted so late, so be sure to throw a sheet or tarp or something over your fall-planted plants if a frost is predicted for the night.
[Last edited by JuniperAnn - Mar 30, 2018 5:27 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1671589 (12)
Name: Debbie
Ventura County, CA
Cat Lover Frugal Gardener Bookworm Region: United States of America Salvias Region: California
Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener Garden Procrastinator
Image
ChefDebbie
Apr 6, 2018 2:33 PM CST
Congrats on first time being a homeowner, Casey. I too, was the epitome of a greenhorn gardener when I became a first time homeowner too, when I bought my condo 3 years ago this June. I have a small area for gardening & when I first started gardening here in Southern California, my soil was so incredibly compact and is clay. Over time, it has gotten better, I've used Amend by Kellogg (big yellow bag & organic) and taking kitchen scraps, the cardboard tubes of paper towels, etc., cutting everything down into smaller pieces so it can decompose quicker, and essentially, making a 'dirt lasagna'. I dig a hole, add some cut up stuff, put a layer of dirt, and so forth. I can be proud to say that I've got worms! Lots of them. (you know what I mean).
A transplanted New Yorker now living in Southern California..... Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
Apr 17, 2018 10:04 PM CST
Welcome! @Mr_brightside glad you found the NGA!

You have really got some great advice already, and these members really know their stuff! I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to you.

My main suggestion is to break your project down in to phases. Smiling I'm sure you're looking out on your vast property and feeling a bit excited with your vision; Perhaps a little impatient, bc you want it to happen now; And maybe a bit overwhelmed at the size of the project. Blinking Planning and working in phases makes it more manageable both on the wallet and mentally. Smiling I live on a postage stamp size property, in the city, and I've been working on my gardens in phases, for financial reasons, and the DH (Dear Husband) isn't one for change, even at a snail's pace. Rolling my eyes. Rolling my eyes. Lovey dubby I started in 2011, and have installed 10 gardens, one of which was expanded from a tree ring garden to a full garden bc we lost the tree, and the largest is yet to come, but hopefully I'll be starting on that one this year. Negotiations (with the DH) will be starting soon! Whistling Whistling Hilarious!

Now if you're itching to get a nice quick start on your vision this year, amending with peat and compost is a good way to jump start things, so you might have a completed garden or two, by the end of the growing season. Smiling We have hard clay soil here, in Northeast Ohio, as well. Glare We do get extreme drought in the months of July and August, rendering the soil hard as a rock, so I amend our soil with peat bc it's cheap. Green Grin! I mix roughly about 1 part peat to 2 parts native soil, minimum, to give it that fluffy texture and rich, milk chocolaty brown color. Smiling I just use color and texture to determine if there's enough peat mixed in. I don't think peat has much in the way of nutrients (perhaps someone might chime in), but it aerates the soil nicely, and mixing in or topping off with nutrient rich compost will round out the soil nicely for new plantings. Also, my gardens are a bit raised, probably not as much as they should be, with the exception of the one where the tree stump remains, but I've found raised garden beds to be a consistent recommendation by the experts for clay soil, and peat not only aerates the soil, but it adds volume to fill in a raised bed. Smiling

So while you're working on your first beds, you can take yard waste and such and pile it up, as mentioned by Stone, which is called Hugelkulture and here's a youtube video on that method https://www.youtube.com/watch?... , and/or using the lasagna method, as mentioned by Debbie, and here's a youtube video on that method https://www.youtube.com/watch?... Smiling in the areas of the next phase that you plan to work in. This way, the material has some time to break down, while you're working on the first gardens, and they'll be ready to work in a few months or next season. Smiling

Hope my two cents helps get you off to a quick start, at least! Smiling
Good luck and happy gardening!!
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Apr 17, 2018 10:20 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1686639 (14)
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
Image
quercusnut
Apr 18, 2018 12:57 AM CST
RpR said:Stone do not forget the hill he is planting on is not natural so he is not destroying the natural ecology.
I have planted a lot of trees, more than I want to remember with a post hole digger and where soil had been added in housing areas breaking through the unnatural, usually clay, new soil allows drainage that decades of mother earth news type process will never do.
Failure to break through results in dead trees.

Casey one thing you can do if you get a post hole digger, as I said get the largest, diameter and longest one possible and drill a test hole to see what is down there and how far it goes.
Drill a hole or holes, different depths , if necessary, and fill with water.
Check drainage rate.
If it does not drain, you have serious problem.



Good to know I'm not the only one who uses posthole diggers. I have heavy clay soil here in TN and usually use posthole diggers as my main planting tool. No bowl/bathtub effect. A prime example is a Cherrybark oak I planted 29 years ago in a simple posthole. It had a diameter smaller than a pencil when I planted it. Now I can't get both arms around it.
Not recommending this method for Texas necessarily. YMMV.

Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
Apr 18, 2018 12:31 PM CST
stone said:

Re the suggestion about using an auger, and rocks, and whatever.... Remember the bathtub experience? I wouldn't plant anything with an auger.


This method may be most effective for plants that require consistently moist soil. The bathtub effect would not apply with rocks piled good and high in a very deep hole. The rocks, stones, and pebbles reverse the effects of flooding by slowing down the water, which allows it to percolate in to (even) the clay soil. In all reality, the bathtub effect takes place without rocks in the bottom and good draining soil layered on top. Smiling

RpR, It's impossible to keep smaller rocks on top of larger rocks, being that they can slip in to the voids between the larger rocks, as it all compacts over time. Man can't rewrite the laws of gravity, here. Allowing the rocks to "fall where they may" is ideal anyway bc water slows as it runs through the large rocks down into the small rocks and pebbles, which promotes percolation even further. Crushed concrete, that is used as a base layer under the sand layer, under a patio, is highly effective in promoting drainage in clay soil bc of the fine pieces that come with it. Smiling

My suggestion, IF one chooses to use this method, is to do a perc test in the soil before breaking ground, as mentioned by somebody else. If it's acceptable, and after the hole is dug and the rocks are in place, use the hose or buckets of water to do another perc test on the base layer of rocks BEFORE filling in with soil and planting anything.

Just thoughts. There are many ways to "skin a cat", as it were. It's all a matter of the choice of method. Smiling
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Apr 19, 2018 2:26 PM CST
Interesting that people are doubling down on the use of an auger/fence post digger for planting....

I would be interested in hearing how those trees do after several years down the road.

I have been brought in to 'fix' an auger planted orchard... and while I attempted to fix the root zone by loosening the clay in a wide area, and adding manure and mulching with wood chips.... woulda made better sense to have just planted the trees in a wide hole to start with...

I did also plant a number of new trees...

If you bother to do the research... You will learn that the extension service talks about the trees roots getting 'trapped' in the auger dug hole and circling around just like in a container... The roots just can't escape into the native soil.
[Last edited by stone - Apr 19, 2018 2:28 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1687819 (17)
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 19, 2018 2:30 PM CST
stone said:Interesting that people are doubling down on the use of an auger/fence post digger for planting....

I would be interested in hearing how those trees do after several years down the road.

I have been brought in to 'fix' an auger planted orchard... and while I attempted to fix the root zone by loosening the clay in a wide area, and adding manure and mulching with wood chips.... woulda made better sense to have just planted the trees in a wide hole to start with...

I did also plant a number of new trees...

If you bother to do the research... You will learn that the extension service talks about the trees roots getting 'trapped' in the auger dug hole and circling around just like in a container... The roots just can't escape into the native soil.


Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 19, 2018 2:37 PM CST
stone said:Interesting that people are doubling down on the use of an auger/fence post digger for planting....

I would be interested in hearing how those trees do after several years down the road.

I have been brought in to 'fix' an auger planted orchard... and while I attempted to fix the root zone by loosening the clay in a wide area, and adding manure and mulching with wood chips.... woulda made better sense to have just planted the trees in a wide hole to start with...

I did also plant a number of new trees...

If you bother to do the research... You will learn that the extension service talks about the trees roots getting 'trapped' in the auger dug hole and circling around just like in a container... The roots just can't escape into the native soil.

The hole is for drainage not for making a opening for planting.
Unless you are planting seedlings, few trees do not need a standard hole for planting.
If the ground is that hard you could still drill multiple holes at an angles to break-up the soil, most people do not have years to wait for piles of composting stuff to work, if it does.

Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
Image
quercusnut
Apr 19, 2018 2:58 PM CST
stone said:Interesting that people are doubling down on the use of an auger/fence post digger for planting....

I would be interested in hearing how those trees do after several years down the road.

I have been brought in to 'fix' an auger planted orchard... and while I attempted to fix the root zone by loosening the clay in a wide area, and adding manure and mulching with wood chips.... woulda made better sense to have just planted the trees in a wide hole to start with...

I did also plant a number of new trees...

If you bother to do the research... You will learn that the extension service talks about the trees roots getting 'trapped' in the auger dug hole and circling around just like in a container... The roots just can't escape into the native soil.


I haven't found that to be the case at all. My soil is very stiff clay in most places. However I do maintain a good mulch after planting. Maybe my trees do well in spite of my planting method but I still prefer straight sides instead of a bowl.
Below is the Cherrybark oak I planted in a simple posthole 29 yrs. ago next month. Its diameter was smaller than a pencil when I planted it. It regularly put on at least 3 ft. of growth in its early years.


Thumb of 2018-04-19/quercusnut/bcd1db




Thumb of 2018-04-19/quercusnut/dc22b8

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« 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 rocklady and is called "Geraniums"