Soil Improvement Tips for Shade Gardens

Are you planning to utilize the empty space under your tree? Oh that’s great! Shade gardening is wonderful idea to utilize the free space around your trees. The major problem faced while doing shade gardening is the improvement of soil under your shade trees. The plants you would be planting under your shade trees will be competing with the trees for their nourishment and moisture from the soil.

It is observed that soil under the trees is generally root clogged and dry. The other problem with the soil under your shade tree is the deficiency of nutrients. Hence soil improvement for shade garden is the major aspect you need to take care of. Here are some soil improvement tips for your shade garden:

  • For a successful, beautiful and healthy shade garden you need to recreate woodland soil form. For this you need to add organic matter.
  • You might find difficulty in digging soil because of the complicated root network. In this case you can spread a layer of organic matter over the soil before planting.
  • To get rid off weeds you can use herbicides. Generally it is observed that people avoid using herbicides and dig out all the unwanted vegetation.
  • In case you want to remove unwanted weeds manually make sure that you water the area first. This would make your task simpler and faster.
  • In case of bigger shade garden bed for removing weeds you can use your mower set.
  • For bigger shade garden bed make 6-10 sheets thick layer of newspaper. To avoid blowing off wet them thoroughly. Now cover this paper layer with organic material of 4-5 inches thickness. On top of this layer add a 1-2 inch layer of fine wood chip mulch.
  • For shade garden the perfect organic material is a combination of composted leaves or leaf mold and composted bark.
  • In case you don’t have compost or leaf mold then you can go for highly rotten manure mixed with peat moss and top soil. Generally peat is bit dry so make sure that you dampen it before using.
  • For shade garden it is better to avoid raising soil level beyond 3 inches.
  • Remember that too much of mulch or soil can result in root smothering and can cause damage to your trees.
  • It is better to avoid laying newspaper at the base of your tree trunk as it might promote rot in the bark.

Happy shade gardening with useful soil improvement tips.

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