new plants in wet soil

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by grassmasterswilson, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    I installed a new landscape about 4-5 months ago. So everything is new and hasn't rooted well. The soil holds moisture well and once I started digging holes noticed a decent amount of clay. I took the soil from the holes and mixed with some potting soil. I've started losing some plants and upon further inspection notice that the soil around the plants was soft and when stepped on would bring water to the top.

    I'm guessing that when digging the holes I created a "bowl" and it is holding the moisture. Yesterday I went around and tried to pack the soil and add some more potting soil to dry it out.

    Is there anything I can do to help the drainage and fix the problem? I'm trying to keep from losing anymore and maybe recover some weaker plants.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Cultivate lightly around the perimeter of the root zone and above, so the roots are able to get air from the surface... Creating a dust mulch around the base of the plant is the ultimate goal...
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Rule of thumb is an ugly hole with rough sides.
    Break up the root ball so you do not have a root bound plant.
    Backfil with native soil and avoid the potting soil.

    Back off the watering but the bowl is a problem. Outside of adding drainage the best bet is to raise the planting up about 4 to 6 inches.
  4. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    The more clay you have to work with the better the chances are that your going to loose more plant material. Most plant material does not like wet feet. Better hope hat the soil
    will dry out a bit, even than chances are not good for survival.
    easy-lift guy
  5. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Sounds very much like the situation with my tree's Duek?
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Which one? This is a transplant so your Dog Wood?
  7. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Cut one off at the top of the ground, its dead.

    Noticed the other two look better during a dought and night before last we got two inces of rain. LOL leaves started turning brown again.

    Recall the dogwoods were in heavy clay.

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