Soil Issues When Replacing A Dogwood With Shrubs

Posted on: 29 October 2014

Regardless of the type of soil you have, its pH level has a significant impact on what you can plant in the area, as well as when you can plant. For instance, if you have just had a flowering dogwood removed and want to replace it with shrubs, you will have to treat the soil to adjust the pH level.

Your dogwood tree will have required a fairly acidic soil (not what most shrubs require), so you will have to treat the soil with lime before you can put in your shrubs:

Step 1. Use landscaping chalk to mark off a circular area defined by the dogwood tree's drip line (the point where rain stopped dripping off the tree). This circle will roughly define the root area of the old tree.

Step 2. Clear out any debris from the area, including leaves or bits of the dogwood's root system. Pull any weeds as well.

Step 3. Dig several random soil samples from inside the perimeter. Test these using a pH test kit for soil. Follow the kit's instructions when testing the soil.

Step 4. After testing the soil, note the pH levels.

Step 5. Use a mechanical tiller or a garden hoe to cultivate the soil within the perimeter down to 6 inches or so.

Step 6. Treat the soil by adding dolomitic lime that you broadcast from a hopper. Use the following guidelines when doing this.

Clay Soil pH to Lime Ratios per Hundred Square Feet

4.0 = 23 pounds

4.5 = 20 pounds

5.0 = 15 pounds

5.5 = 10 pounds

6.0 = 5 pounds

Sandy Soil pH to Lime Ratios per Hundred Square Feet

4.0 = 10 pounds

4.5 = 8 pounds

5.0 = 6.5 pounds

5.5 = 4.5 pounds

6.0 = 2 pounds

Loamy Soil pH to Lime Ratios per Hundred Square Feet

4.0 = 17.5 pounds

4.5 = 15 pounds

5.0 = 10 pounds

5.5 = 7.5 pounds

6.0 = 3.5 pounds

Step 7. Use a mechanical tiller or a garden hoe a second time to cultivate the soil down to 6 inches. In order to begin the process of allowing the lime to adjust the pH of the soil, it needs to be watered with 6 gallons of water per square foot.

Keep in mind that you don't have to add this water all at once. You're simply trying to soak the ground down to the level that you have tilled.

Note: Wear protective gloves, as well as long pants and a long sleeve shirt, when spreading the lime. You should also put on protective goggles and a respirator. Make sure that you keep all children and pets out of the area during this process.

For more help, try contacting a company such as Chamley Landscape to learn more.

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