Tree roots don’t always make their way deep underground where they are safely hidden and tucked away from any plants. If the soil is too dense deep underground, the roots of a tree may spider out along the top layer of soil to absorb more water and oxygen.
Unfortunately, this creates a problematic scenario for homeowners and gardeners trying to grow plants. With a network of tree roots covering the soil, how are you supposed to effectively grow any plants?
Before you pack up all of your gardening equipment, let me first say that yes, you can in fact grow plants around tree roots.
Creating a healthy, thriving garden around a network of tree roots isn’t as easy as raising the soil levels. Some people may simply pour out additional soil over the tree roots in an attempt to raise the ground level.
Nine out of ten times, though, this does more harm than good. The roots will continue to rise as they search for more accommodating soil, and you may alter the water runoff by adding a significant amount of soil.
Ground Cover Plants
One option is to grow ground cover plants around the tree roots. These easy-to-grow plants will spread and thrive on the soil conditions around the tree roots. Best of all, they require minimal maintenance and care.
Once you get them started, they will take off and begin to spread on their own. Ground cover plants are the perfect addition for soil that’s filled with roots, stumps or rocks.
If you intend on growing ground cover plants in your garden, it’s recommended that you first design the walkway. Whether it’s a stepping stone or paved sidewalk path, you should create this before growing the ground cover plants.
Because they grow and spread with such ease, ground cover plants may quickly take over unintended areas if you aren’t careful. This is why it’s important to design your walkway before growing them.
While laying out too much topsoil can have a negative impact on your gardening efforts, you can lay out a then layer to create a slightly more plant-friendly environment.
The additional soil might be just enough to keep your plants healthy. However, there’s a fine line between creating a healthy plant environment and going overboard with your topsoil.
As previously stated, using too much could hinder your gardening efforts, so try to keep it to a minimum. A basic layer of topsoil placed directly over the tree roots should suffice in most situations.
Adding some additional mulch over the exposed tree roots may also help to create a more accommodating environment for your plants. After laying a thin layer of topsoil, perhaps you can then go back over it with some organic mulch.
As long as you are growing small-to-medium-sized plants, this type of medium should be perfect for them to grow. Keep an eye on any new plants during the first couple of weeks to ensure they are getting enough water.
The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or
Great guide on avoiding damage to tree roots when taking on new spring mulching projects, etc.