Around pool gardening


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Hi,
I am new to gardening. I am trying to plant some perennials around my pool. As I started digging noticed very thin layer of soil & mulch followed by fabric and under the fabric hard red soil with rocks. I cut the fabric and digged red soil and removed couple of inches of it and planted the perennial. I planted 12 of them. Digging through hard red soil was real hardwork and gave me sore palms. Anyways I am not totally happy and worried that I didn’t dig enough. Will plants grow in the hard red soil?
So I was thinking to remove the entire top soil/mulch, remove the fabric, dig out the hard red rocky soil and replace with potting soil, add fabric, plant the perennials and top it with more soil and mulch.Do I really need to do this ?
 
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Thank you. I am attaching the picture.
 

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I cut small piece of fabric to show you the soil underneath it. Do plants grow in that soil or do I need to dig out and replace with planting soil
 
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I am new to neighborhood as well. But I was able to talk to my neighbor and I was told it’s clay and I have to dig as much so I can fit the plant roots inside. I am already feeling empowered with knowledge ☺️
 

the lawnsman

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around the pool gardening only looks as good as what's beneath it.

some perennials might adjust for lack of good dirt, but by and large, you want a good base for most plant material.

how much of an area you're going to plant might help decide whether you need to bring in some better soil to blend with what's there. would help with drainage as well. good luck!

(never hurts to have someone take a look at it and advise!)

DSCF4629.JPG
 
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Beautiful landscaping around the pool. I am thinking of replacing few inches of clay with planting soil as I intend to plant more. Read somewhere that replacing clay with loose planting soil can create bath tub effect and cause root rot. Do I spot replace wherever I intend to plant or just dig out entire area surrounding pool and replace few inches with planting soil which is Lot of work but I rather do it if it means my plants will survive and thrive.
 

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the lawnsman

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I think that narrow bed could be tilled and/or hand turned while incorporating some beneficial loam type material-results would be far healthier conditions for new plants, which appear will be in a full sun situation?
 
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Yes full sun on the side that’s in the picture. Opp side is full shade but not that long bed. You introduced tilling and loam in my gardening vocabulary. I don’t know how I can till the clay I have to figure out. It’s hard wet lumpy to just dig it out.I thought I will just dig it out and throw it else where in the backyard to level some in unlevel areas.
Can I use this soil I bought at Costco or do I need to buy loam soil ?
 

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the lawnsman

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Yes full sun on the side that’s in the picture. Opp side is full shade but not that long bed. You introduced tilling and loam in my gardening vocabulary. I don’t know how I can till the clay I have to figure out. It’s hard wet lumpy to just dig it out.I thought I will just dig it out and throw it else where in the backyard to level some in unlevel areas.
Can I use this soil I bought at Costco or do I need to buy loam soil ?

bagged topsoil and bagged peat moss blended together work well, some clay may need removal, (and discarded.)
bed prep is not easy work, well worth it to hire someone, if budget allows.
I was fortunate that my place came with nice soil as it was a chicken yard that was part of the farm where this neighborhood was built.
DSCF4437.JPG
 

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