Q.I Have Two Large California Pepper Trees And Their Roots Have Been Invading My Raised Vegetable Garden Beds. Veggie Production Ha
s been dismal the past couple of years and I suspect that the Pepper tree roots are sucking the nutrients and water out of the bed s. I am in the process of removing the Pepper trees (and grinding the stumps) to support another landscape project. I understand that Pepper trees can be somewhat Allelopathic and I am wondering if I will need to remove all the soil in those beds and replace it with new soil and organic material before replanting or if I can simply revitalize the old soil. I am concerned that if the Pepper tree roots that were in the beds left residual toxins in the soil that may still impact growth of new plantings.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It will, but not from the roots! This will come from any leaves that have fallen within the last few rainfalls. After several rains, the toxins will be at a dilution rate suitable for gardening. Still, it would hurt to amend the soil for optimal growth.