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Boxwood Shrubs

Q.Raising Already Established Bed

Zone 7b | AllieMac added on May 8, 2024 | Answered

We have awful clay soil. When I’ve tilled in the past, it all comes up in clumps and even trying to break them apart by hand ends up just creating basically pea gravel – small river rock sized balls of hard clay once it dries. I could make a nice statue with our dirt. We have 3 boxwood hedges in the planting bed in front of our house that I’m sure the builders plopped down as a matter of course. So they’re about 4 years old. Is it okay for me to slowly build up and “raise” this bed around my boxwoods? Instead of ripping them out of the ground, just leave them where they are, build a perimeter around the outside edge of the bed, fill with healthy soil, and have the boxwood trunks not rot? Maybe do this process slowly a few inches at a time?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 8, 2024

It will be a bad idea to pile anything touching the base, or up the bark. I can suggest putting a barrier around the base that would extend up to your raised bed area, so that there is a buffer area where the bed soil cannot touch. Unfortunately, the situation is sort of tricky to deal with. The shrubs would have a very difficult time with any of the other options. Just make sure to provide proper care, and avoid roots as much as you can. If the shrubs are still small, then this won't be so bad. If they are larger, then you may have to build the bed over beside the area.

Just make sure to give them the proper care, whatever you decide, to minimize stress to the shrubs.


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