Q.What To Grow Under A Linden Tree In Minnesota?
Hello. I have a large leaf Linden tree in my backyard. I also have soil that could rival concrete for hardness. Nothing, not even many weeds, grow in a large circumference under the tree. I am trying to find something under it that is easy to maintain. I do not want something that will spread out into the rest of my yard as I have several dogs; therefore, mulch, bark, or gravel type of elements are not viable options. I am thinking of something like adding in more soil and a moss type of ground cover. I am wondering if you would have any ideas for me. Thank you for your time and effort in this matter.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The best thing you can put under a tree canopy is mulch, especially in your case with the compacted soil. Planting a groundcover will only compete for nutrients and water with the tree, and you can damage feeder roots of the tree while digging in plants.
A hardwood mulch would work well, out to the dripline. Adding a landscape edging around the mulch should keep it from getting tracked into the grass by the dogs. It also will help maintain moisture for the tree. Be careful not to put the mulch right up against the tree, but about 4 inches away from the tree.
Adding soil under the tree is also not recommended as it can prevent oxygen from reaching the roots.