Perennial bed – Improved soil

Q: I had professional landscaping done in my back yard late last fall. Included was a perennial bed that was supposed to be tilled and the soil amended properly. The center of the bed appears OK, but the edge still has very hard soil. How can I improve the soil now that there are many plants already there?

A: For me, it would all depend on how many plants are in the area you want to soften up. If there aren’t too many, dig them up in October, add soil conditioner and replant. If there are a lot, put a half-inch layer of composted cow manure under each plant now and again next spring. Replenish the manure layer when it disappears. Earthworms will soften the soil for you.

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