Roots exposed Small Shrubs

gina_indianaJuly 14, 2008

Hello and again thanks for all your kind help with garden matters. Invaluable !! A small line of shrubs on the side of my house have their roots showing (exposed) . Like some of the soil has washed away . Just purchased this home and trying to clean it up.

Should I put some top soil over the roots and then mulch ? Give me an idea of the best way to protect the exposed roots and should I give them some food also ? They look scraggly but the shrubs are thriving. Presently, have to keep them so I'd like to fixe em up !

Thanks again ~

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

why mess with a thriving shrub????

if they are OK with it.. i am sure you have a lot of other things to work on with your new house ...


but getting a proper ID would really help you make the ultimate decision ... it would help you research whether this is normal ....

if you can post a pic... we can probably tell you what it is

NEVER FERTILIZE A SHRUB .. period ... its a bush.. not a child ... nor a tree.. nor a conifer ....


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 4:31PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Ken, I've never heard of fertilizing children. What type of fertilizer is best for them?

But, back to shrubs...sometimes shrubs need fertilizer. It certainly doesn't sound like Gina's shrubs do, but that doesn't mean you can make a blanket statement that one should "never fertilize a shrub." Some shrubs planted in nutrient deficient soil can benefit from proper fertilization.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 10:05AM
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Hey Brandon,

I guess what I was trying to say about this little row of shrubs was that part of their woody roots are showing and they're not lovely to view. I thought perhaps there might be something ( soil+mulch ) that might be beneficial as well as pleasant to look at.

I didn't get the fertilize children thing but hey...
I appreciate people taking the time to give me advice.
Thanks ~

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:59PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

no soil on top of roots...

if you dont want to look at the roots ... add a course wood mulch ...

in your original question.. you asked if I SHOULD GIVE THEM SOME FOOD... plant food is fertilizer ...

SHRUBS NEVER NEED BE FEED ... they are shrubs.. not children ...

brandon .. you and i.. if we felt there was a problem with a plant.. would have a soil test done.. and amend the soil so the plants can thrive.. yes????

it is not worthwhile to tell the general public.. that plants need to be fed like children .... this would include.. conifers.. trees and shrubs ... they just never need food ... especially if they are within 10 feet of a lawn that is fertilized .....

the problem is .. excepting gina, of course [because she actually came here and asked] ... is that the normal homeowner... doesnt bother to read instructions.. if one teaspoon of fert is necessary .. most homeowners figure a handful is better.. and 2 handfuls is twice as good ... frankly ... the homeowner is the biggest polluter in the world.. feeding and spraying things that just dont need to be fooled with ... my water table just doenst need all that fert in it ....

so gina.. mulch to hide the roots.. with the benefit of cooling the soil... and as the mulch breaks down.. feeding the soil ... and reducing the need to ever water a shrub ...

no food..

no fert. ..

no nothing...

remember.. you said they were thriving.. so dont mess with them .. but solve the aesthetic ...

good luck


    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 2:08PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Ken, I kinda knew what you were saying. I was just having a litte fun with the fertilizing children thing. I gotta keep you on your toes. LOL

Gina, Ken is right on target about the mulch.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:06PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

I have always found children native to any location, get plenty of growth with dirt, sun and water, like all growing things! I never use any special growth things, they grow fast enough without!! I do feed them to keep them perky, seems to work for me.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 10:22PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

found it virginia ...

let me know if i can be of any further help ..

yes to the above.. my kids have been raised in dirt ... and sun.. and water ... in fact.. here is a pic of the SANDPIT ... lol .. and i am sure they have eaten there share of dirt in the interim ....

do note.. i dont have any shade structure for my plants .. but i have it for my red headed pale boy .... i spend money on him and sissy .. not fertilizer ... and that mineral sand is about as plain a soil as you can get ... right above the green pail.. on the hill are two green giant arbs ... you see them in 2005 .... with NO FERT ... and no water since 2006 .. they are now about 10 to 15 feet tall ... second pic


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 3:32PM
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