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Planting where pittosporum were removed

Posted by dretutz 10 (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 12, 13 at 18:36

First time posting in garden forum. I had three large pittosporum removed from the north side of the house. They have been here since 1988 and required constant pruning to contain.
When removed, the arborist ground the stumps and the area has chips from the chipper. My question:
If I dig the chips into the ground and amend with worm castings, can hydrangeas go straight in the space? Or, should I cover with newspaper, chicken manure and let rest until winter?
I am in coastal Southern Califorina in zone 10 with a mild maritime climate.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Planting where pittosporum were removed

You could plant Hydrangeas there, but they would not do very well since the Soil Food Web would be working on the wood chips and not feeding those Hydrangeas.
What is that soil like and what does it need? Worm castings and Chicken manure are both sources of Nitrogen which probably is not a good thing for any shrub.
How much organic matter is in that soil?
How well does that soil drain?
How well does that soil retain moisture?
What kind of life is in that soil?
What does that soil smell like?


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RE: Planting where pittosporum were removed

"they would not do very well since the Soil Food Web would be working on the wood chips and not feeding those Hydrangeas. What is that soil like and what does it need? Worm castings and Chicken manure are both sources of Nitrogen which probably is not a good thing for any shrub".

Sorry but this makes absolutely no sense!! Yes, the soil biology may be active digesting the woodchips/sawdust and in doing so, tying up necessary nitrogen which any plant needs to survive and thrive. Why nitrogen would be considered not a good thing for shrubs is a little hard to understand..........

dretutz, your plan sounds very reasonable, although I might amend the planting hole with something with a little higher nitrogen level than the worm castings provide. In fact, I might add some cottonseed meal, as it has a decent nitrogen level as well as being a natural soil acidifier, which hydrangeas prefer. Or you could always use alfalfa meal in place of the cottonseed.

In going this route, you can plant any time you like.


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RE: Planting where pittosporum were removed

I would leave the chips on top as a mulch and plant through them, unless they are really thick.


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RE: Planting where pittosporum were removed

  • Posted by nil13 z21 Mt. Washington L (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 18:40

I agree with tox. Leave the chips as mulch. I would plant in spring though. We are going into the dog days of summer and hydrangeas need a lot of water, especially newly planted ones. Which sunset zone are you in?


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RE: Planting where pittosporum were removed

Coastal SoCal doesn't exactly get "dog days" in summer. It is a pretty uniform temperature - rather mild - year round. And one can plant year round as well.

I remember one Christmas visiting my sister in Laguna Beach - we went out for lunch on January 3rd at a beachside restaurant and sat outside very comfortably :-) FWIW, it was hotter here (Puget Sound area) than it was in LA this week .


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RE: Planting where pittosporum were removed

Thanks for the advice. The chips are in the top 2 inches of soil. I can add cottonseed as well as the chix manure and I think I'll go ahead with hydrangea planting saving my best specimen in pots to see how the "canaries in the mine" do.

Appreciate your input. I am 3 miles inland from ocean with maritime influence sans the fog.


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