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Re: Berms

> From: Tigerliley2@wmconnect.com
> I had two large shrubs which were half dead removed......I had them
leave the 
> hole and not fill in with dirt......the hole still has water in it
two days 
> after rain.......the shrubs probably drowned.......maybe I should
have a berm 
> there.....what are the basics of making a berm?

I would say that's a good indication that your soil isn't draining
well and those shrubs were drowning.

Making a berm is simply piling soil up to whatever height you want
and grading it down on both sides so the angle of the rise is shallow
enough that the soil doesn't wash.  I've done this a couple of times
with purchased soil.  Got it from a soil company that guaranteed the
mix - they are out there in larger metropolitan areas.  A small town
would be unlikely to have that and you would just have to go see the
soil you were planning to purchase to make sure it was decent - not
full of roots, rocks and debris like broken chunks of concrete.  You
want top soil...but that can mean a lot of things to different
people...so you need to see it and preferably where it is being dug
from, too.

I just had the soil dumped and moved it by hand; rather major
physical job, so would suggest if you do this you get someone with a
backhoe with a blade (can't think of the word it's called right now)
to place the soil and shape the berm for you.  If you do this, try to
schedule it when it has not rained so they don't just compact the
soil beyond working by driving over it.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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