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Re: top dressing Hosta

Helen, soil preparation is an on-going effort unless you live in , Michigan, Ohio, Indiana Illinois, Iowa Kansas - the breadbasket areas of the world with a couple of feet of top soil.

Here in Delaware I use mushroom compost worked in 12-18" by tiller - it only lasts 5-7 years and then have to do it all over again or the plants shrink. Soil is very poor without it - rocky and sandy. Mushroom soil is free here in Delaware, mushroom capitol of the world.

When I grow hosta commercially in fields, with good soil - no problem. But then again I harvest them every 2-4 years and replant, so I break up the field soil every couple of years again by tiller. 

Your approach sounds fine - watch for the tree roots. I find tree roots answer a lot of hosta cultivation and growing issues. Maples and chain saws go together like horse and carriage, my grandpa used to say. And now I know why. There are better trees for the garden.

Going out to tear up some daylily beds tonight and sharpen my dividing knives. Have a hillside at church that they want planted in care-free perennials. Been looking for a good excuse to tear the bed out and replant it.

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