How to Start a Shaded Flower Bed Under a Tree

Attempting to plant and maintain lovely shade perennials beneath a tree on your property can be tricky. But with a few helpful tips and tricks, you can prepare your shade perennial flower beds like a pro! Continue reading to learn more about under-tree plant growth, as well as, how to prep a shaded flower bed underneath a tree.

Under-the-Tree Planting Tips

The first task you want to tackle is tree thinning. By thinning the foliage of the tree you plan to garden underneath, you can allow more sunlight to reach your flowers. It is vital to hire a professional tree care company to properly asses how much thinning and trimming your trees need. Too much can distress or kill a tree. Trained and experienced arborists know how to trim the proper amount, allowing enough sunlight in without causing any damage to the tree.

With a properly trimmed tree, you can start to build your bed, and keep in mind that larger is better for this type of gardening. Larger flower beds allow plants to spread their roots out more, to access more water and nutrients and grow strong. As for mulch, avoid rubber and rocks. They make the root zone too hot and do nothing to improve soil conditions. Instead, go with a wood chip mulch like cedar or oak. Work towards a three to four inch thick layer, but be sure to not cover the tree’s exposed roots and stem. They need oxygen! It can also cause bacterial and fungal growth, insect infestations, and more; all of which are detrimental to a tree. Try for a large, shallow flower bed.

For trees with grass and weeds below them, it is recommended to place 2 or 3 sheets of newspaper on top, before adding your garden soil. The paper will smother the weeds and lawn, but decompose too quickly to be damaging to the roots.

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