Building Soil Residential
Compacted soil in the front yard, standing water and shade in the backyard
Kristie’s house had been vacant for years before a massive renovation. During this work machinery compacted the soil in the front yard and left her with terrible, unplantable, subsoil. Additionally, the backyard sits in a low spot in the neighborhood. So it would flood with hundreds of gallons of water off the neighbor’s house and steep side yard after heavy rains.
Building Soil for Fruiting Shrubs
To amend the compacted soil, we brought in a nice balanced topsoil and compost blend from B&B Topsoil to mix with the existing soil. The front yard is small and provided a perfect home for fruiting shrubs like blueberries, elderberries, bush cherries, hazelnuts and a fig. These plants are all kept small and productive with annual pruning. We laid woodchip paths and lots of mulch to add organic matter and build soil over time. After just a year, there were berries and flowers galore in a yard the once was so barren it couldn’t even grow wiregrass!
In addition to fruiting plants, we planted a wildflower garden on a thin strip of barren clay on the south west side of the house. The lean soil was the perfect spot for seeding wildflowers for glorious blooms throughout the year. These blooms stabilize the once eroding side yard, and attract a wide diversity of insects for balanced pest control.
The huge amounts of water in the backyard made it a great spot for a rain garden to sink and filter all the storm water washing into the backyard. We planted the rain garden with shade plants that love wet feet like lobelia, green and gold, and sedges. The rain garden is surrounded with numerous evergreen shade plants for color throughout the year and a small brick patio for spending time outdoors.
“I love my yard!”
– Kristie Porter