Homestead Tree Preparation and DIY Border

Reader Contribution by Faithful Homesteader
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We love planting trees on the homestead. My husband puts in a lot of preparation to ensure the trees have the best chance to thrive. Microbiological activity in the soil is important for healthy plants and trees. On our homestead we prepare the soil where we are going to place the tree a year ahead of time so by the time we plant the tree, the microbiological activity is thriving. This is what we do to facilitate that activity.

We first amend the first foot and a half depth of the soil and approximately four-foot diameter with compost, manure, and other organic amendments that we deem necessary. After that, we add about four inches of mulch to the top then sprinkle some more manure on top of the mulch.

We let it sit for a year before we transplant the tree. This time-frame allows the break down of all the organic matter and the increase in the microbiological activity in the soil. This promotes a better environment for growing a transplanted tree as it somewhat mimics the environment under a mature tree.

We usually add a border around the area to contain the mulch. We use whatever we have on hand to create the border. Our latest material was free reclaimed lumber from a construction sight. We were able to get a couple sections of landscape timber and several 2x4s.

My husband cut four, four-foot sections of each. He nailed the 2x4s onto the backside of the landscape timbers at offset positions to help strengthen the frame. He then stapled landscaper’s cloth to the bottom to inhibit weed growth.

We have multiple areas being prepared for more trees. I like the looks of the trees with the border. The price definitely was right. We are big using what we have laying around on the homestead. We like to recycle and limit what we send to the landfills. 

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