Improving the Soil in Ground Covers and Perennial Beds

What you’ll need

  • Power drill
  • Soil auger

step 1: Drill Holes

Drill holes about 18 inches deep with a soil auger, the kind that attaches to an electric drill and is used for planting bulbs. Drill the holes about a foot apart if possible. Avoid going through thick masses of roots; if you feel resistance, try another location. Spread the loose soil on the surface.

step 2: Fill the Holes with Amendment

Fill the holes with organic compost. That’s all there is to it! This technique is known as “vertical mulching”. It is a way of digging organic amendments into the soil when you can’t use a shovel or rototiller because the soil is planted. Earthworms and insects will eat the organic amendment and spread it throughout the soil in their droppings, improving the structure of the soil in the process. Each time you repeat this process, the soil will improve more.