How to Trench Around Trees and Shrubs
Above is one of the images from Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden (see article on Topiary Artistry). You can observe the deep trenching around the shrubs which makes the garden look neat and crisp. I asked Pearl to share his technique with my viewers and these are his instructions:
1. Pearl likes a 10 foot diameter around trees and scrubs, so he places a peg in the ground where he
wants to plant his tree or shrub.
2. Then cuts a 5-foot length of string and ties the string around the peg, then walks around the peg holding the string taunt, making a circle. You can use spray paint or chalk to mark the area.
3. Now use an edger to cut in the circle you marked. The cut should be six inches deep.
4. The next step is to use a spade to dig out a trench six inches inside the circle, and do that all the way
5. Clear out all of the soil between the outer circle and the spade line to create your trench.
6. Pearl does NOT till the soil inside the trench therefore what you should be looking at is a plot of flat
land with a circular trench encompassing it.
7. Dig out the required whole in the center of the plot to plant your tree or shrub.
8. After planting mulch around your tree, making sure to leave the 6-inch trench free of mulch.
Pearl prefers pine straw for mulching.
Note: If you have existing trees, use the tree as the peg, measure out the 5-foot length of string and complete the process.
Aside from making your garden look polished and manicured, trenching provides a reservoir of much needed water for thirsty trees. Pearl Fryar does no watering or irrigation in his amazing garden.