Planting season is coming up fast.  Many of us have homes that had established trees and remains of gardens when we moved in.  Others move into new builds that have stripped soil and have glorious wide open spaces for planting and planning.

Both have their upsides and downsides.


Today I am writing about augering.

So the upside of augering in an established or semi established yard is that you can achieve a balanced pattern and correct spacing of new plantings.

The downside however is far greater and it is a slippery slope

Once you auger, your plants will look good for about a year, until you realize that the big tree you augered under has spotty leaf development or sparse leaves or no leaves or big gaps in your leafing. 

That would be because as you were augering you ripped out thousands of feeding roots for that as well as connected trees.  You also probably massacred some of those larger roots that stabilize the tree as well.

Here folks are the hard facts

Georgia is home to red clay

It only takes so much water and then runs off and creates erosion

We love it, it’s full of nutrients

Here’s the big problem...there is little to no oxygen in red clay deeper than 18”

Read it again and then look out your window at all those 75’ trees.

The root system for all of those trees is no deeper than 18”, with few exceptions, none of which are growing in your backyard.

So before you throw in the towel because everywhere you dig is root, realize the vast and interdependent network that supports all of that growth not only for nutrients but for water.

Go back out in the garden and look for beauty in the imperfection of your garden.  The rose that’s not centered because there’s a massive rock or a root the size of your wrist.  Enjoy the season of rebirth and growing because we tend and nurture but only God gives measure...even in red clay.


This is the root system for an 80’ oak tree that was in my front yard and this was the result of Irma.  Check out that 18” root system.