Invading Gum Tree Roots

Discussion in 'Other' started by Starky, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Starky

    Starky Member

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    Mark. We live in the same growing zone in south east Queensland. I have watched quite a lot of you YouTube clips and your experiences mirror my situation here. Our properties are very similar.

    You even have the dreaded gum trees in the background. My Gum Trees take a great liking to my inground and above ground vege beds. I get one season out of a new bed then the bed goes hydrophobic. There are two reasons for this. Tree roots growing into the bed and taking the moisture and my past practice of using dripper lines.

    My question is - have you had similar issues and or has weed/root barriers worked for you?

    I now have ‘elevated’ beds that work well for leafy greens. But I want to retry some inground stuff with my revamped bigger vege patch this year
     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi Starky, I'm a bit north of you but the trees are still an issue here too.
    Spotted gums are massive, have gorgeous coloured new bark every second year but nothing makes up for their invading root systems.
    I'm on very thin (10cm thick), worn out, poor scrub soil and whatever I add to it is soon stolen by tree roots.
    Thats food and water!

    Yes they soon turn the soil hydrophobic. My vegie garden beds are 60m away from the nearest tree, but there they are everytime I start a new bed.
    I never bother about dripper lines having never had success with them anywhere.

    In the end I gave up trying to grow veg in the ground, preferring instead to direct my efforts into container gardens of best potting mix and coir 50/50 which works a treat.
    After a year this mix becomes almost peat with great moisture holding capacity which tender veg love.

    This year I'm even growing lovely huge purple sweet potatoes in a bathtub bed where the growing medium has turned to peat from 2yrs of tomatoes. I always make a deep well of moisture in the bottom of every container, sort of like a wicking bed without the infrastructure. I just make the drain hole up to 10cm above the bottom and fill that zone with heavy wooden mulch. Currently I'm using a truck load of mulched up coconut trees.

    Since I can't bend down much anymore and have minimal use of my arms, waist height containers were the right choice. It was silly to continue to fight the gum tree roots by wasting energy on that pursuit. The trees serve a great purpose of providing shade across my lawns on hot afternoons so they need to stay but I don't need to feed and water them too!:)

    Here's a recent photo I took of me with the roundabout garden in the background. You don't need to see the 'me' bit but the garden shows some of the over 20 containers, mostly sitting on old outdoor chairs, that face inwards towards the grassy lawn in the middle of the roundabout. The containers are just those 60lt bright plastic tubs from Bunnings. Some plants like the pawpaws are growing in 100lt black tradies tubs which sit on concrete blocks. In some places I've set several similar chairs close together and put palings from an old fence across the arms from chair to chair and placed those oval plastic containers suspended between chairs while smaller containers sit on the seat of the chairs. By this means I've created a whole vegie garden within the flower garden. There are even 3 fairly big dragon fruit vines hanging off the palm trees.
    Growing are:- ginger, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, snow peas, lettuces, raspberries, pawpaw, carrots, capsicums, parsley, rocket, potatoes, DFs, woody herbs, shallots, mustard greens.

    IMG_20190630_115438-01.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  3. Starky

    Starky Member

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    Thanks for that input. I now have a good system of elevated beds that work well. But I want to look at the inground situation again. If I have to resign the small beds I have each season then that is what I will have to do

    However I think I will also extend my elevated beds as I have the room. I too have tried the big plastic boxes with raised drain holes but the are nowhere near as productive as my elevated beds.

    As I am on an Apple iPhone it does not look like I can post a picture of my system. But I can do it through our desktop computer another time.
     
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