Whether the hole in question is simply a low spot in the ground or it’s a space where the local armadillo population decided to have a party, we’ve all had problems with random gaps appearing in our yards occasionally. These spots naturally pose a tripping hazard for both klutzes and surefooted folks alike. Of course, the appropriate thing to do is fill them full of dirt in order to keep the playing field level. But what if these holes just happened to be in the right spot for a flowerbed? That’s what happened in my yard so here’s how I tackled the situation.
Very Important Supplies
3 to 4 bags of dirt. Please note this is garden soil not potting soil. The latter is more expensive because it contains extra ingredients to keep it from clumping. This stuff isn’t necessary when one is dealing with soil that’s in the ground because it usually melds with the dirt that was originally there. Cheap bags of garden soil can run as little as $3 but higher quality or name brands obviously will cost more.
4 (lantana) plants. When adding new plants to my landscape, I usually opt for cheap, low-maintenance perennials that will last a long time without having to be replaced. Hence the lantana.
However, you’ll want to keep your own garden in mind. If the hole one happens to be filling isn’t likely to hold water when it rains, gardeners can pretty much plant anything that does well in their climate. But, if the space in question is likely to turn into a bog in such circumstances, it might be in one’s best interest to go with a water loving plant that won’t have to be replaced later on.
**Important Disclaimer: Obviously bigger areas are going to require more plants, potting soil, and so on than I described here and vice versa for dealing with smaller holes. Use your own judgment to figure out what your specific project is going to need.
Garden Low Spots – Optional Supplies
Filler annuals. If you’re using slow growing perennials as the bed’s main feature, putting some easy-care annuals around them helps fill in the gaps and adds a bit of pizzazz. I goofed a bit in this regard since the lantana I used grew much quicker than I anticipated. It has now crowded out some of the zinnia plants. In similar cases, it might be better to omit any extra annuals. All the same, if you’re growing something that notorious for taking forever to reach a decent size, go for it.
Edging materials. Use whatever you want to mark the bed’s edges if the materials happen to be available. I haven’t gotten around to this yet because bricks are my edging material of choice and I didn’t have any handy around planting time.
The Hole Enchilada – A Case Study in Fixing Garden Low Spots
I would guesstimate that the hole in our yard was about 4 to 6 inches deep and several feet wide before I started filling it in. Pro Home Fixated Tip: it’s convenient to figure out how long your arms and fingers are so that they can be used to estimate other lengths. For instance, I’ve figured out that my arm is approximately 2 feet long and my middle finger is about 2 inches long. I often use this knowledge to figure things out accordingly. After all, who bothers to carry around a tape measure all the time?
The earlier picture shows what currently remains of the ditch. 2 bags of garden soil didn’t fill it completely up, which why I recommended using 3-4 bags on the supply list. In hindsight, I would have bought more soil than I thought I would need. I mean what gardener can’t find a use for another bag of that stuff? Mixing it with perlite or vermiculite even makes it acceptable as a potting soil for plants that don’t need a sharp draining substance as a base.
Some Assembly Required
Honestly, the process is really simple. Remove all inorganic debris from the work site and place it in either the garbage or recyclable bin. Rocks, weeds, and any biodegradable materials can stay where they’re at because they don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Empty most of the dirt into the hole in question until it’s full. (Save some for later because you’ll need to to help cover up the plants you’re adding in.)
Dig a couple of holes that are enough apart that the plants won’t be crowding each other out. Gently pull them out of their containers, squish the roots a bit so they don’t keep growing in circles, and put in them in these spots. Cover them up with the reserved dirt, making sure that none of their roots are exposed. If you have a material to line the edges of the bed with, feel free to do so. Finally, soak the whole bed with water and enjoy!