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I have tuned over some of my lawn about 4 metres south from a mature Sycamore tree to create a raised bed to grow veg. The bed is about 3 metres square and gets full sun all day.
The problem is that despite frequent digging over, the bed is plagued with fibrous roots ( they must be from the sycamore) which take all the moisture from the soil, despite my adding bags full of compost and horse manure each autumn for the last 3 years, the dry conditions restrict the veg growth.
I am considering removing all the soil from the bed and laying a membrane on the bottom of the bed to prevent the roots spreading up to affect my veg.
1. Do you think it is worth doing?
2. Do you have any other ideas to combat the tree roots ?
I am desperate!
Thank you,
Barry Treanor



Sorry if you are trying to have a veggie bed near a large Sycamore tree you are extremely unlikely to succeed.

24 Oct, 2011


I think even with a membrane the ground would still be dry and impoverished. As a last resort you could try adding gel crystals to the bed to improve moisture retention, but don't hold your breath. You could also try increasing the height of your raised bed.

26 Oct, 2011


Hi Steragram no mater what I doubt that veg will do well unfortunately. If only from the shade canopy...

26 Oct, 2011


So do I, but as he's already made the bed I thought it might be worth a try for a season.

28 Oct, 2011


On 31 October 2011 06:58, Barry Treanor <> wrote:
Thank you for the advice. I have decided to move the veg plot away from the tree. I have done a ' test dig' 30 meters from the tree and not discovered any fibrous roots.
Do you consider that I should be safe to grow veg at this distance from the tree?

Barry Treanor

1 Nov, 2011


That should work fine Barry

1 Nov, 2011


Jolly good Barry - I thought you didn't have any alternative to the site under the tree, or I wouldn't have suggested giving it a try. Good luck.

1 Nov, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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