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Beginner Gardening: Problem with tree roots/

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 0, Views: 14
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Paducah, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2013
9:58 AM

Post #9495649

I live in zone 7 and have created a raised bed garden in my back yard. It did not make sense to have all that grass when I could be growing food! I am surrounded by trees, have cut some down a few so the better part of my garden gets sun. However another problem has reared it's ugly head. Hungry trees! I worked hard and dug out and cut all the tree roots I could find. Retired and having retirement income somewhat limited what and how much I could do, bottom liners were beyond my budget. My back yard is 65'x25'. The soil is mostly clay with some sand. Drainage is slow hence my decision to do raised beds. I managed to make 4- 12x4 foot beds and three 4x4 foot beds. I added compost and garden soil.My garden last year was fair, I did have a bumper crop of grape tomatoes, black eye peas and peppers. Evidently this clay soil in KY is somewhat acid so my acid loving plants thrived! Now this second year I have better soil as I have constantly added kitchen scraps, leaves, weeds,my clean-out from chicken coop,etc. dug into the soil all winter.
This year I'm finding these fine roots that my mind tells me is tree feeder roots.
QUESTION; Do I ignore these roots and just give my veg. plants extra food? My thinking is those fine roots have many good soil bacteria surrounding them? OR Will I be feeding the trees at the vegetable plants expense. Do I need to plan to put in bottom liners? Would cardboard do? How long would it last?

BTW I'm 75 very active years. Digging in the garden is the best exercise! I just completed a grape arbor!! heh.
Thank you all in advance for your input.

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