Follow these tips to overcome one of a green thumb's biggest challenges: gardening in dry shade.
- Choose plants that tolerate drought, and water them regularly. Resist the temptation to water them frequently, so that they won't begin to expect it.
- Apply a slow-release fertilizer. Adding compost or manure to the soil in a one- to two-inch layer (no thicker) seems to give a boost.
- Don't plant or mulch closer than 18 inches to a tree trunk.
- Avoid cutting any tree roots more than two inches thick, as this will adversely affect the tree.
- Plant small plants in individual holes, rather than preparing a large bed for big transplants. Smaller plants adapt better than big ones, finding their own paths for their roots. They also require less water while they get established.