Boxwood Dying

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Yo_Jo, Jul 9, 2021.

  1. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    We need some help.

    We bought 22 boxwood plants for our yard but some of them are dying. Originally we thought it was bad soil because after our veggies and plants died we found that the garden mix was still steaming white hot. But with the boxwoods only the ones in the middle are dying. Any ideas what we are doing wrong?

    996879E0-CAA0-4384-BC9B-569BD5738E4F.jpeg 3FA7C4BD-0C0C-4E99-A956-AD3D48959EED.jpeg 2C52F44E-0785-436B-8B46-6D5B30601FA8.jpeg 63ADBD9D-4AA3-439A-AE6B-CD14C0A1549B.jpeg
     
  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    If your soil mix was 'still steaming white hot", I think you have your answer. Did you buy it from a reputable source? There's got to be an explanation . . .

    This may be relevant: The Poop on Manure
     
  3. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanks Margo for the reply.
    We did purchase them from a reputable garden shop in Richmond and all of their plants seemed healthy. The dwarf boxwoods were happy for the first few days before slowly dying off. I planted them all the in the same manner and I was thinking that if the bad soil was affecting them wouldn’t it kill them all and not just the ones in the middle? In cooling down the soil, did we over water them or under water them? Is it the runoff from the bad soil?

    This is what they look like on week one.
    BB75061B-FD89-4F3D-9A5F-90CD7EAA561B.jpeg

    This is from today.
    9D8387A7-4930-42BD-BDE8-8752A33C2664.jpeg C60DFC94-6FE4-477B-88D6-235B10981043.jpeg
     
  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    I don’t understand your description « steaming white hot »

    Are you referring to an actual temperature?

    I would check with the place you bought the plants and find out if they have a guarantee - lots of places do
     
  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    That's a good article Margot and fr a place i respect

    I am surprised (tho it is not technically manure) the author didn’t make a brief mention of sea weed

    I am not a supporter of people who unsustainably haul loads of it off the beach (esp during herring egg season) - I realize traditional people may have used (and may continue to do so) seaweed for various purposes - so I am obviously not including their use.

    ———-
    Back to OP topic - I wonder if there is some solid material under that short stretch of boxwoods (an old sidewalk or retain wall footing etc)
     
  6. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    After the landscaping was completed my wife immediately planted everything in the garden and planter boxes. We noticed over the next few weeks all of the plants and veggies dying out, peonies, hydrangeas, hostas, tomatoes, corn, watermelon….etc. Upon digging out some of the dead plants in May we saw that the soil underneath the first 1/2 inch was white, hot, and steaming (Temperature - hot to the touch). We later contacted South West Garden Supply and they replied that they were contacting their supplier about the issue but they did not respond to any subsequent follow follow up with them to figure out what happened.

    This is how it looked the day the first week. Everything seemed good.
    0DE88F0D-1E56-4E02-BC63-53ADD839BAD1.jpeg 81CC0C1E-E6D7-481E-9773-B2DAF2341C75.jpeg 4581F99F-9F52-4203-ABB1-C00ECAD9F55B.jpeg 5B0BC7C7-2B28-43FF-B71C-8ADBCB5B018C.jpeg

    After everything started dying we saw that underneath the soil was still hot.
    The bottom half is where I turned over the soil, it would steam when I turned it over.
    49033FE9-03D6-4EC1-8D43-3826CEDEE3B4.jpeg 3545C9A2-C562-4E1F-B905-169BC804F058.jpeg

    All the leaves fell off the plants.
    6DC36354-035F-449A-9521-58F89022E7D3.jpeg

    Underneath the boxwoods - it’s rocky dirt.
     
  7. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
  8. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanks GS. That was an interesting read.
    I googled soil testing Vancouver and it referred me to a 2003 post on this UBC forum.
     
  9. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    @Georgia Strait - Those 2 links you provided are excellent and evidence of the valuable networking that goes on at the UBC Forums.

    I agree, something is definitely not right with the soil @Yo_J0 purchased. South West Garden Supply should help solve your problem and make things right. The reputation and success of any business depends on the 'goodwill' they establish in the community they serve.
     
    Georgia Strait likes this.
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,466
    Likes Received:
    538
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    The roots were cooked, I'd guess. Were you sold compost that was mislabelled? Soil won't get that hot, but microbial breakdown of compost certainly could.
     
  11. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanks Margot. It been a over month since they last replied. For the most part we waited until the beds cooled and repurchase new plants. The garden beds to me are looking more zen and lush now. I just didn’t want to keep on chasing them and stress over the initial mess. Life is short so I just go with the flow now. We were able to save one corn and one zucchini and they are thriving. The strawberries and Pineberries still look anemic but maybe it will get better next year. And I enjoy finding secret mushrooms growing underneath the leaves.

    00BFE856-1742-4AF9-8FB5-E08C24496312.jpeg 60E56804-64AC-4C3F-BBD8-DC3955131E29.jpeg

    The wife bought new peonies and Hydrangeas and we kept them in the pots besides the dying one to try and hide them. We were thinking that perhaps some would survive the bad soil. Should I cut down the dead sticks or leave them until next year?
    A613BC09-16B7-422C-BE44-695C7CB1B88D.jpeg F35C04A0-5EEB-42A3-A570-3B7BEE32D2FA.jpeg CA301986-3876-42F1-8B15-AEC475251D32.jpeg
    What surprised us was the little $.040 cent plants survive unscathed.
    9BD884A6-2FB0-463B-8F13-A8BCCDF467C9.jpeg 69C3ADA1-44D4-4E60-B38F-1C803A081D13.jpeg

    Daniel, I think the steam soil was close to 110F. I have a video of the soil steaming while I was turning over a few inches off the top.
     

Share This Page