Question: Creation of ground pockets
Hello, I would like to know if it is possible or generally not recommended to create pockets of earth inside a courtyard that has a layer of cement (I do not know of what thickness) which is in turn covered with a layer of self-locking. The idea would be to embellish the courtyard with the aforementioned pockets in which to plant vines and shrubs, which would have abundant underground space to develop root systems. I wonder, though, if the ground conditions are suitable, is it possible that after being closed for a long time in the cement, the earth has become impoverished? Can the presence of cement disturb or prevent the engraftment of the plants?
Thanks so much!
Answer: Creation of ground pockets
how you describe it, basically you want to create big vases in your garden, underground concrete vases; of course you can grow plants, just choose low shrubs that produce little root system, and all perennials and annuals that can find space in the cement-free area of your garden. Consider that large shrubs, such as cercis or oleander would be discouraged, because in the long run they would grow badly; I say in a vase, because in essence the pockets you are talking about are nothing but large vases. Clearly, in your garden there is now a very poor land that is not suitable for gardening, because it is saturated with cement, sand and residues from the construction of the house. The best way to give life to your new plants is to buy a lot of good soil at a specialized nursery, so you can use it to fill your pockets, to create an ideal environment for the development of your new garden. If the pockets are few, you can simply buy the loam in bags, possibly recommended by the nurseryman a top-quality potting soil, try to ask him if he will give you some of the soil he uses to plant the shrubs. If, on the other hand, the pockets that would form in your garden are many and capacious, then you should buy some land, find it in the nursery, but instead of delivering it in a nursery in bags, you can have it brought home by a small truck; later, armed with a shovel and a lot of good will, you can fill your new garden at will.
Consider that your plants will not find much space for their roots, so remember to water them often during the warm months, also because the reverberation of the cement often causes a greater heat than that present in other areas of the house. In addition to this, the cement causes a strong dazzling light, and therefore some of your plants may need to be sheltered from excessive sun in the summer.