Perhaps this should not be described as a trick, but rather a practical way of maintaining and boosting the health of the plants in a perennial border. The practice is known as topdressing and involves spreading a layer of compost over the bed. This article by Melinda Myers which I found on the Horticulture Magazine website explains the two step method to complete this task.
Topdressing a perennial garden with a layer of compost will improve the garden?s overall health. The organic matter is a great addition that will revive tired gardens, improve a garden?s overall health, and keep vibrant perennials healthy and blooming.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT TOPDRESSING
The research has shown that there are plenty of ways that compost improves your fall perennials. Topdressing your garden with compost every couple years provides most, if not all, the nutrients most perennial plants need. It feeds the soil, which in turn feeds your plants.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: Step One
If your plants are mulched, pull all the mulch away from the plants and keep it handy, so you can put it back in place once you finish amending the soil.
Topdressing is the first step in the process. Simply spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of compost. I like Hsu Leaf Compost, a 100% USDA certified bio-based product, over the soil surface. Be careful not to bury the crown of your plants.
You can leave the compost sitting on the soil surface or lightly mix it into the top inch with a hand cultivator. The earthworms, ground beetles and other organisms will move it down into the soil and around the plant roots where it is needed.
See more at Horticulture Magazine