Our Native Landscape Story (Part 9): Working with Damaged Soil

This is Part 9 of Our Native Landscape Story.

Each of the posts in this series has showcased sections of our yard and what we've done in each section including before and after photos.

Part 1 and Part 2: Removing Impervious Surfaces
Part 3: Removing Stone Mulch
Part 4: Removing Invasive Species and Smothering Grass
Part 5: Smothering More Grass and Planting Woodland Natives
Part 6: Planting Natives on a Steep Hillside
Part 7: Planting the Hillside
Part 8: Removing More Stone Mulch and Planting Prairie Plugs

Part 9 is the area to the north of our house. There was a large white pine tree that we removed right away because it was dead and posing a hazard to our house and the neighbor's house. 

Underneath the pine tree was again several layers of plastic and stone mulch which had essentially sterilized the soil of any beneficial bacteria and fungi.

September 2004.
Here is the before photo. Some tartarian honeysuckle shrubs and stone mulch.

April 2005. Stone mulch removed. Starting to remove wood wall.
Snow cover, February 2010. Plant stems sticking up through snow
Early May 2010. Prairie plants emerging.
Lupines and Columbines flowering in background.
Late June 2010. 
Mid July 2010. 
August 2011
This has been one of the most difficult areas for us. We have added most of our home compost here to try to rebuild a layer of organic matter and reintroduce beneficial bacteria. After 5 years, last summer we felt like the plants were starting to fill in the area. 

I plan to overseed this section as well as the hillside with a short grass prairie mix this spring.