True or False (Square hole vs Round hole)

Square hole superior to round hole? True or false … Inquiring minds want to know.


I’ve got some clay here so I do round but gouge the sidewalls with shovel so roots have a foothold. I think this accomplishes roughly the same purpose as square hole.

We want to avoid Slick Wall Syndrome. Sounds like a GI disorder. Ha! Clay sidewalls can glaze and harden if you use a regular shovel. Spading fork solves all this.


It makes sense, but I don’t understand how this isn’t already common knowledge if true.

The way I had it explained to me was simple enough: roots are pretty stupid, and will take the easy way out. It’s easier to go around in a circle than to drill into a smooth wall. But if you gouge the sidewalls they’ll break the habit and go exploring. I would think that a square accomplishes the same thing.

Around here it’s pretty simple. Dig down six or eight inches, and start moving rocks. By the time you get deep enough to set a root ball you’re probably going to have a pretty ragged hole anyhow!

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If you want to take it one step further a star shape would be even better. But then who has time to dig that.

Just dig a round hole and dig out the sides a bit, or you are extra motivated put a auger on a cordless drill and make your hole into swiss cheese.

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Good advice for heavy soil. Probably unnecessary in my loamy soil.