Removed turf to make a border, now what?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
9 replies 1.3K views
danielleydanielley Forumite
744 Posts
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
My garden was all lawn and I wanted to add some borders so I have dug up turf on two sides (which was tough going!!)

I have ordered some plants which are arriving next week, but I am concerned that I need to treat the remaining soil in order to give the plants the best possible start and chance to thrive.

My soil looks like it has a lot of clay in parts; it is not loose at all. I have tried to read up about digging it over, but I have got frightened by the warning 'do not disturb the sub soil' ... I am not sure what the means.


I was thinking of buying some compost and digging it over slightly...

Any advice?

Replies

  • freezspiritfreezspirit Forumite
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    What plants have you ordered might help other in telling you if you need to add any thing in particular to the soil.


    What's the area soil drainage like? rain water drains away or does the area flood/ puddle/ slowly drain away?


    Give you an idea what to add:
    http://www.provenwinners.com/learn/make-your-bed
  • I_have_spokenI_have_spoken
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    I guess three things -

    1) Soil condition, if it's really heavy clay then you'd be looking digging in soil improver/well-rotted manure/peat compost/spent mushroom compost - anything really to break up the clay and get organic matter into the ground

    2) Nutrients - grass will likely have depleted the soil so I'd add chicken manure pellets and/or blood-fish-bone as slow release fertilisers

    3) Draining - plants/bulbs that really don't like wet should get a good lot of grit in the hole before the plant goes in.
  • I usually rake blood fish and bone into the soi before it rains so that the goodness soaks into the soil. Make sure that if you don't want certain plants to spread you plant them in a pot to prevent the roots or rhizomes from taking over the entire boarder (Bamboo in particular). Also final word of advice chose plants that are easy care - shrubs are low maintenance they usually only need shaping after a few years and then only once a year but flowering plants will need deadheading daily.

    Good Luck hope the garden looks great for the summer. :)
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    Sit back and watch the weeds move in. My other half and her friend did the same whilst i was at work.

    Problem was they made it too small to actually plant anything in it. So close to the fence, Concrete and sand everywhere.

    Had very few weeds prior to them doing that. Get the ground covered..
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • I_have_spokenI_have_spoken
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    True, if you are making a border along a fence, width needs to be at least 75% of fence height or it looks scrimped
  • edited 1 May 2014 at 3:30PM
    danielleydanielley Forumite
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    edited 1 May 2014 at 3:30PM
    The borders aren't that big wide actually....

    Our garden was originally all turf, then last summer we had paving laid in the two opposite corners.

    We have now dug out the opposing corners to make borders and to leave us with a circular lawn.

    I'm not exactly sure what specific plants we are getting as I have ordered them from 'Garden on a roll' but I have specified plants that the top right border is in shade and the bottom left border is full sun and they are going to tailor it from there... (ducks and hides in embarrassment at being so clueless regarding plants ).....




    GardenPlan2_zpsd047d5f4.png
  • suisidevwsuisidevw Forumite
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    I did this when I moved into our house, and also just recently to plant apple trees, sweet peas, dahlias and cosmos. Litereally took the turf and top inch or so off, put in our green bin. Then dug over the area at least one spit down, turned it over and that was it. That was for the original bed and everything did well. I've since added well rotted manure etc. I'm sure just digging over and throwing in some hands worth of blood fish and bone and you'll be fine :)
  • danielleydanielley Forumite
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    Plants arrive today!

    We bought bags of general purpose compost at the weekend and lay it directly on top of the recently unearthed soil. If I get a chance I will dig down and mix it in otherwise I might just chance it.
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    A small layer of compost may help the plants get a start. But what works for me and it maybe wrong..

    Dig a nice deep hole in the middle or a couple of deepish holes if its a larger area.
    I will throw in all the scraps that would go into the compost bin. If you need to take some fresh stuff off the compost bin, That works also. I then bury it.

    In the short term it wont be helping but everything i have planted using this method has sprung up like crazy after a year or two.

    Sometimes i sprinkle a handful of chicken pellets and bonemeal, etc. into the hole as i fill it.

    If the soil is really heavy then dig down as far as you can and lay a good layer of chippings etc. The soil level may appear high for a while but it will soon settle and when it all breaks down it will do a lot of the hard work for you.

    Let nature do it :)
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

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