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Blue Slate on soil - no membrane

Blue Slate on soil - no membrane

Hello there, my first post. I am turning a sparse rockery which was mainly planted with bulbs into a rockery with blue slate around the rocks.

I decided not to use a membrane as there are so many rocks to go round plus holes for new plants that the whole thing would be a bit like a jigsaw.

Has anyone tried aggregates straight on soil? Do they tend to get mixed up with the soil?

Also there's about 100 bulbs come out of the trial area I started so possibly 1000's to come out. If any get missed, will they push up through the blue slate or does this depend on the depth. I'm thinking of a good 2 - 3 inches or so of blue slate?


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121

    You may find a problem with any deep-rooted perennial weeds ; these can be difficult to extract under such circumstances .

    Depending on the bulbs , they should push through .

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,215

    This is a Rock garden covered in slate.


    There are bulbs in there which will push the slate aside. There are also plants which eventually will spread, with any luck.

  • Hi,

    I've got slate on strsight soil, left there by the previous owners. It does mix up with the soil and annoys me to no end, especially when I'm trying to work on the planting. I wish we had membrane under it.

  • Interesting. Thanks for all the replies. Tinygardengirl, do you do a lot of work and changing things in that area. I wonder if it's not such a pain if it's designed to be low maintenance. We've moved into a house with a wrap around garden with many different beds / rockeries / shrub and paved areas and have earmarked 3 of them to cover with blue slate.

    The largest area we are also going to include stepping stones and an iron swing. The smallest area is about 5 meters by 4 meters and is a rockery. This is where I am taking out all the bulbs.

    I did actually like the bulbs quite a lot, they are like Blue Bells, however I'm not sure they go with the Blue Slate. Also I'm not sure they really fit in to an area that will be planted with rockery cover and some grasses as a low maintenance part of the garden.

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087

    If you put a good 50m thick of slate down it will act as afairly good multch in normal circustances, even on top of unmembra soil. Obviously, perennial weed will still show through but should be easy to remove.i would be more concerned that the slate chipping do not protrude over tthe lawn edge. Ensure you remove sufficient soil to the lawn edge so that the chipping are just below the lawn level. It will look  more presentable and easier when mowing the lawn. The main thing imo is that the blue slate is enclosed within the area and that the plants you choose complement the colour of the slate 

  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    Greenfingers steve., I assume you mean 50mm not 50m image

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • I shouldn't have to worry about lawn as none of the 3 sections I'm doing have adjacent lawn. Here are some pictures of the two smallest section.

    The first picture is where all the hundreds of bulbs are in there:


  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087

    Apologies as I as looking at the photo posted by Berghill and mistook it for your garden

    Obviously, no problem with lawn edges  

  • I think I wanted what Tinygardengirl said to not be true but as I tipped the test sack onto the soil, it's clear to see the potential for stones to mix with mud. My fear really comes from aquariums where you can't have patches of sand and gravel without them slowly becoming homogenous.

    If you can 'be careful' when weeding and not mess too much with it, and it's ok, then I can live with that. Just trying to avoid a big cock-up.

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