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Amatuer In need of Border help

hello, me and my girlfriend moved into a new build last year and this year our project is sorting out the garden, the front garden gets the sun all day, there is already a border been dug in with plants provided by the house builder, last year we added our own because the ones they put in were poor at best, while planting we noticed the ground was terrible, more stone and clay than soil. This year we plan on taking out all the old plants, digging out the border and putting down new soil and plants in its place - is this what we should do considering how bad the ground is? 


  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    edited March 2019
    its a new build, it seems to be common building company policy to bury all rubbish in the gardens so they don't have to pay to get it removed.
    unfortunately the only thing you can do is dig and remove as much junk as you can and then replace it with decent top soil and organic matter (compost or manure). at about 65% topsoil:35% organic matter ratio.
    if you can i'd dig down at least a spade blades depth in the beds (deeper if you can) that way any plants at least have a good start.
  • Thank you, is there any order of filling the holes or just mix the compost/soil in those ratios and fill it as a mix? Also can you recommend any plants that might repel cats? We have an cat that has decided our lawn is it’s toilet! (Non toxic mind I don’t want to hurt it)
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    My firmly held opinion is that the only way to get rid of a cat is to have a larger cat of your own.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,939
    Depending on how big the bed is, you could dig it out all in one go, and then mix the compost etc. in one go or in sections, rather than trying to do it for each hole, which is rather fiddly. The roots will (hopefully ! ) spread out from the planting holes anyway. Preparation is the key. With regard to more non cat friendly plants, if you Google "cat repellent plants", you should get some ideas. My initial thought was lavender,  but it depends if it's a sunny border or not. Maybe a photo would help.  :)
  • It faces the sun all day so will get plenty of sun (well as much sun as the north of England gets anyway haha) will do my own research about the cat plants though, we tried shop bought repellent spikes that gave off an odour however it didn’t do anything of nite. Excited to get the garden sorted though. When is the best time to start planting? I imagine it’s a little too early now? (Again it’s our first home so I’m about as novice as you can get) 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,939
    You don't have too long to wait, but as you're in the North of England, l wouldn't start planting just yet.
    Start with preparation,  get the border dug over and all the rubbish removed, at least to the depth of a spade as mentioned above. If you're going with lavenders, two things. First, don't put in manure, they are plants that prefer poorer soil and good drainage (if when it rains, the soil stays soggy and doesn't drain quickly,  you may have to rethink). Secondly l would go for English lavenders, the French ones ( the ones with the flowers like bunny ears) are more tender. It's been a few years, but my first 2 gardens were new build, and one was in Stockton on Tees in the North East, so l know how you feel  :)  
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    if the poo was in the middle of the lawn its unlikely to be cat (they tend to bury it in soft soil), more likely to be fox or a small neighbours dog
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