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Help with my new bay trees!!


I have three 130cm bay trees arriving this week and I’m not sure what I’m doing lol. I have block built flower beds with plenty of drainage and gravel on the bottom, I have filled them with loam soil, is this soil suitable for bay trees? Is there anything else I need to add or do? 

Thank you for your help 

Tanya x


  • ElferElfer Posts: 329
    I'll let others comment on soil type as mine are planted in our border which has chalky soil enriched with organic matter and are doing rather well. Might be a good idea to add a handful of fish, blood & bone at base of hole (for roots) when planting.
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,463
    Unless you have foxes!
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,743
    edited August 2021
    If they're 'lollipop' style they'll need stakes until they're well established. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ElferElfer Posts: 329
    B3 said:
    Unless you have foxes!
    In which case use root grow instead
  • Thank you for your help everyone! I’m hoping someone can help me with the soil type. I have filled the flower beds with SupaGrow Blended Loam Bulk Bag 600L from Travis Perkins so I’m hoping it will be ok ?  X
  • A loam-based medium is the right one - it is essentially `soil`. It will retain moisture better than, for instance, multi-purpose compost.

    Remember to water them very generously, regardless of rain!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,743
    I grow mine in John Innes No 3 loam based … but I add a good amount of horticultural grit … about 4 parts of JI3 to 1 of grit. 

    Although they need plenty of water they also need really good drainage, and a gritty soil ensures that. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,262
    The only other thing I'd add is, it's often recommended to have a layer of gravel in the bottom of containers of any kind, to help with drainage,  but I much prefer to mix it through the soil medium instead. The grit as @Dovefromabove describes is the best addition. 
    It can become a sump if it's just a thick layer of gravel on the bottom, although that also depends on the soil the beds are sitting on too.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,762
    If you have solid block-built beds, a layer of gravel on the bottom is fine if you have drilled ‘seep holes’ through the blocks at intervals at the gravel level so the excess water at the bottom can filter out somewhere  - or its open at the bottom to a free-draining soil.

    I inserted discrete, short lengths of hose pipe in my seep holes so the water didn’t dribble out the front and stain the concrete, they are lost in the grass 😊 if you can drill the holes on the less seen side, all the better.

    If the bed is solid at the base or open to poor-draining clay soil, without seep holes the excess water really has nowhere to go. That would be like a bath with the plug in filled with soil. Add the deep watering your new trees will need and it would be a boggy mess at the bottom regardless of the gravel.

    I would have thoroughly mixed in grit with the soil too so it’s about 25% grit. Don’t just bung a bit in the planting hole as that will create it’s own mini sump. Bear in mind the new soil will settle and the level will drop significantly, so best to wait until a few weeks after filling and after a heavy downpour so you get the planting level right.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Thank you everyone for your help!! 😘 

    Nollie - our flower bed is exactly like you said you built yours! 

    So as it stands I have filled the flower beds with loam, so shall I add some fish blood & bone and mix it all into the loam or just in the hole when planting the bay trees? 🥴 

    many thanks 

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