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New build garden advice

Hello, I have brought a new build house and want to plant bulbs and shrubs beneath the existing trees (red robin). The soil looks full of stones, what would you advise I dig into the soil to make it better quality, also recommendations for giving the trees the best chance! 


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,629
    I suggest making the border wider so that the grass isn't so close to the trees. That will also give you enough space to interplant with shrubs. Shrubs really should have a border wide enough for their mature width so that they don't push up against the fence and don't overhang the grass. Stones in the soil aren't really a problem - they help to provide good drainage. Ideally you would dig in organic matter like well-rotted manure or bagged soil improver (assuming you don't have the contents of a compost bin ready to use) but you'll need to avoid disturbing the roots of the trees that are already planted, so it might be better to add it as a thick mulch over the surface of the border (not quite touching the trunks of the trees). Most bulbs won't mind the stony soil but if you're putting them in between shrubs, avoid most tulips because they need to be baked in the sun in summer, not shaded. The small species tulips might be OK at the front of the border. Daffodils, crocuses etc will be fine.
    PS You might want to change the ties on the trees for proper tree ties before the winter winds start up - those thin green ties can rub and damage the bark which can stop the tops getting water and nutrients and can let disease in. They look like expensive trees and it would be a shame to damage them when it can be avoided.
  • Thank you! Yes we will properly strap the trees :-)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145
    I'd agree with @JennyJ's advice re the border, and indeed everything else she's said. While it would probably be fine if you only wanted those trees, as long as you regularly beefed up the soil,  there just isn't room for anything other than some basic ground cover in there just now.  :)
    What aspect is your fence - what direction does it face? That will also be relevant for suggestions, but most new builds have notoriously poor soil conditions, so it's worth spending a good bit of time improving that first.
    It's a good time of year to do it, because you can create the wider bed, then just lay a think layer of organic matter which will just work into the soil over winter.   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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