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Portuguese Laurel no compost when planting, should I add?

billyp7WmtKKMbillyp7WmtKKM Posts: 34
edited October 2021 in Plants
I am a beginner at gardening and planted 250 Portuguese Laurels in the summer this year, I was advised to just dig a hole and plant them.  Relatively small plants 40-60cm.  I never removed weeds or put compost in.  They look ok, but maybe not growing much yet and leaves are slightly mid green (yellowing) rather than dark green with slight black spots. 

How can I keep them on the right track? weeds were growing in amongst them and I remove all weeds regularly.  Can I top them with Compost? to try and get some to absorb into the soil?  Should I slightly lift them and get some compost in?  Feed with Fertilizer?

Should I dig them up and replant with compost in?

I just want to keep them growing and I was misadvised about the soil preparation.  I am hoping that I can salvage them and do what I need to make sure they grow nice and dark green with no issues.  thanks


  • Hi - gosh, 250 - a lot of work!

    I wouldn't dig them up, as you will just disturb the new roots. I think I would a) remove all weeds and grass from round the base so that there is no competition b) water them well c) put a mulch down round them - this could be rotted manure, soil improver, compost, leaf mulch, whatever you can get from the GC (over the winter, this will be absorbed into the soil) d) in the spring give them a feed e) make sure you water them well over next spring/summer.

    Others more expert may have better advice! Good luck.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,804
    edited October 2021
    I agree with @Pianoplayer - far too much work to lift them and replant, and it'd probably damage the roots too. A good mulch of organic matter will be great, but keep it a little way away from the trunks, not touching the bark.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • So just a nice top dress of compost around all the hedge plants? What about feeding it in a little, just ruffle in top layer? Thanks
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,790
    Don’t feed at this time of year. 

    Maybe a little Fish, Blood & Bone in the spring. But Id only use half recommended amount … they’re only little plants. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • No point feeding at this time of year, as plants are going into their dormant phase - as I said, feed in spring when they start growing again. Water is also important - easy to think because it has rained that enough has got down to the roots.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,045
    Just clear the weeds - thoroughly. Make sure the hedging has a completely clear space -a proper border - and keep weeds/grass etc away. Feed as the others have described, in spring. Mulching regularly will help, and the watering is important if you're in a drier area. That's really all they need  :)
    If you have a photo of the site, or part of it, that always helps with advice.

    Unfortunately, you've had very poor advice initially, but they're tough plants, and they're at a good size for establishing easily, so they should be fine   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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