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Planting Laurels in Rocky/Stony Ground

Hello. Total novice here. Today, I planted 2x200cm rootball laurel hedges into my garden to act as screening. Unfortunately, I hadn't anticipated quite how rocky/stony our garden is! I wasn't quite able to dig to the depth I hoped (and it really aggravated my arthritic wrist as it was) so the rootball wasn't quite as deep as I think it should have been. The top of the hessian sack was slightly over the level of the hole. I covered it well with the earth and added some compost too. I am hoping the plant is hardy enough to withstand my amateur effort. Any thoughts/advice welcome. Thank you. 

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,223
    Assuming it's cherry laurel, it's pretty tough, but if the ground is very poor, it may not have enough sustenance to get established well. 
    A couple of other points - did you not remove the hessian? That would cause problems if you didn't. 
    When you say 2x200cm hedges, do you mean there's two laurels, each at 200cm?

    If so, it's worth cutting them right back. They'll struggle to establish readily if the soil's poor and they're that size.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks, yes there are 2 hedges which are approx 200cm each. The website said not to cut the hessian back as it biodegrades, so I hope that is true. We have laurels all around the garden, just needed to add these ones for screening so hoped they would establish well. How much would you recommend cutting back please?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,223
    edited 8 February
    By half if they're that height. We have a very comprehensive thread about laurel - I'll find the link for you, and that will show the reasoning behind that  :)
    I'm still not sure why you're calling them hedges though? Are they very very wide specimens ?
    Personally, I would have taken the hessian off. Unless the ground's wet enough to rot it reasonably quickly, I think it just constricts roots. However, if that's what they've told you, that's fine.  :)

    Here's the link  :)
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/656523/help-needed-please-with-laurel-hedge-issues/p1
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks for the link. I'll have a good read. I just call them hedges because that is what I expect them to turn into, if my other laurels are anything to go by. :D What would you call a single laurel? Just a laurel bush? They are already about a metre wide. Excuse my novice vocab. :D Thanks for your help. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,223
    Yes - just a single specimen or shrub, or two laurels. I just wanted to make sure I hadn't misunderstood what you were describing  ;)

    Strictly speaking - a hedge is defined as two or more specimens of the same plant. It's sometimes why,  when people put hedges in, and they're allowed to get over a couple of metres or so, it can cause friction with neighbours. In theory, if you had a load of different shrubs/trees, it wouldn't technically be a hedge at all.
    Councils can get quite pernickety about it  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you for the tips. I can imagine the councils can be very pernickity. Hopefully, our laurels won't offend anyone as it's just a little bit more than what we currently have, but you never know! Fingers crossed.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,223
    Good luck with them. I'm sure you'll be fine.
    If you can keep adding organic matter now and again, that will also help improve the soil if it's not great  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you, I will do that.  :)
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