Will my daffs come through if I lay gravel or slate around my shrubs?

Hi everyone, this is my first time on the forum so pleae bear with me. I have lots of bulbs laid in front garden and am putting house up for sale so was going to lay some gravel or slate around my shrubs over winter so the area looked tidy, but I would really like the bubls to still come up in spring. Does anyone have any experience of whether they will work their way through. Many thanks for any help or advice.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,727

    Bulbs will find their way through gravel and small slate chippings.  However slate and gravel laid on bare soil can be a real nuisance later on - in my opinion composted bark or bark chippings might be better (and much cheaper) - just make sure you give the shrubs space around their trunks. image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Many thanks for your advice. I have used bark in the past but I have such a slug problem that it tends to cause more problems further along the line into spring when other plants are comiing up, that was the only reason I was thinking of some type of gravel.

  • I laid gravel on top of a tarpaulin at our new house and was surprised to find a row of daffs poking through the following spring. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,727

    I'd rather tackle slugs than try and get gravel out of a border where I didn't want it - I really would - total pain in the neck - but of course you're hoping to have moved on by then so whether it's slugs or gravel you leave behind is up to you image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    When I wanted to move I laid down landscaping fabric covered with gravel, then I had to go around making holes so the daffs would come through.

    Where they didn't there was a bump in spring so I then cut holes where the bumps were. Not ideal .. I would go for the bark option - about 3 ins deep should look the business and let the bulbs through, which would of course make your front look more welcoming

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,932

    If you want the beds to look tidy and the bulbs to come through I'd advise bark chippings as this will eventually decompose and the new owners can then decide what they want in the front garden.

    Laying gravel or slate on fresh ground, will be difficult to remove, weeds will grow through if a weed membrane hasn't been laid and it'll be more expensive.


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,122

    Don't use gravel! I made that mistake 15 years ago, however I now have a wonderfully drained garden where I had a bog before!

  • Many thanks to you all for the helpful adivce. I think the answer is to use bark then as a couple of you have stated and hope I have sold the house before the slugs become a problem later in spring. Looking forward to a bit of nice weather next weekend now so I can get it sorted. Thanks again everyone.

  • Oh dear.. I have just scattered gravel (quite thickly) around my flower beds (trying to make it easy maintenance) on bare soil. It looks really nice but I am now wondering will it 'stunt' plant growth... eg will it interfere with light/water etc...   

    Why is it such a mistake?  I have only done a small area today.. am I best to take it off?  I like it personally because it keeps my dog off the beds .. but have I caused other probs?

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,171

    Gravel sprinkled over the soil is not a disaster Downsygirl. You'll just eventually end up with the gravel in the soil, not on it. I guess it depends on the kind of gravel - how chunky it is - in terms of whether this will cause a nuisance later on.

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