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Help needed please with laurel hedge issues...



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    Hi Fiona- your pix might be too big to load easily. If you can get them under about 1MB it helps  :)
    I wouldn't feed them anything until spring. A good general feed like B,F &Bone is ideal.

    It can often be useful to give them a foliar feed [or general feed] with liquid seaweed if they look a bit pasty during summer, but if they grow away nicely, and the soil's in good nick they rarely need anything much.
    If your soil isn't great quality, you can always use a mulch of well rotted manure to help it along. That saves feeding with anything extra  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks Fairygirl. I’ll try the pics again in a while and hopefully they’ll show this time! I’ll use some blood fish and bone in the spring and I’ll see if I can get some liquid seaweed for them. The ground probably isn’t the best - it tends to be quite squelchy and wet, especially in winter. That’s not good for laurel I know but they’ve lived up to now so fingers crossed that they battle on😊
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    As long as they aren't sitting long term in soaking wet ground, they'll do fine. They soak up a lot of water, and do very well in wet codntiions, but when they're still small, it can be a bridge too far for them.
    It's hard without seeing exactlywhat your conditions are like, but you can help the soil a good bit by mulching regularly with compost, which will gradually condition the ground over time.  A mix of manure and compost would be ideal - just keeping it away from the main stem so that you're not constantly burying them deeper. Manure is great stuff because it helps sandy, free draining soil to hold more moisture, but opens up heavy clay to make it more free draining. Win win  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Hi All! I’ve read this post from start to finish and I think it’s utterly brilliant! Befuddled you must be well chuffed!
    I have a few similarly sorry-looking laurels and after reading this I am convinced on my actions to chop back by at least half, sprinkle some BF&B and then question is timing?
    It seems a bit too early to do it now (I’m just outside Cardiff) although we’ve got some really spring-like weather forecast the next week or so. So should I wait till March or April to chop back and feed?
    PS I’ll try and post some pics later
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,767
    I would do all that in Mid March.   It’s not only cutting the tops off you need to pick out the top leaves of the side shoots as well.  You’ll have a lovely thick hedge before you know it. 
    Looking forward to seeing your pics of the hedge. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thanks Lyn. The hedge is about 6 years old and was planted when we moved in. One end is doing really well but the other end there is a large bay tree which I suspect is sucking up all the goodness for itself. I tried a campaign of feeding and watering a couple of summers ago and the hedge immediately to the left of the bay tree picked up enormously and has almost caught up with the rest, but the laurel on the right (pictured in close up) has always been a bit miserable despite miracle gro and copious watering. I have infact replaced that one a few years ago but it’s just sat there not doing much!

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,767
    Just too dry and shaded, the tree will take all the moisture from the soil there.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lyn said:
    Just too dry and shaded, the tree will take all the moisture from the soil there.
    I’ve tried copious watering for the last couple of years though maybe not enough I suppose. The laurel to the left of the tree has picked up since I fed and watered it and now seems able to “go it alone”. Do you think pruning this one to about half followed by diligent watering will work or do you think it’s doomed due to the position/light issue?
    Thanks for the help,
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,192
    Not sure what Lyn thinks, but I think it would always be slower growing and you may even lose some leaves due to the dry area. You are effectively planting a shrub under a mature shrub. The roots of the other shrub has established and that will leave the soil very dry even in winter because it’s an evergreen shrub casting a rain shadow.

    You can try to prune back by half and top dress with more compost, and finish off with a mulch to seal everything in, but you may find it will not grow very tall or thrive like the other areas.
  • Hmmm this is what I feared....I’ll give it a go. Maybe some fancy irrigation system to get rainwater to flow towards it as well perhaps?!
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