Shallow Chalk Flower Beds


I have a problem with my ground. I know you should learn to love you soil but, I have been digging new flower beds and have found that I have 1-2' of soil before reaching solid chalk!

I want to plant some shrubs (for example), but am thinking I am going to need to break up that chalk and dig deeper.

Has anyone experienced a similar problem?

WIll the chalk block the roots? Are there any plant recommendations for plants that do not mind such shallow chalky soil? Will I ever be able to plant a tree?



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,499

    Have a look at this RHS page on chalk soils which also gives lists of suitable trees and shrubs etc.  It recommends that you break-up the chalk to 30", so your beds with 2' of topsoil should be ok, but you probably need to do some work breaking up the chalk beneath on those with only a foot of topsoil.  I'm on clay so no direct experience, but I do have to add lots of organic matter which the link below suggests and will significantly benefit any type of soil.


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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