Getting shrubs to grow in ruined soil

Hi, I have a gap in the border between the neighbouring garden and mine. I wanted to put a shrub there for privacy. The problem is that every shrub I put there dies in that patch. In my neighbour's garden there was an old tree stump that she recently had shredded down. Prior to this she did mention pouring diesel on it to stop the suckers popping up.I haven't had a chance to ask her if she did. Either ways the soil there is no good as it's killed a new rose bush and now nearly killed a weigeila I bought. What would be the easiest way to get a shrub to grow in that bad patch? Would it be enough to replace say a bucketful of soil and grow a small shrub in the replaced patch? Or do I need to replace more? I'd rather not as I find digging large amounts of soil difficult.


  • Sorry, it's ignored my paragraph spacing again.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    Something like diesel would stop things growing and I don't know how long it hangs about. Some fresh soil and something shallow rooted might do it. There are bits of my garden where things don't grow, it was used as a dump for years.

  • you have discovered to your cost, a shrub plonked in there is not going to doimage

    If your neighbour did use diesel, it is likely that it has badly contaminated the soil so check with her first.

    You don't say what the tree was that your neighbour cut down  or when but quite possibly the soil is simply very impoverished.  If the tree roots are still there, it will make it difficult for you to dig down far enough to give your new shrub a chance.

    Without knowing any more about the situation, I would suggest that just removing a bucket full of the existing soil and then planting won't solve your problem.  You will need to do a bit more prep than that unfortunately.

    I'd first check with your neighbour about the diesel ( or anything else ) she may have used.  

    In the meantime, perhaps you could find a slab to put on the soil and put a shrub in a suitable size pot to sit there for now.image


  • Invicta2Invicta2 Posts: 663

    Are you able to place a big tub there fill with new top soil and grow a shrub in the tub? That way contaminated soil won't affect it.

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