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Hoping for some advice.  I can't get my grass to grow properly in front of these conifers. I'm thinking of putting a flower bed in front of the paving slabs. Is this a crazy idea?

Last edited: 26 May 2016 18:42:23


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,122

    Hi vic - there's no pic so I'm guessing that you have the grass and a path in front of the conifers. Conifers take all the moisture and goodness from surrounding soil making it tricky to grow much. They also cast a lot of shade. Those two things make it almost impossible for grass to thrive.

    If you want to grow flowers in a border in that location, you'd really need to build a raised bed of stone or timber which will allow you to control the conditions more easily. Using decent soil with added manure, you should be able to grow some shade loving plants, although you will have to choose sensibly as they still won't get much water from above unless you're in a reliably wet part of the country.

    Hope that's of some use just now  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • vic14vic14 Posts: 82

    Thanks fairy girl. I did try to upload a photo but it mus have failed. The conifers separate me from my neighbour.  I placed slabs directly below them as my dog took to digging there. The ground where I'm thinking of digging a bed tends to stay quite damp. I seem to have a garden of two halves... damp one side and dry on the other.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,122

    If the ground stays quite damp, that gives you more scope. It really depends what you want to grow too, and what direction the bed would face. The adage 'right plant, right place' is a valid one. No point trying to grow sun lovers for instance,  if they won't get any!

    Preparing the ground is important too. Make a clear, designated area for your border with some form of solid edging to keep the grass at bay.  If it's previously been grass or uncultivated in any way, you need to dig in a good bit of compost and manure to give it some nourishment. A general fertiliser like Blood, Fish and Bone when you put plants in will get them off to a good start. Water well and mulch with more compost or bark to keep moisture in, and then keep an eye on the plants till they establish. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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