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Earth / Soil Advice




Hi all, some advice required by my ignorant self regarding the best soil or other required for bedding (!?).

on one side of our garden we have a strip on ground (approx 1 metre by 8). Pictures hopefully attached. The current level had dropped about 5 inches over the years through erosion, age, rain and perhaps foxes.

The current soil is quite poor (stoney, clay, chalky - we're on one of the south London hilly lines - and with all sorts of    stone and other debris including bits of ceramic, concrete at all) and my plan was to lay some more soil (or other on your advice) to raise it to the level of the path for aesthetic reasons but also to help support the fence which is slightly undermined by the shallowness.

Currently it is beset with weeds (as is the rest of our garden) and the plants we have (no idea what they are - I did warn you!) are all we want. This we are looking for a steer as to eat the best material option would be. Ideally low cost and maintenance. Ideally one that would not encourage weed or pest attack (I'm looking at you Mr Fox).

If any of you gracious gardeners could give this bum a steer I'd be very grateful.

yours in not very green fingers



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384

    Hamish, the best way to improve the soil is to put down 2-3 inches of well-rotted farmyard manure.  The bagged stuff (eg Grosure) available from garden centres is very good stuff.  You can dig it in or just lay it on the soil and let the worms do the work but that obviously takes longer.  One thing to be wary of when raising the soil level near a fence is that the bottom of the fence will rot so you need to put something there to retain the soil such as decking boards laid on edge and screwed to 2x2" wooden stakes hammered into the ground.  A wooden retaining edge like that would last for maybe 10 years.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,904

    If you're really not wanting to plant anything you don't need to improve the soil. Tidy it up with a few inches of bark or stones over weed membrane.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,569

    If you don't like the phormium overhanging the path, I would dig it out. You can't prune it like that and get a good result.

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