Forum home Garden design

So, this is the result of my weeding but...

imageimageimageI really need some advice on what to do next.

I was thinking of putting down some kind of edging and adding

shrubs and flowers but I have some questions...

1. There are three cut down tree stumps in the border and I

wonder if I can just add topsoil and plant whilst ignoring the


2. Do I need to get every single weed from the border before I

plant anything as there are still some grass in the soil as you

can see from the pictures?

3. Should I mulch the whole area with newspaper until next


I would really appreciate any ideas of what I can do with this border as it is my first attempt at gardening and I would prefer something which would be low maintenance as I don't have a lot of time currently.




  • 1. Yes. If it's shrubs I would try to dig down a little deeper so it's able to root better (i.e. underneath the existing stump rather than away from it).

    2. Probably not. If you're growing shrubs they should help suppress a lot of weeds.  Of course if the weeds are allowed to grow and multiply it makes the [weeding] job harder in the future.  It's not realistic to remove ALL the weeds.

    3. Why?  If it's to suppress weeds I wouldn't bother.  When it's warm enough for you to plant flowers it's warm enough for the weeds to start breeding.  Also, I'm not sure about the toxicity of newspaper.

  • Just to clarify my answer to point 1; you won't get away with planting immediately above a stump if that's what you meant (Not without a good few inches of topsoil anyway).

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,199

    My Dad always lined his runner bean trenches with wet newspaper before planting and they were always prolific much to my chagrin as I had to de-string and slice them all ready for freezing.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Shrubs which are planted in autumn settle in over winter, so there's no need to wait until spring. Have you considered planting ground cover plants to help keep the weeds down?

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,432

    Realisiclly, you can never get rid of every single weed! Underneath those stumps, will be an annoying root system, that will try to stop you planting.  Unfortunately, you need to try and remove as much as you can. You need to know your soil type (testing kit around £5)it is pretty dry and sandy, outlook NSEW? Little time, shrubs, very soon you can start the autumn planting, some ground cover, or you could put down ground cover membrane and plant through, (save on the weeding)

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    If it is grass in the borders definitely try and get rid of it first. There is nothing worse than planting perennials and having grass come up in among the roots of the plants. You will never get rid of it then and it will annoy you forever (until you dig the plant up after a few years and meticulously remove every single blade of grass and its roots). 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,432

    I m on the same page as you Verdun!

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    We had a massive bay tree which we cut down ourselves but we got someone in to dig it out as we can't get machinery down the narrow alley at the side of the house.

    He got a lot out but there are still loads of roots a couple of feet down. This lot has grown quite successfully on top of them apart from one daphne which curled up it's roots.


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,432

    Thats gorgeous, good luck with the dentist, (you didnt text me your address)

Sign In or Register to comment.