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Flower bed gone wrong?


Hi everybody,

My girlfriend and I got rid of a concrete space in our back patio and decided to create a flower bed. The flower bed being approx 4x2 metres and about a metre deep. As complete novices, we decided to fill it with top soil and compost, which we bought at the local garden centre and due to the volume, was pretty expensive. Once filled, we planted some flowers and watered and fertilizer.  Now we want to plant a small tree.

However, we're a bit concerned about the green stuff that seems to be on the top and also the small green weed type things (which can be seen in the photo).

Any advice that you can offer would be appreciated!

From a clueless gardener. 


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,045

    Hi David - it just looks like some weed seedlings or even seedlings from plants which have got in - either already in the soil/compost  you added or from other gardens etc. Just remove them so that you can plant what you want.

    They're might be a few useful things among them, but I think I can see some willowherb there, so best to remove all the little 'bits' to give you a clean slate to work with  image

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,174

    Do you have a hoe David? By hoeing the soil you will chop off the weeds so they die. The 'green' stuff on the soil is often an indicator of damp, shady conditions so just keep working the soil to incorporate air and avoiding compaction. If you get the flower bed filled with plants rather than having lots of bare soil it should help. If you can get hold of any well rotted compost or manure then dig that in to help improve the soil's structure.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,455

    Doesn't look very wrong to me, I've tried to plant in worse!   Although usually I'm taking off a layer of turf rather than concrete and I'm too tight to buy soil and compost so I try to enrich what's underneath.

    What IS underneath this?  Did you get down to subsoil?

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,455

    Oh I should have said, soil is made up of topsoil and subsoil - topsoil = black (ish), subsoil = orangey or some other colour from your topsoil.

    subsoil can't sustain life as I understand it. 

    So the reason I asked about what's underneath is that the stuff you added on the top might not be a deep enough layer to do well.

    Let us know.

  • Mark56Mark56 Posts: 1,653

    What's underneath David? Did you dig well in with the original soil below? 

  • Hi all, originally there was just a huge concrete slabs at the bottom of our patio area. So we smashed up the concrete slab and then uncovered a lot of rubbley soil. We dug up all of the rubbley soil, leaving us with a base (about a metre deep) of hard, slightly rubbley subsoil. So no concrete underneath our bed.

    We don't have a hoe, but will get one - a Dutch hoe, having now read a bit about hoes! 

    Thank you so much for your knowledge and advice.

  • Yay!  Nothing to beat a good sharp Dutch hoe for keeping the little weedlings under control.  image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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