Another newbie- improving soil and edging lawn

(11 Posts)
colette Thu 19-Sep-13 22:41:56

We moved into our house over 2 years ago and I 'm trying to gradually reclaim the front garden. The previous owner had planted a conifer outside in the middle of the lawn which had grown to about 14ft and was full of beatles ! He had also enclosed the garden with scraggy looking hedgeshmm . We have removed the tree and hedges, although some of the roots are still in the borders. The borders are pretty empty and I am limited on how much I can spend this year . The earth is quite grey looking due to all the the dead hedge and tree debris. I have brought some daffodil, tall tulips and dwarf variated tulip bulbs, perennial anemones, crocus and snowdrops bulbs so am quite excited at looking forward to next spring.
I'd like to improve the soil so I 'm thnking of digging compost in before planting bulbs. I have found a bag of bark in the garage- would ths also help to improve the soil and keep weeds at bay ? Also the edge of the lawn is becoming merged with the weeds ! What is the easiest ways to re-define it again . I had a pathetic attempt with a spade but it didn't seem sharp enough.
Sorry it's so long , thanks

mistlethrush Thu 19-Sep-13 22:45:05

You can get a proper lawn edger - they shouldn't be expensive and are really easy to push along and edge the border.

Don't dig the bark in - use as a mulch.

colette Thu 19-Sep-13 22:53:09

Mistlethrush - does that mean putting it on top ?

mistlethrush Thu 19-Sep-13 22:55:33

Yes - you need to put it in a layer of about 1" on top of the soil - minimum 1/2" as this puts off the weeds. Your bulbs will get through it fine.

purplewithred Thu 19-Sep-13 22:57:30

But you would still be sensible to use some soil conditioner in the beds while you are planting the bulbs

colette Thu 19-Sep-13 23:17:48

thanks mistlethrush- that is definitelyworth doing .
I am googling soil conditioners purplewithred (love the name- that's the colour of the tulips bulbs I am going to plant !)

mistlethrush Thu 19-Sep-13 23:19:32

the bark will only help to stop annual weeds - it won't help to imrprove the soil.

cantspel Fri 20-Sep-13 10:26:46

Use of bark can cause nitrogen deficiency in your soil so only use on beds for perennial and shrubs as a mulch on the top of the soil. Dont use it on veg or annual flower beds as it will end up being dug into the soil and do more harm that good.

You can often buy soil improver from the local council via your local dump and it tends to be quite cheap.

colette Fri 20-Sep-13 12:37:19

o.k - so around rose bushes , but not for under bulbs . I the back garden some plants have yellow leaves , could this be nitrogen deficiency ?
Thanks for tip re. council

cantspel Fri 20-Sep-13 14:19:27

Yes lack of nitrogen can cause shrubs to yellow. Give them a feed with fish and bone meal and see if they pick up.

If you have a poundland nearby they sell it and it is just as good as the gardens centers expensive stuff.

colette Fri 20-Sep-13 18:17:42

Thanks , trying to save £ - so will look in poundland for some. I have made quite a good job of it today- just by tidying up the lawn edges . Much more satisfying than housework.

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