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making a new border (novice)

(4 Posts)
clarella Sun 10-Apr-16 15:24:35

Literally just started cutting into edge of lawn to create a border for fruit trees against a fence and I am wondering what to do with the turf:

a) dig out as much as poss and replace with company and tad of manure.

b) turn over and dig in and add manure.

Thoughts ?!

shovetheholly Mon 11-Apr-16 10:12:37

I have done both, and I would definitely recommend getting rid of the turf (you'll need to add loads of compost whatever you do). Even if you turn if meticulously, it has a way of germinating back up through- it's persistent stuff. It can be quite discouraging to have to spend the first 2-3 years sorting it out.

The alternative would be to turn it and then cover with weed sheeting/cardboard and compost for quite a few months. This is the easy option if you have time and are prepared for it to look a bit unsightly for a while - but it does mean you can't really plant anything til the autumn, though.

clarella Tue 12-Apr-16 10:15:51

Thanks for your reply! DH (not a gardener) suggested slicing off the turf and we dug in a bag and a half of compost but in thinking it needs more or at least blood fish and bond?

We are mainly doing sunflowers this year then fruit trees in the autumn / winter. However I read sunflowers tend to take nutrients too. Wondering if some sweet peas as well?! And lots of blood fish and none? I guess we could do manure in the winter - toddler likes digging in it at the mo! (So maybe not blood fish n bone just yet?! )

shovetheholly Tue 12-Apr-16 10:25:57

If you're mainly growing flowers and fruit, then you don't need the masses of nutrients that veggies require. Manure will tend to make flowering plants go all leafy instead of all flowery! Definitely add in bags of compost, though, and some grit if the soil is clay and clodding. Soil that has been under a compacted lawn can be a bit 'dead'.

Annuals like sunflowers are a great plan for some colour in the first year, provided the border is reasonably sunny, i;e not northfacing shade like my garden! You could also scatter-sow drifts of things like limnanthes (poached egg plant), nigella, poppies (esp the lovely Californian varieties), calendulas, nasturtiums. (Collect seed from these in the autumn for next year). You can then add things like cosmos (plants will be available in the garden centre after the frosts, or you can sow from seed indoors and pot on). Sweet peas are a great plan too.

For the trees - autumn, after leaf fall, is a good time to put them in - your annuals will probably have died back after the first frosts. They will appreciate a really, really big hole with manure in the bottom - this way, you deliver it right to the roots, where it's needed. Then you can also think about adding some hardy perennials next spring around your new trees!

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