Start a new thread

1 to 18 of 18 replies


I was told by my neighbour that things don't grow at the base of my garden. However, I went ahead and planted a few small trees. Some are looking very good a year in but some are less healthy looking. 

My two lilacs are such a contrast. My raspberry looks like a twig. Surely the raspberry should be producing leaves by now. I bought them from our local gc which is usually very good. 


Any nay comments guys?  I'm being reassured the lilac will make it ........I'm not convinced. 




What's under that gravel?  Was that area treated with a long-acting weedkiller before the grave was put down?  Does the neighbour know?


A mysterious prediction by your neighbour - there must be more to it.

Jesse, hiya.

Did you enrich the soil or just plant there?  Just dig a hole and push in the plant?  It just isnt enough.

The old saying is pay as much for the hole as for the plant.  This means digging out a generous hole and mixing plenty  of compost,,dried car manure, etc with the soil before filling back again.  Plus a couple of good handsful of organic fertiliser.  Amd then water very well.

In addition for shrubs and trees I would add a mycorrhizal granules to the base of the hole before planting. This encourages better rooting.

Last week a well as being my cousin .....planted a griselinia hedge.   He did so digging small holes in poor soil. Together we dug them up and added compost, dried manure amd fertiliser and dug generous holes.  His plants will grow much, much better because of it.

Just noticed your plants seem close to that fence.  I would plant a little further away

Raspnerries are only just shooting anyway.  Don't be too disappointed just yet because they probably will be fine.  Extra nutrition too for raspberries.....perhaps you could scrape back some soil and add a mulch of,compost!  .  

Yes he said the builder had left mix from making cement and it affected the soil. That was 12 years ago. Funnily that was in the side of the garden where the trees are growing well. When I planted I dug an extra large hole. Put in compost at the base and around the sides and then filled in the soil. I can't figure why one side is growing well and the other is poorer. Although, I watched breech grove garden recently and they were mentioning the smell of the soil. I noticed that the soil was damp, sticky, and slightly rotten smell. But I thought the compost would help a bit.   I'm going to remove the gravel and put in some soil mixed with compost anyway. I am pleased with the fact that most of the trees are coming on well. I planted gooseberries, buddleia, lilac  and two apple trees along with the suspiciously dormant raspberries. Nearly everything is coming on well. But the lilac and apple on the right hand side are not growing great yet. At least they're not dead! Would ,mulching be enough at this point if I lift the gravel? I assume digging  them up would be an autumn job if they don't improve?



Those raspberries ought to be sending up lots of shoots from below ground all around those canes from last year. Mine are rampaging across the fruit garden ............ 

Not good so, curiously the gooseberries and black currants beside them are going well now. Do you think they're in trouble dove?


Well, as I said, mine are growing like mad - but those sticks wouldn't be sprouting new shoots, they should be coming from below ground around there  - it might be a little early for them if it's their first year - you've not been weeding or hoeing around them have you? 

I'd do as Verdun suggests - I always do what Verdun suggests 

Ah, well it would help if I didn't have plastic sheeting under some of the gravel then. Out I go to lift the gravel and sheeting. I didn't know they grew by underground shoots.  See, a complete idiot me lol. 


I just  lifted out the lilac that wasnt growing well after a chat with the local gc. The base of the hole was damp, quite damp. Terrible soil reàlly. I have put in lots of gravel at the bottom, then loads of compost and fresh clean soil and replanted. Here's hoping. Turns out the end of the garden is very damp underneath.


thanks for the help guys, like I say, it's been a steep learning curve this last year. All that plastic sheeting and gravel is going. I just got a quote from the gc.... £20 per tonne for screened top soil and will deliver for £30 not bad I think.


Your raspberries may need separating if they are three canes and not one plant.  I got differing advice on this when I asked earlier in the year. I started off by planting as one plant, but there was very little growth so two weeks ago I separated them into three plants and they have rocketed. I don't think now is the best time to do this, although I only did mine two weeks ago and they have really benefitted. 

This is how is was....


And this is how they are now....



are the raspberries summer or autumn fruiting? My autumn ones hav'nt got going yet.


There may be a soakaway in that area?

Ok, I guess you learn loads when we get going. I lifted the lilac earlier and it was mucky and soaked at the base. The soil in that corner is very poor, rocky and heavy and soaked. I put in gravel, then loads of compost and soil mix and replanted. We'll see if it helps. 

After  doves comment on shoots appearing from under the soil rather than on the stems I had a good look at the raspberries. They are dead...I mean the best tinder money can buy. It's weird as the black currant and gooseberries are going great right beside them. So maybe they were bad when I purchased them last autumn? 

Artjak I don't think it's a soak away . although it is very wet. I took a picture of the horrible soil taken from underneath the lilac. I just think rain ends up there eventually as the garden is sloped downward. I'm beside the mourne mts so our ground is damp anyway and being Ireland we get everyone's share of rain, usually.

Overall I'm quite confused now. Will I buy another raspberry and plant? 

In my minds eye I think a raised bed around the base of the garden to avoid all this damp soil, but that sounds like a big job. And I have some lovely trees growing away as is., how would you put the soil in around them. I'm not afraid of a bit of work, more of making a mess of it.



Test your soil too. Maybe too alkaline there.  Raspberries don't like too much lime, maybe from builders cement. ??


I think the fact I smothered them in gravel didn't help. But thanks Verdun, I have a soil test kit and I'll test it tomorrow. 

I will spend the next few days lifting the gravel. Then I'll start freshening up the soil with compost. 


That looks more like dumped subsoil with builders waste mixed in. That will be job and a half to rectify.

I'd incorporate not just garden compost, but horse manure and if I'm right it won't matter if its fresh or aged and leave it for a year to recover and let the worms and micro organisms get to work. It will take that long to get anywhere. Let the light and air get to it, nature will do the rest.

Thanks Dave. Yes I know I'm in trouble with it.  but it's a rock hard place situation. Ive planted a fair few small trees/shrubs down there, most took well. I really think two tonne of new top soil in a raised bed would be best but I'd have to move the shrubs and I can only assume you can't plant apple trees in a raised border, due to lack if stability. 

However, I do see the soil is terrible. Long meadow it is not, that's for sure. Quite depressing actually. Thanks for frank advice though. I will weigh up my options. 

Will do ed. Mines a kit from work. 

Sign up or log in to post a reply