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Orchid Lady
My new borders are being done on Friday and will be filled with top soil from a local nursery/GC. Does anyone have any tips on whether I should put anything on it before planting it, ie fertiliser or food etc? I haven't tested it yet so don't know if it's acid/alkaline and I will be planting a mixture of annuals, perennials, bushes, roses etc.....a totally mixed border!! Thanks. T


No don't apply fertiliser before top soil is put down.  I would use organic fertiliser just prior to planting and again when planting.  

I would also incorporate compost or bagged dried manure too mixed into the top soil

Orchid Lady
Thanks Verdun, I will see if I can get some compost as mine doesn't seem that good, not sure what I've done!! I will also get the organic fertiliser from the GC.

Thanks for your advice.


There will be many saying any fertiliser will do, that they are all the same chemically.  Organic fertilisers are slightly more costly but they contribute to the soil, are more gentle and produce sturdier plants.  Artificial usually produce lanky quick growth with little resistance to disease, pest etc.    Organic every time 

Orchid Lady
Thanks Organic it is. Fell asleep last night wondering whether I should get another compost bin..........


If you haven't got a soil testing kit, just take a quick look around the gardens in your immediate area to see what is growing there.

If you spot hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and pieris your soil will be acid. The rhododendrons and pieris are evergreens in the main so you will be able to spot them even in Winter. If you are not sure what they look like, Google them and click on images. x


Orchid Lady
I do know what they look like Lancashire lass (they are some of my favourite plants). I have a hydrangea in a pot but it isn't doing very well. No rhododendrons and my pieris hasn't grown in a year so I suspect it is more alkaline.

Thanks lancs lass (another one )

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