London (change)
Today 18°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 13°C
20 messages
21/01/2014 at 16:52

Hi

I'm wanting to make a lavender border all around my house, but before I can do that I need to prepare the border. I removed the weeds (including roots) several times late last summer however the weeds keep coming back. What would be the best way to remove the weeds as I want the border to be as weed free as possible. I've heard that weed killer is bad as it would make the soil toxic, I don't mind putting the work in so would the best option be to remove all the soil and then simply replace with compost? or to use a ruddle? I have a big problem with weeds last year I was picking weeds out of my runner bean patch every week and still they kept coming back.

Also what soil composition is needed for lavender, I hear they need good drainage and that sand should be mixed into the soil to help drainage.

21/01/2014 at 16:57

Hi snowyy 

What sort of weed are you having a problem with?  If they're perennial weeds then spraying with glyphosate when they are growing strongly and then leaving them to die down and go brown will kill the roots as well as the green tops.  You can then plant your lavender bushes - glyphosate has no effect on the soil.

If you're struggling with lots of little germinating weeds from seeds in the soil (they'll look a bit like the mustard and cress you get in punnets from the greengrocer), then you need to hoe the beds regularly, at least weekly in the growing season, until most of the weed seeds have germinated and you've hoed and destroyed them - then plant your lavender.  You'll never get rid of all the little weeds and will need to hoe gently between your shrubs, or get on your hands and knees and hand weed while the weeds are still small.

And yes, lavender needs good drainage - I find horticultural grit dug into the soil is better than sand.

21/01/2014 at 17:12

Nutsedge, bind weed, nettle, dock/thistle type and then loads of little like cress ones.

 

Should I put some compost in the soil as well?

21/01/2014 at 17:20

Do you mean Nutsedge or is it something else, snowyy? I didn't think that was a common weed in the UK.

I agree with Dove - keep cutting off the little ones with your hoe, then use the weedkiller when the perennials are growing away well. But you have to accept that there will always be weeds, it's an ongoing job!

21/01/2014 at 17:20

Mainly perennials  - when the weeds are growing away strongly spray with a weedkiller containing glyphosate and then leave them until the top growth has died right down - if you pull them up before then the roots will still be alive and any tiny piece you leave behind will grow again and you'll have wasted your time, money and energy. 

What's the soil like?

21/01/2014 at 17:41

Hiya snowy

I've done a few lavendar hedges ...as most others have too.

Those weeds!   Nettle and bindweed have brittle roots that will grow from smallest of pieces.  Agree glyphosate is the solution. Spray or touch up as soon as weeds  are seen in the spring.  Repeat at regular intervals during the summer.  Resist the temptation to dig these weeds out.

Soil!  Very good drainage ....I would add grit rsther than sand.  Also add mushroom compost if you can.

Full sun is best. 

I would plant when the soil is warmer, when frosts have generally gone, and I would also add a light dusting of organic fertiliser. I would plant 30 to 40 cm apart.

21/01/2014 at 17:46

cool thanks, not sure if it is nutsedge, might even be grass lol. I plan on growing lavender from seeds in pots in the upcoming weeks then hopefully they will be mature enough to be planted spring/summer. Which gives me plenty of time to get the soil in the border ready.

The soil is ok although I'm only a novice garder so I'm not sure really, it's not like clay it is just like soil with stones in.

 Is bone meal organic fertillser?

21/01/2014 at 17:55

Hiya snowyy

Yes bonemeal is organic but I would  suggest fish blood and bone fertiliser. 

Stones are ok but dig out medium to big ones.  The smaller ones add to drainage which is good for lavendar.

What variety of lavendar are you sowing seed of?  For me I would grow them on in pots until they are of reasonable size before planting out in the soil.  So, you have plenty of time to prepare your soil

You could plant out some annuals........others here are better at these than me......to flower late spring and early summer and then plant out your lavendar in July?

21/01/2014 at 18:04

thanks Verdun, I will use fish blood and bone fertillser. I was just going to get some seeds from Wilkinsons, I think they are called munstead lavender. Yep I'm groing in pots until big enough and hopefully I will be able to put them outside this year.

21/01/2014 at 18:07

Yep Munstead is good.  Hidcote too. 

I sense you won't rush too much but concentrate on getting comditions and plants right first which is good 

21/01/2014 at 18:16

Thanks for all your advice, oh do i put the fertilizer/fish blood etc in the soil a few days before planting the lavender or does it need to sit in the soil for months first?

21/01/2014 at 18:48

Yep, just prior to plantIng out ....maybe a week before

21/01/2014 at 21:30

For Lavender you do not want to add any fertiliser, just add in lots of grit or perlite.

So I would weed, dig over the soil adding in grit and perlite then the Lavender. And that is it. You feed Lavender then they get leggy quickly. I would then top dress with a stone mulch to keep the soil warm and it is easy to pick out any weeds.

22/01/2014 at 09:41

I made a lavender hedge and I laid down a weed supressing, permeable fabric, cut crosses in it to plant the young lavenders then covered the fabric with forest bark. It has worked very well, kept the weeds away. But I know Verdun hates using weed supressing fabric!

22/01/2014 at 12:34

Busy. Yes I do hate that stuff.  My feeling is that soil life is destroyed by it and it makes cultivation difficult.

Agree basically with Blairs about feeding however Snowyy did say his soil is stoney, etc.  so I would certainly add fertiliser but, as I said, a " light dusting" only. 

I planted a long lavendar hedge early last year.  It did reasonably well but then I decided to water it.  It theN flourished.  The point is although lavendars like impoverished dry soil they first benefit from a little extra feed and moisture.   This hedge now looks absolutely superb and will not receive further feeding or watering this year.  

22/01/2014 at 12:43

I added rotted manure when I prepared the bed, but haven't fed since.

22/01/2014 at 17:16

Im lead to believe that they like water just as much as any other plant, but they need excess water to drain away.

22/01/2014 at 19:52

Think that's spot on LeadFarmer 

22/01/2014 at 22:03

Why thank you sir

09/02/2014 at 20:01

Regarding the stone mulch, is there any particular type of stones I should use? The stone mulch won't hinder the growth of the lavender will it?

email image
20 messages