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Sara Collings


I am trying to dig out new beds in our garden. I am digging them where we have had Leylandi cut down, stumps ground out and I have also removed lots of Ivy. There has so far been a massive amounts of roots, some huge, some fiberous and some that when you start to pull you get about 6' of long thin root. I,m assuming these are from the leylandi and the ivy and what I,m looking for is some confirmation from you lovely experienced people that by digging these beds out removing what roots I can that I shouldn't have to many problems with stuff, or even trees !!!, growing back. Also is there anything else I can do to try to ensure success !!

Thanks in anticipation

Sara x

Sara, hi.  

Sounds like you are doing exactly the right thing.  Dig out every root you see....??ou will  come across those lomg roots, etc., so, yes, pull them all out. You need too to get as much compost, manure, mushroom compost, etc as you can in there.  After you have removed all the roots etc start to dig trenches and add your compost to them.  When completed try to add some compost on the new surface of the soil and incorporate this   Into the top layers.  

Let this settle for few weeks.......then rake in some organic fertiliser (I like fish blobo dnd bone but ??ou could use pelleted chicken manure).

What do you want to grow there?  Veg? flowers?   It's worth doing a ph test on your see if your soil is acid or alkaline.  This is important to know when deciding what to grow. This is a very easy and cheap test.

Good luck sara

Don't worry, the conifers won't grow back from pieces of root, although the ivy might!

Sara Collings

Thank you, I do actually hate Ivy & Leylandi now !!! Glad it sounds like I,m doing the right thing. I do have plans to improve the soil so those tips are greatly appreciated. I have plans for grasses shrubs etc and will do a soil test to make sure what I plan to plant will be OK

Thanks again

Sara x

Oooo, grasses Sara!   Good choice.    Choose carefully.  Some are invasive some are not.  Try to get hackanechloa in there....beautiful front of the border grass.  A red grass like Imperata red baron and/or the blue elymus magellanicus look sensational alongside 


Sara Collings

I thought so . I will have a look at your suggestions, can,t wait to get some plants in now but must be patient ! X

Best to wait until spring to plant those grasses though Sara.  

Sara Collings

Hi everyone,

Just thought I,d come and give you all a progress report, slow !!! Like everyone the weather has not been kind. I have managed to dig out two beds but still need to do a third, clear the area for the chickens, relay the patio, dig out and set up the water feature, reseed some areas of lawn, edge the beds and then I can begin planting, hurrah !! I have started a compost heap and am slowly getting rid of all the rubbish and waste , still I,m sure it will be worth it when it,s finished. 

Sara x




Looking really good Sara - as someone who spent the first year in this garden digging out similar roots from ivy and some large trees, I know how you feel.  

I don't know if it's of any interest, but we've replaced our garden washing line (we had one like yours) with ones similar to this

fixed to the house wall at one end and a sturdy post at the fence end - then when we're not drying laundry the lines are retracted and no one runs the risk of decapitation and the garden looks much more attractive.   Just a thought 

Sara Collings

Good idea ! I will investigate,  as for the roots I am constantly amazed at how many there are. But I,m sure (at least I hope I am) that all this preparation will reap rewards in the end .

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