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Dave Morgan

Latest posts by Dave Morgan

Lawn on clay soil

Posted: 16/01/2016 at 10:52

Rachel, clay is always a problem as you're finding out. Importing topsoil would be an expensive option. One method a client of mine did was to import several tons of pea shingle which he spread over the lawn then rotavated in. The result quite surprised me. It seemed the combination of shingle and broken turf, which subsequently rotted down gave exactly the same results as adding tons of well rotted manure and grit. Which when thought through is exactly the same process, but less expensive. It took a whole year to get to the point where he could then re turf it but it worked.

Obviously the classic route would be to carry out a programme of spiking and brushing in grit, which over several years improves the drainage.


Posted: 15/01/2016 at 16:52

If the frost is severe then new growth will die off. They should come back with warmer weather and as for the group 3, yes I'd wait. There's still a lot of uncertainty in the long range weather.

Lawn Levelling

Posted: 15/01/2016 at 15:41

Joe, it depends how bumpy it is. The best start to make is to improve drainage. If you aren't on clay, you can spike the lawn at regular intervals and brush sharp sand and grit into the holes. It may take a few years of repeated spiking and brushing in to get the best results. With levelling you can use a mix of sharp sand/grit and MPC to fill in the bumps and gaps. On lawns with good drainage you'd do it differently. Mix some grass seed into the mix as well, it soon gets integrated into the turf. As I said it may take a few years to get where you want it, there are rarely quick fixes with lawns.


Evergreen screening

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 15:27

I'd go for holly too Matt. The variegated varieties make very attractive hedges. Just stay clear of leyllandii as it takes over and causes more problems than its worth.

Which to move?

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 15:22

Don't forget to fleece it or bubble wrap it. It won't like this cold weather.

Watery Shed

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 22:35

PJL re felt it. You probably have a small hole somewhere it's so easy to get a hole you really won't see it. You can apply a weather seal all round.

unhappy roof terrace plants

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 22:28

Let me guess, you potted them all in multipurpose compost? If you did then they are too wet. Plus they are on the floor so they won't be draining properly. Does the terrace get windy? 

The other plant in the top picture looks like a magnolia. Really none of them are suitable for pot growing. You can pot grow rosemary, but they won't like MPC. The wisteria needs a deep good root run and will give up the ghost eventually.

The conifer has dieback, again it won't do well in MPC. The hydrangea isn't being nibbled it looks like scorch of some description. There are solutions to the rosemary and hydrangea, but I'd look for a different set of plants more suited to growing on pots as the best solution.

Which to move?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 22:09

I'd choose the olive hands down. The azalea will have formed buds already, and if it gets really cold you may lose it. Olive trees need wrapping right now anyway. I don't know where you are in the country Chris, but I find they are better in pots for anywhere else other than the warmer parts of the UK. 

Grass in Rose bed

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 17:31

First thing that starts growing on spring is grass. If you're careful and keep the nozel close to the ground you can use a spray. I suspect you didn't get right under the turf when you lifted it. Either that or you have the type of grass which has quite deep roots. It does take some care but you can use a barrier when you spray. I do it all the time in various clients gardens so it can be done.

Kalmia Latifolia poorly?

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 00:41

There's life in those stems Verdun. I wouldn't be to hasty.

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