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Will this work? (No dig method)

(23 Posts)
phoenix Thu 09-Jul-20 17:08:25

Hello all,

I'm after some advice (again).

2 large planter/raised bed thingies are being delivered tomorrow. smile I have asked for them to made as frames only, no bottoms.

The plan is to fill them with topsoil, well rotted horse manure and compost.(I have yet to persuade Mr P to allow the bagged manure in the boot of his car confused)

Now, I would like to plant some climbers initially (clematis, honeysuckle and a rose).

They are 51cm deep. If I give them a good start in the mixture outlined above, once they get established will the roots make their way into the undug ground beneath?

Thanks in advance!

tanith Thu 09-Jul-20 17:18:20

If it were me I would roughly dig the soil beneath before adding all the new soil etc.

grannysyb Thu 09-Jul-20 17:20:49

Yes they will be fine. I planted a climbing rose 20 odd years ago, I was doubtful about its chances as I couldn't get further down in the bed than a foot! It's a good 18 feet now!

Coolgran65 Thu 09-Jul-20 17:24:23

I agree with tanith. The hard ground could make it difficult for new roots to make their way through. Even if they did, how much kinder to prepare it just a little.
Yes, roughly dig the ground where you are placing your bottomless planters. It's a one off job. Or should that be 'one of' ?

J52 Thu 09-Jul-20 17:32:07

I agree with roughing up the soil beneath. Apart from the advantage to the plant roots, it will allow the worms to get through and benefit the compost on top.

phoenix Thu 09-Jul-20 18:22:56

Thank you all!

I will pass your thoughts on to himself!

phoenix Thu 09-Jul-20 18:42:33

Our garden is South facing, one of them will be beside the fence between us and next door, with added trellis (will have to ask them to move the kayaks that are currently resting against our fence hmm) the other will go at a 90
degree angle to that one, and the climbers will (hopefully) go over the shed. We've got to make sure we leave access to the oil tank.

Chewbacca Thu 09-Jul-20 19:11:35

I agree with others Phoenix, roughly breaking up the ground that the raised planter is to sit on will make it easier for your new plants to root in to. Clematis, in particular, love to have the roots as deep as possible. General rule for clematis is "cold feet, warm head", so deep roots and plenty of sun.

phoenix Thu 09-Jul-20 19:19:34

Thanks Chewbacca!

I'm considering a Montana, but the white one, not the pink.

For the rose I've always liked "Buff Beauty" but from David Austen is about 21 euros (don't know why it's in euros?) for bare rooted, delivery in November.

I will be grateful for any suggestions!

Chewbacca Thu 09-Jul-20 19:38:09

A white clematis would be absolutely lovely Phoenix, I have one too. I grow mine up against a fence, supported by a wide gauge pea net that I've nailed onto the fence (it's easier for the tendrils to climb up net). Because I have awful, heavy clay soil, I've dug in loads of top soil, compost and well rotted manure to help with drainage. It's done so well that I've now planted 2 more against the same fence, different colours and heights and to flower (hopefully) one after the other. Because I lack soil depth, I've dropped a huge rock on top of their roots to ensure that they keep as cool as possible.
The David Austen roses are a bit expensive but I've never yet had one fail. Buff Beauty is a lovely peachy colour isnt it? For bare rooted roses, you'll need to give them a good soaking in a bucket of water for at least a couple of hours before you put them in their bed. But they should flower fully by next summer.

Exciting things to look forward to with your new garden! smile

phoenix Thu 09-Jul-20 20:06:49

Yes, Chewbacca!

We had planned to have the garden "landscaped" this spring, but changes in Mr P's income put a stop to that!

So, we're doing it in stages. I can live with that!

The rest of the garden is currently grass (I won't grace it with the term "lawn") and there is a very old hedgerow at the end, oak, hawthorn, willow, holly,elder etc.and God knows what else!

Beyond that, an open field.

annodomini Thu 09-Jul-20 21:32:40

If you would like a clematis less rampant than Montana, I can recommend a white one called The Bride. Quite showy, but requires no more attention than any other clematis. Feet in the shade and head in the sun is a good rule to follow. In the walled garden of a stately home, I was taken with their practice of keeping a piece of plastic drainpipe round the bottom of the clematises stems. Presumably they were planted that way.

phoenix Thu 09-Jul-20 21:37:53

Thanks for that anno !

I was going for a Montana because I'm a wuss about pruning! blush from what I gather, some should be pruned on this growth, that growth, blah blah, but Montana can just be hacked back when they get above themselves!

Chewbacca Thu 09-Jul-20 21:47:48

To be honest Phoenix I've never pruned any clematis that ive ever owned, irrespective of the genus or instructions on the tag! Once it's in the ground and appears to be flourishing, that's it! I leave them to get in with it. Every clematis I've ever bought has come from that budget supermarket A**I, that has an aisle of wonder in the middle. The most expensive one I've had from there was the white one @ £5.99 this year; all the rest were £1.49 for titchy little plants that grew enormously once established.

merlotgran Thu 09-Jul-20 21:48:41

If it flowers before June, don't prune.


Late flowering clematis can be pruned back hard in the spring.

craftyone Fri 10-Jul-20 08:23:35

the bride clematis sounds excellent, I hate montana, it is rampant, gets very top heavy and is a great nuisance to neighbours. It sounds as though you will be planting against the dividing fence. Be considerate

merlotgran Fri 10-Jul-20 09:09:45

What colour are the planters, phoenix and what colour is the fence.

It's important to consider the background if you are going to have climbers or tall plants. I painted a fence dark grey (Cuprinol Urban Slate) to match two planters DH made for me. I planted a bamboo in each one. They were small at the time but are now well over 6' and the fresh green leaves look lovely against a dark background.

A dark colour will show off pale colours as well as bright reds and dark greens. Plain wood fades into the background so I wouldn't have anything too pale in front of it.

It's all down to personal taste of course.

phoenix Fri 10-Jul-20 10:24:28

craftyone there is a little path between our fence and the neighbours garden, which is currently home to brambles and ash saplings which pop up everywhere!

The house next door is Housing Association, I'm in correspondence with them to try to find out who's responsibility it is to keep it clear.

merlot The planters are in their natural state at the mo, the fence is well weathered, so looks a sort of silvery grey.

merlotgran Fri 10-Jul-20 10:32:04

Well weathered is very trendy at the moment, phoenix grin

I would consider painting the planters grey or sage green to make them stand out but this can always be done after planting then you can consider the look you are finally going for.

phoenix Fri 10-Jul-20 12:20:01

They've just been delivered! The big one is HUGE shock

Now we have to clear the area, lug them round the back and put them together.

It's going to take a lot of soil to fill them!

merlotgran Fri 10-Jul-20 13:56:40

phoenix, If you have any old polystyrene trays from bedding plants or similar you can break them up into lumps and chuck them in the bottom of the planter even if you are placing it over soil.

This will help aerate the soil/compost, improve drainage and reduce the amount you need to use. It won't affect the roots of whatever you plant because they will find their way through.

merlotgran Fri 10-Jul-20 16:07:59

Nick Bailey on Gardeners' World is featuring summer flowering clematis tonight, phoenix

phoenix Sat 11-Jul-20 07:14:45

merlot missed Gardeners World, will try to find it on catch up.

I've just got rid of a load of polystyrene, but no doubt the dishwasher will come with some, so I'll use your tip!