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By Hank

Cheshire, United Kingdom Gb

Sorry, me again. I need to fill a gap.

I have an area right outside my back door that I've never done much with - as I don't really have a clue. It's about 6 yds long by about 21 inches wide and there's only a depth of soil 4 to 5 inches deep. I keep digging it over, adding compost whenever I have some spare, then raking it.
I'm ashamed to ask this but can I buy a packet of seeds, scatter them, and grow something that looks a bit better than raked soil ?




What's beneath the soil, is it solid, as in tarmac or concrete? Meaning there's no drainage underneath?

7 Jun, 2015


Just add some bedding plants for now to give you some colour and time to think about it.

7 Jun, 2015


B. There are drainage holes in the cnncrete slabs each side.
Thanks L. But please be specific. Bedding plants ? I know absolutely nothing. My wife did ALL the gardening for 50 years. I never did a thing.

7 Jun, 2015


Hi Hank, if you go to a garden centre, you will see loads of different 'bedding plants', they usually come in little trays of 4 to 6 plants, {they used to come in wooden seed trays with about 40 or 50 plants in the good old days, before the world and his dog became gardeners, and prices started to rocket}, there are usually quite a lot to choose from, and you throw them out at the end of summer, at which time you can plant spring flowering bulbs, or so called winter pansies, wallflowers etc, Derek.

7 Jun, 2015


There's no reason not to scatter some seeds, I've just thrown some poppy seeds on a couple of bare patches and there are millions coming up - more than I anticipated. Or how about night scented stocks, lovely smell. There's so many to choose from at the garden centres.

7 Jun, 2015


I have an narrow area round one side of the pergola which is mostly rubble and clay too. I tried to plant some Allium (ornamental onion) and though they have taken root and sent up leaves, the flowers are not very good as I couldn't plant them deep enough.

All I think you can do is what's already been mentioned though you can put in rockery plants that don't mind rough soil and which will give you spring colour. Ask at your local garden centre. They will be only too happy to advise you.

7 Jun, 2015


As the soil depth is very shallow, bedding does seem the way to go - bedding means things like pansies, petunias, alyssum (seeds itself, worth buying you'll have some pop up next year), bush lobelia (not trailing). Will have a think about something more permanent - is it sunny in that spot or fairly shady?

7 Jun, 2015


In the short term you could do worse than annual bedding plants from the Garden Center. Why not a few lettuce seed as well, nice fresh lettuce just outside the back door - great if we get any warm, sunny weather!

7 Jun, 2015


Thanks all, that's much better. And Bu - I filled it with lettuce a couple of years ago ( and some beds) and I had 104, all ready at the same time. My neighbours and the staff at the library ( who I know well) were delighted. Every one was eaten.
Ba - the strip gets the sun 3/4 of the day.

7 Jun, 2015


I'm having trouble thinking of something permanent - I suspect at times it will be very dry, and other times quite wet. Campanula muralis is about the only thing I can think of - many rockery plants hate to have wet feet, and other plants that don't mind that don't like to dry out! If you just get one large plant, you could split it and see how it does in there - it'll spread and fill the whole lot with a bit of help (you digging up larger clumps and splitting then replanting them) over time.

13 Jun, 2015


Thanks B, looking into campanula muralis "as we soeak". Only just saw your reply.

15 Jun, 2015

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