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Raised beds and greedy hedge.


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  • Raised beds and greedy hedge.

    Hi all.
    Does anyone have words of wisdom for this problem.
    I have a plot of raised beds. 4 of the beds are end on from a Beech/Hawthorn hedge. The hedge is about 6 feet from the plot ends. Everything I put in these beds fails to thrive and results are pitiful.
    They are also very dry.
    The council has also this year allowed said hedge get totally out of hand so its about 15 feet high and has grown out towards my plot as well. .
    I tried to dig a trench in one of them yesterday but about 4 inches down I hit roots. Some little finger width and some small root masses.
    I realise a second layer of wood surround to deepen the bed or shallow root crops might be the answer. But wondered if anyone else has tackled this problem.
    It’s just too much to dig all four beds out and I’m reluctant to disturb the soil structure by digging down.
    I grew some potatoes in one of the beds this year which were ok but on the small side.
    Any ideas as to how I can grow more successfully in the beds….or at all for that matter.

  • #2
    I would cut the hedge,reduce the top & side growth to stop the roots spreading more. Your plant roots should find a space to grow,I use mycorrhizal fungi (rootgrow) added in the planting hole,helps young plants set their roots but being close to the greedy hedge will need more water,water the crops & the shrub next to the plants otherwise the shrubs will take water for themselves.
    Location : Essex


    • #3
      Assuming you're not allowed to cut the hedge, I would put an underground barrier in. Dig a deep but narrow trench along the hedge end of your bed, and line it with something solid that the roots won't be able to penetrate, like sheet metal or old paving slabs, then refill.
      Last edited by ameno; 21-09-2021, 03:14 PM.


      • #4
        Cut the hedge.
        1. The council have probably neglected the hedge because they are strapped for resources.
        2. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission

        I live in a part of the UK with very mild winters. Please take this into account before thinking "if he is sowing those now...."


        • #5
          Covid has been the go-to response for all failings in public services and seems to be the excuse given for poor customer service.

          Give the hedge a cut, if you do a terrible job just say it was done by the council contractors

          i would dig a deep trench and cut the roots going towards your beds then fill it with something to stop the roots re-growing
          "Bulb: potential flower buried in Autumn, never to be seen again."
          - Henry Beard


          • #6
            The south end of my garden where the vegetable patch was, was blighted by a neighbour's cypress hedge, that he refused to keep in control of (wanted his "privacy" with a 12' high hedge ). Eventually I gave up and built a workshop at that end of the garden. He complained about that to the council .
            Location:- Rugby, Warwckshire on Limy clay (within sight of the Cement factory)


            • #7
              I'd probably opt to grow flowers and herbs in the beds you describe, and forget about trying to grow vegetables there.

              Vegetable gardening is a lot of work anyway, and trying to produce decent crops in poor circumstances is a recipe for disappointment, imo. Maybe you can find some land somewhere-else (allotment, neighbour's garden, ....) where the going will be a bit easier.


              • #8
                Thank you for your suggestions everyone.
                The Hedge is long and massive so my cutting it is out of the question. Also we were told not to touch the Hedge by the council a couple of years ago.
                Yes you are right PETYD. Covid is the go to response though they are strapped for cash. It does seem to have become the mantra for the cessation of many services.
                I do have other beds and a 2nd plot (greedy girl) Ive had my lottie 14 years so know the pitfalls. However the hedge has only been a real problem for 3 or so years to this extent.


                • #9
                  I have the same problem bobbin, my raised beds a 2ft deep, one was 5ft wide and other 2, 3ft wide, I am now changing to one bed 2ft deep and 6ft wide with a concrete base the ends and side closest to the trees and hedge are made with 3x2 concrete slabs and all concreted to the base, the other side is wooden planks sitting on the concrete base, I am hoping that any water, which is what draws the roots in, will drain out that side and as I will still have a 2.5ft concrete path beside this wall I will be able to stop any roots. I think the best thing to put down is something called teram matting which let's the water out but stops the roots getting in, it's used as a base layer for paths, but quite expensive


                  it may be a struggle to reach the top, but once your over the hill your problems start.

                  Member of the Nutters Club but I think I am just there to make up the numbers


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