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Maryann
I have planted some Photinia's super hedge, they are struggling. What is the best fertiliser to use and when?

The soil is heavy clay. When planting gypsum and half a bag of potting mix was added to the soil.

Are they plants sensitive to the heat. As we did have somehot days, would this have burnt them off.

The plants are well watered.

Submitted: 10:15AM, 06 Jan 2010
Answer: Dear Maryann,

Heavy clay soils really need to be treated well before planting commences. Adding gypsum to the soil will help to break up the clay particles but it doesn’t work immediately and it takes time before you will notice an improvement in the structure of the soil. By digging into the clay you will create a well, and with the addition of the potting mix the roots of the plants will be surrounded by moisture. Moisture is essential for the plant growth but it can be detrimental to plant growth if the water is unable to drain away. Rather than dig into a clay soil, it is better to have raised garden beds in which to grow your plants.

Photinia is a hardy plant and should be able to adapt to a number of situations. You may still need to use a product that will continue to break up those clay particles to give your Photinia hedge a chance to grow well. There are liquid clay breaker products that you can purchase to use on plants that have already been planted. Try and improve the drainage as best you can. As far as fertilisers are concerned, a slow release fertiliser (Acticite + Instant Booster) will ensure that your plants receive the nutrients they need to thrive.

Answered: 01:10PM, 15 Jan 2010

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