Preparing new beds
If you want to plant a bed of heathers, new planting areas can be prepared now during suitable weather. Mix copious amounts of sphagnum moss peat (or peat substitute), sand, pea grit or perlite into heavy clay soils to improve the texture. Light sandy soils can also be improved by the addition of spagnum moss peat (do not use sedge peat for this). For summer-flowering heathers avoid spent mushroom compost as this contains lime and, if the pH of the soil is above 6.5, add flowers of sulphur to acidify the bed.
Dig in the peat and any other additives, mixing thoroughly with the original soil, to a full spade’s depth. The addition of fertilisers is not necessary.
Examine heathers planted last autumn, remove any weeds around them and gently firm into place any plants which have been partially lifted by frost.