Advice please?

I have an area of garden that has been covered in bark chips. I now wish to level and raise it slightly with a layer of top soil prior to seeding as a lawn.
Will it be OK to cover the bark chippings?
Advice please?
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I'd get rid of them, which should be THAT difficult with the correct rake. How big is this area?
Hint: Teenagers are always looking for work, it seems. Got any in your neighborhood? Sometimes, high schools post odd jobs that people need done.
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Why remove them? They rot into humus under the cover of topsoil, good for the grass.

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It takes both carbon and nitrogen to create humus, or as it's known the finished product of compost. The bark will take too much nitrogen out of the soil and the turf will suffer. I'd say to rake them away and put them on the soil where garden or landscape beds are located.
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wrote:

To each their own. If topsoil is inches deep and chips buried they wont use nitrogen from above. I would do soil test anyway on topsoil and add what is recommended for grass.
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You're right. ***IF*** conditions are right, they will break down. ***IF***. But, the OP sounds new at this. He also sounds like he likes short cuts.
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And what then do you do when you have a huge sink hole where the chips have decomposed? This is not a matter of "to each his own." This is "fact" and "not fact." I don't have to list my credentials here, but I don't say things arbitrarily when money is involved and turf costs money. And what is "top soil?" Do you mean that dead as a door knob "sandy loam" they put under sod when they build a house? It's not topsoil. It's junk.
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wrote:

What sinkhole? He don't say chips are over foot deep.
This is not a matter of "to each his own." This is

How deep are these chips that sinkholes will form?
And what is "top soil?" Do you mean that dead as a door knob

He didn't say how good the quality of the topsiol.

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He also didn't define the word "slightly" in the original message. Experienced gardeners develop a feel for how soil works, so nobody in this discussion can really say much of anything until we know what "slightly" means.
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If you want, but you'll need more N for the lawn. On the other hand, it's easy enough to rake them up and compost elsewhere.
If this is next to the house, do be careful about raising the soil level -- it can provide a convenient pathway to the house for termites and similar insects. A minimum of 12" between ground and siding is required in most US building codes, iirc. May be different in the UK, but it's easier to keep a good gap than deal with insect damage, imho.
Kay
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Are the chips fresh? If they've weathered for a year or two, I wouldn't worry about nitrogen use. Just cover them with a good thick layer of topsoil and forget about them.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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As the others have pointed out, a thick layer of mulch should not be left, but an older or thinner layer would not be bad. The best thing would be to till it into the soil very well, and then cover with the new soil. When your grass is established, I would use a water soluble fertilizer (Miracle Grow) as per instructions for the first year. That will help offset any nitrogen depletion as the mulch rots. We have very clay, very old soil. When revamping some old beds, I have tilled in bark mulch to give humus to the soil. When I have dug into those areas the next year, I have a layer of rotting mulch that is really feeding the soil.
DP
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