I'm new to this site and need some advice.

I have recently moved and have now got a large garden 150ft long and 30ft wide. The problem is the soil, the garden was neglected before we moved in, it is full of small hills which we have tried to flatten and the lawn has lots of patches with no grass and the soil is full of stones and a sort of cement mixture in it too, the only thing that seems to grow in this soil are weeds. I would love some advice on how to solve the soil problem, thank you
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hazella

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hazella;921635 Wrote:

Except our garden was full of sheds,slabs, (on which the sheds were) and a concrete path. I dug out a border,we too are on a slope,but I stopped worrying about that,and tried to flatten it as much as possible,so at least its a flat slope. I add compost,every so often,but its still very stoney,when I dig. I plant harder plants,that wont be too demanding,and the grass is more weeds than anything...but its green! i will do the lawn properly,when I can afford to seed it.
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kathateria

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hazella;921641 Wrote:

want,like a roller,and shrubs. (where are you) What do you want doing? All lawn,or flower beds? You might need a few visits to the tip,to get rid of the stones. I used old compost bags,and emptied them into the recycling skips,and reused them.I was at the tip every other day for 2 weeks,just moving turf and weeds and stones.Nightmare.Very hard and heavy work. Will the kids help? Ours loved the digging!
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kathateria

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We have been doing it bit by bit, slowly but surely, most of it is going to be lawned especially where the kids part is, the top part of the garden is having flower beds and some decking put in. I live in norwich on the outskirts near long stratton, so its nice countryside and i want a nice garden to go with it not a uncontrollable jungle, also we do have a roller that we borrowed from a neighbour but its hard work as the ground is so hard to do anything with, my eldest does help, the other two are too young yet which is a shame. Thanks for the tip about recycle i will look it up if they do it in our area.
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hazella

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hazella;921793 Wrote: > Thanks for the advice David the house is not new it's 60's or 70's i > think.

> available funds, the problem we are having is the ground its all hard, > stoney and bumpy it's a nightmare, its making the work go very slowly. You could do a little rockery, to at least make use of the rocks
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kathateria


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On Tue, 17 May 2011 07:09:45 +0000, hazella

It may be easier to import topsoil instead of improving what you have for a lawn. It is hard to say without seeing it. Is this area in the sun? You won't grow much grass unless it gets at least a few hours per day of sun.
I live in norwich

I though the soil was too hard, so why are you compacting it further? I would have thought you need to open it up. Rollers are used where for some reason (bowling green) you need a firm smooth grassy surface, they don't help the grass grow, quite the reverse bowling greens etc have to be drilled to relieve the compaction.
D
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You accept a big project. Stop and anticipate and plan what you wish to do in the garden. Don't blitz into it and if you are accomplishing it all yourself don't try to do the accomplished affair in one go. Read books on garden design, there is abundant to ponder.
--
andrewwmillton

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On Mon, 16 May 2011 12:03:00 +0000, hazella

How old is the house? The reason for asking is to find out if it was a made garden before or if the rubbish is recent builder's rubble, a result of the house construction.
You have a big project. Stop and think and plan what you want to do in the garden. Don't rush into it and if you are doing it all yourself don't try to do the whole thing in one go. Read books on garden design, there is much to ponder.
When you have worked out a design that suits the site, your needs and budget then work on each area, the treatment will depend on the use of each area. If you really have to get active immediately, pile up all the rocks etc and cart away rubbish that has no other possible use while you study what to do. If there is much vegetation to clear one of your first decisions is where to put the compost pile. Large rocks may turn out to be not a problem but part of the solution.
David
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GAH! We bought a recently built house, and the previous owners had all lawn. When I went to dig beds for vegetables, I dug up all sorts of rubbish. I wasn't only from the house, either. Some of it HAD to be left over from the demolition of the amusement park that stood here 20 years ago.

Definitely start small. The lawn for the kids sounds like the OP's first priority (although having them assist in a vegetable garden can get them hooked- "Hey kids, the first hit is free!")

In a rustic setting, it occurs to me that a compost pile bordered on three sides with rocks dug out of the yard might actually look attractive.
Chris

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Cheap or quick? Cheap takes time. Quick takes money.
Cheap: After pulling out all the debris that you want to, hopefully you could rototill the soil. You might as well work in some manure, rock phosphate, and some wood ashes, if you have them, while your at it. Then plant a cover crop like rye, or buckwheat. They make amazing amounts of roots, and will improve the soil. Make sure that none of the soil is bare of mulch. Mulch and manure (carbon and Nitrogen) feed the soil biome (the flora and fauna of the soil). When you can get a half dozen earthworms out of a garden shovel of dirt, the soil is ready to do what you want.
Quick: David's Oz may be overflowing with premium quality topsoil that can be purchased for a song, but here in the "States", it is a precious commodity, and rarely found for sale. Buying top soil is a double edge sword. There is no legal definition for top soil. Farmers, and some academicians know what it is, but for landscaping companies, it is a license to steal. Best scenario is that it is a clean concoction of dirt, manure, and compost (that you could of concocted more cheaply), and your garden is ready to go in no time at all. Wor$t scenario is that it is toxic landfill that came from an old military base, or the site of an old chemical plant (you would be hard pressed to do worse), and you are totally screwed, as it will cost you more to get rid of the stuff (and what it has contaminated), than you paid for it.
So it's shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone, your ear to the ground, and good luck trying to work in that position ;O)
--
"Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing 'Oh how wonderful' and sitting in the shade,
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wrote:

It isn't. I wonder where I said that.....

You do need to make some judgment about the quality versus the price before you buy - like anything.
D
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"It may be easier to import topsoil instead of improving what you have for a lawn."

--
- Billy

Bush's 3rd term: Obama plus another elective war
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