Sowing grass seed - stones problem

Hi all. I want to sow some grass seed on an area of my garden which has been very bare, covered in*ivy, twigs, stones ect for a long time, its quite shady for about 2/3rds of it too as its under some tall trees and at the back of the garden, its about 12 sq metres in a long rectangular strip, 2m wide x 6m long. I have tried to get rid of the debris and have forked and raked the soil, raking as much as i can and treadind down, there were loads of bulbs too which i have dug up and lots of stones, some big ones as well as lots of small ones. I have also put some general fertilzer granules on it a couple of weeks ago and today was my first opportunity to get to work on sowing the grass since 2 weeks of rain. Anyway I came to start it this morning and where I had raked there were now hundreds of stones which have come to the surface I think because of the rain washing the soil away. I have tried raking some more but I can still see stones under the soil when I rake and I can only think that the same thing will happen even if I did rake it again and try to get rid of the stones, once it rains again. They are mostly small stones 1-2 cm in size, i think there are bigger ones below the surface. So anyway what I want to know is what should I do about the stones? Do I need to put a load of top soil on the top to cover the stones and if so how much? I am half contemplating just turfing it, but would i need to put a load of top soil down under that too? i hope you can help me.
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Ben Emms


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The stones are about 1/2 - 3/4", so they aren't really big. Other factor is how many there are. If there is plenty of soil showing in between, ie, it's 80%+ soil, not stone, then I agree with the above. I'd rake it out a bit. Since the soil was disturbed, if it's just lightly raked now, next rain you probably won't get as many showing up again.
But, on the other hand, it's only a 12 sq m area. If screened topsoil is available for a reasonable price and the increase in height isn't an issue, might want to price out buying the topsoil. For a small job like this, could buy it by the bag.
Should also make sure the seed is appropriate for shade.
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Ben Emms wrote:
...about stones...
for a marginal area at the back of a garden along a wooded area grass is not too likely to do all that well.
instead of spending money on sod or topsoil find whatever you can scrounge for organic materials and add that slowly on the surface then let native plants take over the area. they are adapted to the soil and the light and won't need any care at all.
if you want to mow it once in a while that is fine. set the mower on the higher settings, use a mulching mower and have at it.
or you can put down a few inches of wood chips over cardboard and smother whatever is there and then plant shade loving decorative plants in holes through the cardboard. water a few times to get them established and then they'll gradually take over the space as the cardboard and wood chips degrade. no mowing needed for that area then. you won't see the stones any longer.
and/or find shade tolerant decorative shrubs that will provide berries and flowers for the birds and bees.
songbird
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