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
Hi, we had a similar thing,when we moved here.
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
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.
Just do it bit by bit. Try freecycle,for any bits people might not
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!
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
> Thanks for the advice David the house is not new it's 60's or 70's i
> 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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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