Gardening advice

Ade B

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One for the avid gardeners amongst you:

We have a scruffy lawn approx 5x6m, it gets plenty of sun and there is one large mature sycamore in the SE corner and a very small apple tree and cherry tree planted by us last summer.

The lawn is uneven, patchy and full of holes caused by lack of maintenance by the previous owner and awful topsoil - which is full of bits of broken brick etc.

We are wanting to level the garden, add topsoil and manure? and then turf the lot. Apparently now is the time to do it.

My questions are:

Can we just hire a rotovator and plough the existing lot up, level it, add new topsoil and turf or do we need to remove the existing lawn and topsoil first?

Secondly, will the rotovator cope with the all the broken bricks, small lumps of concrete/ pot and gravel which are in the topsoil.

Finally, anyone any recommendations for a company in the SE who'll do the whole lot for a reasonable price.

TIA

Ade
 

mattc

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If you have the access get one of those Bobcat mini diggers and skim off the top layer. fill a skip or 2 with what you drag off dependant on how deep you go. put some topsoil back (be careful here-there is soil and soil and some will have as many stones as you dig out!)

Roller the area for laying - this needs patience - do it in a hurry and the lawn will be uneven. rake it, roller, rake it roller it.

Lay GOOD turf like rolawn. costs more but it MUCH better quality

should keep you busy for an afternoon!!

sorry, dont know a company in the SE
 

grober

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I would be wary of rotovating to any depth because you may well run into the major root mat of the sycamore tree in some places. This may be a major contributor to the uneven ground anyway. It may be better to build up the ground level rather than take it down?? Difficult to tell without being there.
 
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maddog

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I also would think it would be better to build up the level if possible , rotovating is a lot of work as well

I'd also wait at least 6 weeks before turfing let the days get a bit longer
 

IanA2

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Rotovating (which is quite difficult) is probaly not the way to go. As suggested above, I'd go with either skimming or building up. Try contacting the RHS http://www.rhs.org.uk/index.htm they may have a list of contractors.

Good luck with however you decide to go.
 

Londonscottish

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There are specialist lawn contractors out there - by memory I think there's an outfit called Greenfingers. They do nothing but lawns. Hopefully that means they'll supply good quality turf (cheap stuff has often dried out and is slow to establish. Failing that use a recomended local gardening firm

Once it's down don't walk on it for six weeks (as per earlier post).

Don't forget to put a good maintenance schedule in place. Like any plant grass needs to be tended. If you regularly feed it, spike it, scarify it, etc it'll stay looking good for years. Ignore it and it'll eventually die back. Costs a lot less to maintain that to re-lay the turf in a few year's time.

I'm trying to find someone like Greenfingers to maintain mine. They don't operate in my area but their USP is that they're cost less than DIY and have all the kit.
 

neilrr

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As an avid gardener :rolleyes: my advice is:

Cut everything down
Pave it
Park cars on it.
 
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Ade B

Ade B

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Thanks for the tips

Hadn't occurred to me to build up the lawn... would need to build a mini retaining wall at one end as the current low side of the slope has a new timber fence with the pavement behind..

Given the relatively small amount of ground in question, I'm tempted to enlist some help and go at it with a pick, spade and rake, reduce the high end of the slope, move it to the low end and then drop a load of new top soil and manure on the top. From my brief web search this morning, top soil is the most expensive bit...

My Dad had a rotovator back in his 'good life' days, worked well in soft soil but would climb out of the ground and run off if it hit large objects...

The major tree roots should be at least 800mm according to an arboculturalist we are currently working with on another project..

Cheers

Ade
 

maddog

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Top soil is pricey but its a lot of time to try and sort out the soil you have

Retaining walls arent too bad , you could use sleepers as an alternative or just half cut round rails

IME Sycamore roots dont spread as much as some other trees and they are very hardy , pretty difficult to upset them. We have a full grown one which is meant to be 200+ years old in our garden and many smaller offspring from it and whilst we have had MAJOR landscaping done we havent managed to kill one yet
 

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