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Laying a new lawn on a mess of a garden

Hi All,

i was wondering if someone can help me? We have moved into a put new home which has a really large back garden. The garden has so much potential but is a big mess at the moment. I am a novice when it comes to gardening but I am really relishing the idea of making this garden into my own little project.

The first thing I want to tackle is he lawn. At the moment the garden is over grown and full off weeds, I dont think there was ever any lawn in place. The idea is to dig out all the weeds and level the ground and then lay the turf. However I have noticed there are quite a few bumps in the garden, could these be ant hills and if so, do I need to treated these first?

I look forward to your replies :)


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669

    pictures please, where abouts in the country/world are you, maybe size, aspect does it face, north,south east west?  Little project, haha, just you wait!!!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,354

    Resist 'treating' anything. It's not the way forward for a healthy garden. Rake over those lumps and if there are ants about the birds will eat them

    Ants only form hills in unmown grass, they don't get a chance if the mower comes round

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • I know it's tempting to get going but the general advice is only do what is absolutely essential in the first few months. It may test your patience, but there may be hidden gems in there that you won't see until next spring / summer. Unless you have a clear idea for a plan or style then don't rush in & rip it all out now.

    AB Still learning

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Before you start on the lawn, give some thought to how you want your garden to be when you finish. You may want flower beds, a veg area, a patio, somewhere for the kids to play, a shed.... It will be no good trying to do all that if you have to walk over or even dig up your perfect lawn! Take your time, think and plan and look at other gardens, talk to the family and just make haste slowly!

  • Thanks for all the messages guys!

    I am in Greater West London, with a west facing garden.

    I already have a plan in place which includes a decked area, veg/flower patches and the lawn area.

    The current garden is bumping and very uneven. So the plan is to bring in a rotavator and dig it all up then even it out. Then check the state of the soil and then lay the turf. At the moment like I said before it has some huge bumps in the ground which I'm thinking is ant hills as they are pretty big.

    Also another problem I envision I will face are the weeds. How to I get rid of those thorny berry bushes? They are pretty deep into the ground?



  • ColinAColinA Posts: 386

    My daughter has just moved into a two year old house that has been empty for eighteen months, The first job was to Glyphosate the large weed bed that had developed and leave for three weeks to die down. We then dug over the whole area over the last few weekends and are now leaving it until next year for the winter to break it up, I will then rotavate it and lay new turf. 

    As to any unwanted bushes just dig them out

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Well, that's a plan. I'm not very keen on weedkillers, so I would remove the top surface and stack the turf grass side down in an out of the way spot to rot down. It's not good to rotavate  grass and weeds unless they are dead because many of the roots will regrow. Whichever you do you will need to spend time making the soil level before you turf it. There are lots of videos online showing you how to do this. Good luck.

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