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Turfing/Seed Ideas on Low Fertile Soil

Good afternoon all! Straight question is this - will turf/grass seed grow on low fertile/rubbishy soil?

My thinking is no. This inherited garden was originally 'landscaped' and then seeded with Wildflower (none by which took OK but as with a lot of these experiments it wasn't prepped well, it's lumpy/bumpy and there was a lot of weed running through it and it looked very messy (Docks, Nettles, Couch Grass, Ragwort, Ground Elder - you name it!) after an initial bloom of colour (some Poppy, Cornflower, Corn Chamomile, Thistle) - which in itself lasted maybe eight intermittent weeks each year - over two and a half years.  The soil is awful, it looks like a very stoney subsoil/chalky-clay and heavy with flint too. The 'soil' is a light beige colour and hard, so I'm guessing there's next to no composted medium or nutrients in it (so it's supposedly perfect for Wildflower of course?). 

Anyway, Muggins here has been asked (given) the task of getting it back to grass. My gut feeling is to rotovate - although the clay unsurprisingly goes rock hard come the warmer weather - next task to remove as much flint/stones as possible, add sharp sand (?) and perhaps well-composted/rotted  bark/manure and then fork in a good 6 to 8" of topsoil, tread-in, rake, level, rake, level and then lay either turf or seed - any thoughts or other ideas? image There are three areas totalling about 150sq mtrs - none of which will be walked upon or used - it's just to be kept green and neat. No children or dogs either, thank you in advance!


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145

    Sounds like a good plan to me David although you'll also need to address the weed situation before rotovating or you could be making the situation far worse especially when you will be giving them much better conditions to grow in!

  • Good point Dave! Thanks for the info 

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