Forum home Problem solving

Need advice. This is my garden. Ground is made from clay. Have had drainage out in. Ground level is

This is my garden. Ground is made from clay. Ground is covered with bricks and stones which will need picking up. I am looking to lay grass but not sure how to begin. I have been quoted 7k from doing this job, so would like to do alone.
was advised may need a digger but maybe hard as have a new patio and wall with steps built. Any advice? How do I make this garden green again?


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,243
    Cover the soil with three inch of grit, then three inch of peat, composted bark, or well rotted manure. Then rotovate it in . (Hire a rotovator for a day) A farmer with stables may be the best source of well rotted manure if he will deliver a tipper load.   That should give you some decent top soil. Then rake it flat, and sow seed or lay turf. Seed is the cheaper option.
  • Edanb81Edanb81 Posts: 7
    Thanks for advice.... you local to Manchester? Big job? Been quoted 7k. Been cheated too much with this house we bought. Got a new born and just want nice garden. Do I need to go round all garden picking up stones etc? 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,588
    You will need to rake up and pick up all the debris. Can you get hold of a load of compost to improve the soil? Then hire a rotovator and work in the compost and try to get a fine tilth. How wet is it and do you think the clay would break down? Is there any depth to it? Then either hire a roller or walk with very small steps all over it to flatten. Then rake until smooth and rake in some lawn fertiliser. Then either lay turf or sow seed. Seed is much cheaper but a slower result.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Edanb81Edanb81 Posts: 7
    Am I needing to break the clay down? The whole ground is clay. But before started he ground was grass. We had 12 foot trees all the way round the garden. Is £7k ridiculous for this kind of work. The garden used to be 3 levels. Been told I need a digger, etc 
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,852
    If you follow above instructions you can do it for a fraction of that cost, and have the satisfaction that you’ve done it yourself. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,588
    That's funny, when I posted my reply fidgetbones' reply wasn't there! Mine was straight after Edanb. Weird.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Edanb81Edanb81 Posts: 7
    No have had 3 and all useless people. Want to do myself but not sure what doing. Anyone have advice of assistance in Manchester area 
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    edited April 2018
    rake it level, remove all the stones then grass seed it, by the summer you'll have a lawn, This you can do yourself or it shouldn't take a contractor more than 1 day to do.

    this will give you time to decide if you want any patio areas and pathways to them (and where they are going), where you want beds, if you want to plant trees, it will also show you where water puddles when it rains and where the sun shines into the garden. if you want to terrace you can plan that too.

    basically it will give you an easy maintenance garden and a blank slate to start from.
  • Jason-3Jason-3 Posts: 391
    If you have help you could it yourself. Hire a 10 ton builders skip, remove as much of the brick as suggested. Hire a rotivator.Then as above, compost and manure. I would also suggest taking the first 3-4 inches of clay then adding your compost/organic material. What you want to avoid is having clay soil above your finished level..I. e above patio or damp course in house. We had the same issue re heavy clay and sandstone when we moved in

    The only other thing I would is install french drains they sound fancy but realy are simple. They work very well and stop pooling. You could save 5k by doing it yourself. Remember although hard work clay is very fertile and some plants, veg and fruit thrive in it !
Sign In or Register to comment.