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Messed up garden

I made a bit of a mistake with my garden.

I was tired of it being a mess so I dug up the old turf including weeds, without putting a weed killer on first.

I dug a bit too deep, like 6 inches, then I was going to dispose of it all, until I realised how much 6" of top soil and the cost of removing the couple tons of earth would be.

So now I have a big pile of soil with weeds and plastic and all sorts in it, then i've tried to sieve all the weeds out etc.

This is going to take me weeks to do and can only really do it in dry weather.

Has anyone got any suggestions how I can lay new turf? will I have to continue sieving all the soil, or can I spread it around,, rotivate it deep, rake whatever I can out, then add 2" of top soil, lay turf and hope the weeds don't grow through?

I've attached pictures of the pile of soil etc.

Thanks for any help :)


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,103
    edited May 2018
    Now you've started you need to carry on forking over the whole are to be turved, removing any weeds and their roots as you go.  Then you level it with a rake and keep raking till it breaks down to a smoother, level layer with no big lumps.   As you go, hoe off or fork out any weeds that re-appear in the bits you've done as.

    When it's ready, scatter on some fertiliser and lay your turves and keep the watered - generously with a sprinkler, not a light squirt - until the roots knit to the soil below.  Do not walk on it during this period.

    Excellent advice here form the RHS - 

    You may already be a bit late for this year and may have to wait till autumn to lay turves so, assuming you get it all done in the next couple of weeks, I suggest you have a go with seed unless we get a prolonged heat wave.  April and September are usually the best times for laying or seeding lawns but it's a late season so you may get away with it if you're quick.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    @Obelixx, am I right in thinking that the OP can cover over any soil not used and leave if for a season, to then use next year once the weeds have died back / perenrials taken out? It looks like good stuff. Topsoil costs a fortune, so I would say it's worth holding on to.  
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