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Lawn hiding a multitude of sins

red_carbonred_carbon NorthwestPosts: 11
So we bought this house last year, and back lawn wasn't doing well. We noticed the ground itself was very uneven and sunken, and the grass patchy at best. Hoping it was just badly compacted, I tried the 'stick a fork in and wiggle' method all over but kept hitting a lot of hard objects and the lawn didn't improve any.

Long story short I've done some digging and found a few issues:
- Some of the grass has large chunks of builders rubble eg. bricks and bits of concrete under
- The edges near the paving are only growing in about 3-4 inches of soil over solid concrete
- The soil is absolutely full of small stones, some of which have probably come from the large graveled beds we've been taking out.

My question is, if I deal with the first 2 issues - remove larger bits of rubble and create a deeper soil bed - can I get away with just re-burying the smaller stones as deep as I can rather than lose my mind trying to get rid of them?

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated :)



  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,520
    Smaller stones won't do any harm, in fact they may actually help drainage.  Get the big stuff out.  What you are experiencing seems to be a common problem with new build properties.  Developers don't want to pay to get rid of the rubbish so just bury it in gardens instead.
  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    Don't know how much of your garden you have manage to dig. When we moved in here they grassed over pieces of wood laid down some wood to cover holes and grassed over it, I injured my foot and leg that is how we found out about it. Loads of plaster, tarmac that had been taken up beer cans, crates and so much more. They were building other properties and seemed to have used our place to dump and buried building wast. The best bit was they were meant to lay a thirty slab patio which we paid and additional amount for what we got was 9 slabs put down without levelling the area first outside the patio door.

    My point is please make sure you dig over properly, small stones as KT53 has said will help with drainage. Don't tackle it all in one go.
  • red_carbonred_carbon NorthwestPosts: 11
    Thanks so much both of you for your advice - you've reassured me! I don't mind putting the effort into digging out the big stuff, I'm just really glad you both agree the small stones shouldn't be a problem. So far I've just lifted a few patches of turf for some exploratory digging, but it's not the biggest garden so it's all doable.

    It's a 1960s house, and I suspect the rubble I'm dealing with is debris buried by a previous owner who apparently built the garage himself. Next door remember him as 'really handy'... I've also found bits that just look like rubbish, including 90s looking supermarket bags and chocolate wrappers. Who knows what else will turn up!

    Sorry to hear about your woes and your injury Dee73! Hope it's all better now :)
  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    Fingers crossed he buried a pot of gold that would make the digging all worth while. I'm was going back a few year, thanks for asking yes I'm well. Just don't go over doing thing the ground will heavy from rain or snow at this time of year. I tried to do some digging this morning but it's still to wet.
  • red_carbonred_carbon NorthwestPosts: 11
    Ah yeah I agree the weather is still a bit too unpredictable to get too excited about digging. I made the mistake of putting washing out this morning!
  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    I wish you well with your garden and the washing I've just started mine washing that is.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,108
    We've got one line of washing dry and there's another line-full out there now ... still dry so far

    Sorry to interrupt :flushed:
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • red_carbonred_carbon NorthwestPosts: 11
    Hahaha good for you both! 😂 My washing has now been rescued in the nick of time before a second downpour and is about to go on a radiator instead...
  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,520
    Be grateful for small mercies.  We had the concrete drive along the side of the house dug up and replaced with block paving.  When they were digging down to prepare the base for the block paving they hit something metal.  Much more digging revealed it to be an old cast iron boiler.  Given the work required to dig the hole to bury it I would have thought it would have been easier to dispose of it properly in the first place.
  • red_carbonred_carbon NorthwestPosts: 11
    Oh bloody hell! 😂😂😂 Well I'll keep you all posted if we discover any interesting buried 'treasure'
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