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New house - no idea where to start!



  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    edited July 2019
    I agree with all the others. Do it one bit at a time. You are in it for the long haul. 

    1. Clear all the obvious rubbish first.
    2. Sit down with paper and pencil and draw your garden out roughly and list everything you want in it - ie patio (how big?), lawn, shed, borders, veg patch etc.
    3. Start at the bit nearest the house and gradually work your way down. That way you will easily see your progress...…...
    4. If the grass is where you want the patio, lift the grass and stack the turves upside down in a corner of the garden.
    5. Build the patio.
    6. Sit on the patio with a beer (or any other drink you fancy) and try and visualise the rest.
    7. To make your life easier, try and incorporate some of the current features ie make your new paths down the garden where the old paths were.
    8. Mark everything out on the ground either by string (old fashioned way) or landscapers paint.
    9. Spend the winter digging the area for the lawn. If it is particularly stony, use a garden fork rather than a spade. A spades depth is ample. Remove any large bits of rubble, stone and all weeds. Remove any perennial/flowering plants you wish to keep to a 'nursery bed' or pots.  Erect new shed and lay new paths.
    10. Come the spring, either seed or turf your lawn.
    11. From then on, work on the areas for the new flower beds...…………... 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Allex07Allex07 Posts: 7
    Thank you all for your responses, really appreciate it!

    Going to start digging and clearing bit by bit in preparation for where we want the lawn to be. Once we've got an area clear, is there anything we should do to keep it that way until we are ready for turf/seed? Should we cover it or just leave it be?
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149
    LG_ said:
    You won't get rid of the mare's tail (if that's what it is) by pulling, but you will likely make it much worse by chopping it up, so I would avoid a rotavator / digger. 
    I think the horsetails will be your biggest problem and LG is right to caution against using anything that will cut up the roots into smaller pieces. It will regrow from every single piece. If the horsetails are in the area where you intend to have a lawn, then constant mowing can weaken them sufficiently to neutralise their hold on the area. If they are in an area of flower beds, you will be pulling them up every week. If they are under a patio, thay can break through if there are gaps between slabs. Much as I hate using any poisons, you may have to resort to weed killer to get rid of the stuff.

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,990
    Might be worth posting a photo or 2 of it, just to confirm whether or not it is Marestail.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,623
    Actually I would leave the lawn area till later. From now till September sort out patio, paths and raised beds( if you are planning them) getting all landscaping done. In September prepare the lawn area and turf, more expensive but covers much easier. That way the turf has all winter to get roots in before needing to start producing grass and should be usable as soon as warm weather appears,  seed needs time to grow and it's a bit late to start now, it could be damaged by cold and then would need re seeding next spring . You are not going to have a usable lawn this year either way.
  • Allex07Allex07 Posts: 7
    Here it is. Popping up all over, looks like asparagus when it first comes through.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,261
    yup, that's marestail
  • Allex07Allex07 Posts: 7
    Lucky me!

    A lot of it seems to be sprouting from roots really close to the surface - I've been able to pull them up for a couple of feet at times, is this a good idea? There's also a lot of bits of dark dead root which you can see in the pic below.

  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    Hello Allex. If you Google the RHS website and investigate 'horsetails' ( I think mares tails is the US name) they have advice about what you can do. I'm sorry that it's not very encouraging as it is very difficult to treat. However,  dealing with it now is probably easier than if you found it when the new garden has started to take shape.
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