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Newbie needs advice please

Hi guys,

I've never had a garden before and need some advice please...

I have quite a small garden which was almost covered in weeds a few months ago as you can see here...

I sprayed weedkiller on them first and you can see a lot of them had already died off before taking the photo.

Over the last few days I finally managed to dig them all out and this is how it looks now...

What I would like to know is what's my best course of action now given that I would like all of that turned into grass? (I'm going to pull up those paving slabs in the corner).

I purchased some lawn seed (see next photo) but will that work ok or not?
Also, if you look back at the photo of my garden as it is now you will notice the fence is mainly green apart from the corner section where the previous owner must have had their shed. I would like to get the whole fence looking the same but how can I best tackle that problem? I'm guessing if I just creosote the whole thing, the section that's already green will turn out a lot darker and so it will still look odd!

Thanks in advance!



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,994

    If you've already dug it over then tread it all taking very small steps to get rid of lumps and even out the surface, then rake it to a fine tilth then sow the seed end of summer or autumn, best when rain is forecast.

    Best not to creosote the fence, use a wood stain or paint for fences, like Cuprinol. You should be able to find a very similar colour, there is a lot of choice.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,834
    I'd agree with Busy-Lizzie's advice above, better to wait until the autumn. With regard to the fence,  what colour were you thinking of painting it?
    There are so many colours these days, maybe the Ducksback range would give better coverage than the Garden Shades range, but that's just a guess.
  • EricaheatherEricaheather North West uk Posts: 204
    Wilkos do a great colour range for fence paint and much cheaper than cuprinol. A few coats and you with notice any colour difference 
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,834
    My dad swears by Wilkos fence paint. Never thought of them 🙄😁
  • EricaheatherEricaheather North West uk Posts: 204
    Same here @AnniD! Cost us a fortune a few years back painting the fence panels grey with cuprinol and dreaded having to go over them. Not so bad now wilko do an affordable range. And v similar colours too. 
  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,453
    Hi Kryten

    Agree with the previous comments. You would do better to wait until mid to end of September to sow the grass seed when the soil is still warm but there is more moisture around either in the form of rain or condensation.

    While you're waiting....

    Keep raking the soil to break up any lumps and remove large stones. Keep on top of removing weeds - there will almost certainly be weed seeds in the soil waiting to germinate. Firm the soil as suggested above.

    I would consider (if budget allows) laying a row of bricks all round the perimeter of the garden (you don't need to do it against the patio). You will never be able to mow right up to the fences so can end up with tufty grass round the edges which looks untidy. A row of bricks set slightly lower than the grass will allow you to mow over the top of them and keep the edges looking tidy.

    Regarding the fences: I'm not even sure that amateur gardeners can buy creosote anymore - it's a rather nasty compound and which may be carcinogenic. There is, however, a substitute which is called Crecote. The old product was tar based - this one isn't. It's fairly cheap and is a decent product if you like the colour. You would probably need 2 coats on most of the fence - maybe 3 where it's currently a natural wood colour.

    But, as the others have said, you could consider using a coloured stain instead. If you opted for a lighter one it could take several coats to cover that dark green. As a general rule (definitely not hard and fast though) cheap stains give poorer coverage and either flake or fade very quickly. A builders merchant might be a good place to look at what's available and they will give you some good advice as well.

    The other thing I would consider doing - especially if you opt for a dark fence colour - is to paint the concrete posts the same colour so they fade into the fence. You can buy special concrete paint but some products will paint both wood and concrete. I use Bird Barn Paint in black which does both and is a quality product - but it's [email protected]@dy expensive....
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • KrytenKryten Posts: 4
    Hey guys,

    Thanks very much for the most helpful replies off all of you  :)

    I mentioned creosote as that's the only thing I remember getting mentioned as a kid when it came to 'painting' a fence. I think was only to aid the preservation anyway wasn't it? I'm not bothered about painting fences tbh. It's just the fact that it currently looks odd where the previous occupier of this house obviously couldn't get access to that part of the fence! Otherwise, I wouldn't bother.  :/

    I will take all your great advice and just continue to try and keep on top of the weeds while waiting until the end of summer before putting down the grass seeds. 

    Do you guys reckon it's worth spraying anymore weedkiller on the mud as it is now to try and kill any weeds that might be starting to germinate now or is that just a waste of money?

    Thanks again!

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,834
    I would wait .There's bound to be a few that reappear,  but it might be quicker and cheaper just to pull them out by hand if there aren't that many. No point in spraying  :)
  • KrytenKryten Posts: 4
    AnniD said:
    I would wait .There's bound to be a few that reappear,  but it might be quicker and cheaper just to pull them out by hand if there aren't that many. No point in spraying  :)
    Ok AnniD. Thanks! :)
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,577
    I would be tempted to paint the panels a dark grey ( two coats on the bare bit would bring it in line with the others) as it would push the fence back to the eyes view.  A couple of hardy bushes would brake the edge too ( they could be edged with the bricks ) but not get in the way of your lawn. It depends how much and where from the sun is in your garden, even the grass won't thrive without a bit of sun.
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