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Hundreds of pebbles in clay soil, this was only from a tiny section .

I have removed this amount of stones from  the below are in my garden. A tiny lil patch of it normal to have this many pebbles in the garden in clay soil.??

I want to level my whole garden and put turf on it but I don't know what to do so can anyone please help. I have lots of questions.


I am very new to gardening. I don't have a clue what I am doing but I have being trying to read up on Google / watch videos on how to do things. It's still not helped though. 

Im 29 and physically fit. I live on my own in Billingham which is in the north east. I I have owned my house for about a year. My garden has clay soil which is full of pebbles I'm not sure if these pebbles are natural or not because the last owner of this house made the back garden split in two. On one side of the garden he had lawn and on the other side of the garden he made a pebble driveway and put a small 2 foot wall all of bricks in between. 

I have noticed when I have been trying to turn up the clay soil that the pebbles in the clay soil are exactly like the pebbles on the pebble driveway.

I I have knocked down the wall all in the back garden and I've started to get rid of the pebbles from the pebble driveway as I would like one large lawn. However underneath the pebbles in the driveway part I've noticed that the last owner had filled the area with sand at least 3 inches deep. Due to this I'm not quite sure what to do do my plan was to lay turf all over the garden. One of my questions is would I be better removing all the sand and then putting compost and topsoil everywhere before laying the the turf. Or can I keep the Sand there and just put topsoil on top of it and then lay the turf? 

the other side of my garden is not in good condition the lawn is full of moss and weeds and is old and dried out and patchy. I was also planning on replacing this too and then leveling out the hall garden as the garden is extremely uneven as it is. This will be a hard job as I do not have a rotavator but was planning on doing it with a spade I know it will take longer but I don't mind as I'm I'm going to have a lot of time on my own now after I finish work because of self isolation and it gives me something to do.would you recommend me to do this or do you think I could just mess it all up.

Photos below of garden 

Please help !!!


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,462
    I think you are on alluvial clay. At one time the entire area would have been flooded, silt come down river, and all settled out to what you have now.There seem to be lots of gravel pits around Billingham, and lakes or bits of river.  For a veg patch I would remove all large pebbles, incorporate lots of well rotted organic matter.  For flower beds or lawns, you only need to remove the surface stones, but incorporating organic matter will help it drain better than just putting a lawn on a clay base.
  • Thank you for your reply.... I will take off the top layer then. What type of organic matter do u think would be best before laying the turf. Top soil or compost for the alluvial clay? 

    Also in term of the other side of my garden where they used to be a gravel driveway. There is 3 inches of sand at least ontop of the clay.  Can I just cover this over with organic matter ? Or should I did up the sand and refill the area with organic matter ? 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    Well-rotted manure would be best but mushroom compost, home-made compost or commercial bagged 'soil improver' would also work.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks I'll have a look at getting some at some point after I have cleared the garden first. 
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    You appear to have lots of dandelions in the grass.  I'd think twice about rotavating.  Sure, it's a lot less toilsome than spadework.  But where you have deep-rooted weeds, the rotavator will chop up the roots and each bit of root will grow a new weed.
  • Thanks  the tip , I'm not gonna  rotavate, I don't have a rotavator and I'm looking forward to the hard work with the spade will keep me busy and give me some exercise while isolating on my days off. 
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