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Desperate for advice

I have an area of my garden that is very weedy and very uneven. I've started to rotavate it snd sieve the soil to sieve out the weeds and it's thouroghly back breaking. I'm hoping to put grass down when  eventually get it levelled and ready but a neighbour told me today not to sieve it just level it and seed it. Any advice would be great!!!


  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 920
    No need to sieve. Just pull/dig out the weeds and any very large stones. 
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Only drawback with rotavating is you chop up weed roots and a lot of weeds will regrow from the smallest piece.
    No doubt YouTube have plenty of videos on lawns sometimes it's  better to see it being done than read our explanations.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,819
    Rotavators chop weeds up into little pieces, and spread them further, best to avoid using them.

    Remove by hand as many weeds as possible, as some of them will pop up in your new lawn, making it more difficult to remove them.  This is especially true of perennial weeds, which will come up again and again.  Try to identify what some of the weeds are, if possible, as knowing this will tell you if every bit of root needs to be dug out (as is the case with Brambles and bindweed).

    After you have removed as many as you can, then level the ground and add the grass seed.  The hard work up front will save you time in future.
  • angiekbangiekb Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice guys.
  • angiekbangiekb Posts: 3
    Most of them are dandelions,  buttercups, daisys and moss. Any further advice?
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I've been breaking ground with rotavators for the past 15 years for lawns, veg plots, wildflower meadows etc.

    I've never once known a rotavator to cause a multiplication of weeds through chopped up roots. They get completely pulverized.

    The  usual problem is the same for any method of digging any ground - that there is a flush of weeds from seeds that are brought to the surface. Which are easily smothered if allowed to germinate then covered in black plastic.

    Seems a shame when people have a rotavator available and they are advised not to use it, when real world experience reveals the fears are unfounded. 

    It is not always easy to dig unbroken ground and remove weeds. If anyone wants to do it on our clay with hand tools, they are more than welcome to try. 

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    PS if anyone posts it won't deal with perennial weeds, not true either. Else my veg plot wouldn't look like this:

  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 185
    GemmaJF said:
    PS if anyone posts it won't deal with perennial weeds, not true either. Else my veg plot wouldn't look like this:

    That looks a damn fine plot
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,036
    edited May 2020
    In my experience a rotavator works with many perennial weeds,  but it is not a successful way of dealing with brambles,  bindweed, ground elder and couch grass. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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