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To turf or to seed?

Hi all, I have taken on a huge lockdown task and it is starting to dawn on me how bigger job this will be! I am in the process of levelling out my lawn and not sure where to go next! I have lots of weeds/debris so need to kill all off before the next stage but I have a cat so don't want to use anything too strong. I could rotorvate but don't want to risk spreading the weeds around... Iv started to cover with tarp but fear it will take ages to kill everything! Just a bit lost really and need some advice, I don't know what would be better at the end either to turf or to seed... Please help!?!? 


  • How about you come up with a design first? You don't want to make a massive lawn only to remove half of it to make planting areas. You'd probably better off establishing a new lawn in September when it is wetter and it would struggle much less than in mid summer. That buys you some time to plant properly. But we'll done on all the work you've done already. All the preparation will make your life easier in the long run.  
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    In my experience rotavating and spreading weeds is over emphasized. It is a possible down side to rotavating, not a reason never to do it.

    I have leveled lawns with rotavating. I rotavated and roughly leveled. Allowed a 'flush' of weeds to form (this is seeds brought up to the surface germinating) then covered with black plastic sheeting. The sheeting will kill off the flush of weeds and in time practically anything including most perennial weeds that may be lurking in the underground soil.

    It takes a couple of months with the sheet down. Timing wise that is ideal, the soil will need at least two months to settle after digging of any kind (else it will settle later and give a bumpy lawn).

    September is a good time to sow grass seed, the cooler damper conditions still allow germination but not so much watering is required.

    So my method would be to wait until then to remove the sheeting, give a final level with a rake and sow grass seed at the recommended density.
  • Many thanks for the advice! That has helped loads, I know the design already and rotavating will help level it, then a waiting game after I cover it up... 
  • I have just seeded a lawn after being in a very similar position to you. Lawn looks a similar size and I would seed in future without hesitation. 

    The first couple of weeks were nervy as nothing happens and you think you’ve done it All wrong but now, after about 2 months we have long, lush grass which looks amazing.

    At the same time we laid 3 strips of turf that had been left over from a neighbours lawn and the seeded stuff is so much better.

    You have to prepare the base the same way, the turf laying is easy to get wrong and leave lumps, seed is a fraction of the price (I think our seed was around £15 in total, turf would have been well over £100 I think - We used Emorgate seeds), its also exciting to watch it grow vs turf.  The fact its so cheap means you don’t feel bad if you have to cut into it in future.

    Good luck.
  • Thank you so much for that! 
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