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Advice on burying old turf and reshaping garden for a pond area

Hello all! We've just made a start on our new garden and have dug out the grass around the sides for flower/plant beds. So far I have been moving most of the dug up turf to the very end of the garden which I thought might make a nice 'hilly' area next to our future pond (pictures below). I'm now wondering whether when I dig the pond I can use the soil to cover over the dug up turf pile? There is also a slight downward slope and I'm wondering whether I can maybe use the old turf to try and level out the end of the garden and cover over it with the soil I dig out from the pond and then plant things around that? It would then also mean I can put our compost bin in the far corner. My question is whether the old turf will just break down and will anything planted on it grow as I obviously don't want it become a dead area of the garden!

Also with the turf what are the recommendations for making the pond? Do I need to dig the turf up from the surrounding area too or can I cover over it with the soil from the pond hole and will that then be ok to plant on?

Thanks we are gardening newbies!




Posts

  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 522
    edited 12 April
    Noooo! Keep the turf totally separate from the pond. Ponds must be low in nutrients, otherwise you will have terrible algae problems. You did the right thing in piling the turf together in a separate area. It will compost down and make for excellent planting soil, but not yet. If you want to speed things up, cover the turf with black plastic. No need to bury it. This will kill any weeds and speed up the rotting down process. Use it when you are planting new plants. I would give it 6 months. Nothing is instant in the garden. Good luck!
    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,475
    I think inglezinho has misunderstood you. I don't think you intend to put the turf into the pond!
    Turf is usually stacked grass side down and left for a year, no need to cover. The only thing I would wonder is whether plant roots could get through the turf but it depends on what you will be planting as something like a tree or a climber would need a deeper hole and you would have to break through the turf layer if that makes sense?
    As to soil from your pond area be careful you don't use too much subsoil as this isn't suitable for planting.
    By the time you have dug out the pond I expect you won't have much grass left so just dig it into the area breaking up the turf with a spade, you might get a bit of grass regrowing but easily weeded out.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 5,197
    You will be shocked by the amount of soil dug out, the pile will be huge, our last house, we piled the soil up, had a pond then waterfall into the second,electric pump, hidden from view.  We removed the grass, personally I would do that again, because when we moved here, someone had piled up turf right down the bottom of the garden, it hadn't composted, it was like a burial mound solid clay, grass and a lot of weeds sprouting on the top, about a mt high by 2 mt long, I had to take a pick axe to it, nearly killed me, plus hiring a skip and barrowing it 200 fee.  I said to my Hubby, who is every fond of cutting new beds, we are NOT piling soil, or rubbish any time ever!
  • You will be shocked by the amount of soil dug out, the pile will be huge, our last house, we piled the soil up, had a pond then waterfall into the second,electric pump, hidden from view.  We removed the grass, personally I would do that again, because when we moved here, someone had piled up turf right down the bottom of the garden, it hadn't composted, it was like a burial mound solid clay, grass and a lot of weeds sprouting on the top, about a mt high by 2 mt long, I had to take a pick axe to it, nearly killed me, plus hiring a skip and barrowing it 200 fee.  I said to my Hubby, who is every fond of cutting new beds, we are NOT piling soil, or rubbish any time ever!
    Interesting. So it solidified? My pile so far is certainly nowhere near 1m high but I will take other advice here too and try to spread it more thinly and grass side down in the hope that it composts easier. I'll try and break it up a bit more too. Better get to it this weekend before it solidifies into clay!
  • Thank you for the tips! I think then I may try to use the old turf, spread it a little more thinly and laid grass-side down and broken up as much as possible, to even out the sloped area around the pond as I dig it, and then the subsoil dug out from the pond area can go in the far end and should hopefully make a nice base for our compost bin to sit on. I guess I'll have to be patient about things growing in the area around the pond though until the old turf has properly broken down. Would covering it in fresh compost help at all?
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 5,197
    Yes it was solid no idea how many years it had been there, should have read we barrowed it 200 feet
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