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From Gravel to Lawn

I need help. 
All the advice I can get on how to turn this into a lawn. There's gravel on top of black weed prevention material on top of more gravel and plastic. 
My heart is telling me the only way is through long hard graft, sifting and separating stone, materials and soil. 
So far I've shifted every bit of greenery and knocked the walls, fence and chopped the trees down 



  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne & Wear Green Belt Posts: 1,613
    Hi. Welcome. 

    I’d be really interested in people’s responses to this as I have a similar situation out back and I’m also considering turning some of it into lawn. 

    The people on here are really helpful and also tell it like it is so you’ll get some great advice and suggestions. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    I created a lawn in a similar site here. Compacted clay covered in gravel and slabs.
    I dug it over [there's no easy solution!] and then did a timber edging. Filled that with soil/compost etc and sowed seed. 
    I kept a lot of the gravel, because of the clay lower down, and also because of the amount of rain we get here. 
    The area in front of the screen [ after clearing the slabs etc] is where the grass was done - those cut off pieces of post were used to hold the edging

    Looking the other way, from the screen above. This was later the following year.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Wow Fairy. Yes,hard graft, unfortunately.
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,012
    Your heart is right, it's hard work clearing and preparing the site, but the better the preparation, the better the lawn.
    If you're not keeping the conifer l would take that out first, that will have an immediate effect and give you hope  :)
    Autumn is usually considered the best time for laying/sowing a lawn, but l would advise concentrating on the preparation and not rushing. Depending on whereabouts you are, you can lay turf quite late in the year if conditions are right. 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,445
    The only other way is to hire a man with a mini digger. But think how satisfying it will be to do it yourself! I hope you have a strong back.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • We thought of a mini digger with huge plots,but there was no way to Access garden
  • bcpathomebcpathome Buckinghamshire Posts: 752
    I had this problem in my old house. We just cleared it all by hand ,takes ages but it was worth it. Had a lovely lawn afterwards.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    A digger is probably easier if you can get one in. I might be wrong, but I think @mattybobcash1979NhyOs0vf has already taken out the greenery. 
    I did mine by hand, but I didn't have many trees or shrubs to remove. My back's been rubbish since I was a teenager, so it didn't make much difference to me  ;)  
    I sowed my lawn in June, but we can usually do that here with the weather. I think it would be best left until spring for that, in this instance, as it'll take a while to prep that and let the soil settle. I had to net all mine over winter to keep the usual intruders off  :/

    I took all the lawn out earlier this year. Got fed up with it.  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne & Wear Green Belt Posts: 1,613
    We’ve only got gravel and membrane to shift. Still a PIA but no trees or shrubs to deal with. 

    We can’t get a digger through the outhouse passage so it’ll all have to be done by hand. 

    A job for Autumn/Winter perhaps? Prep in the bad months and lay the turf in spring? 

    Would it be wise to cover the patch after clearing it while waiting for the turf? To stop seeds/weeds from the birds/wind? 
  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne & Wear Green Belt Posts: 1,613
    Oh you’ve covered all of this @Fairygirl

    I clearly can’t skim read as well as I thought! 
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