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Lawn preparation

Morning folks,

We have a clay pan for a garden, having dug down as part of landscaping works this year. The area is to be laid to lawn but I won't put topsoil onto the soil otherwise we'll have all sorts of puddling and flooding. One option would be to lay 4 inches of limestone chippings and then 4 inches of topsoil.

Would this be OK? Or would the limestone chippings alter the alkalinity too much?

Any tips recommended for what to use as a 'base' greatly appreciated.



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    How far down have you dug out?
    The problem with laying a layer of gravel [of any kind] is that it can create a sump, which won't do the grass any favours. You'd need a much greater depth of soil than a few inches to avoid that - depending on how much rain you get of course. Adding plenty of organic matter to help improve the soil structure generally, is a better approach. 

    I doubt if the gravel would make any appreciable difference to the pH. People often ask this question about adding things to their border soil [for hydrangeas for example] but in reality, it doesn't have an effect.  Grass generally prefers acidic to neutral conditions, but it also depends on the type of grass. Unless there's excessive alkalinity, most grass would be fine if it has the things it needs to do well - decent drainage, reasonable soil, some sun and moisture, and light    :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks @Fairygirl.

    We've gone down almost a foot and the plan was to build back better (oh gawd) with four or five inches of substrate and the same again of topsoil (definitely, as you say, with plenty of organic matter added in).
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