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Sowing grass seed in stony soil

Hi everyone,

Our garden has been dug over and levelled, and we are planning to sow grass seed. However, we currently have loads of stones on the surface of the soil and presumably below the surface too. We're going to try to rake and gather all of the stones we can, but I'm guessing there's more under the surface. As it is quite a large area we can't really afford to bring in a load of top soil. Here's a photo to show what it looks like at the moment.

 

image

 

My query is, if we remove all of the large stones we can find are we likely to succeed with grass seed? We have got 1.5 bulk bags of homemade compost that we could add to the surface to rake in, but I don't think it would cover much of the area to a reasonable depth, and we were hoping to dig this in to the flower beds.

Thanks for any help and advice,

Lucid image

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Posts

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,037
    A good raking as Verdun says will get rid of most of the stones. Don't worry about those below the surface. No-one has stone-free ground!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Thanks for your replies Verdun and hogweed. I'm about to start on the job now.

    Lucid image

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,615

    keep us posted with more pics Lucid. We love a before and after.

    Devon.
  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    How about a before and mid-way first? Am having a quick break before my arms drop off!

    image

    There are so many stones to rake out it's unbelievable, so I'm only just under halfway there. I'm guessing the small stones are probably not too much trouble to leave where they are?

    Lucid image 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,292

    Lucid - I've just created a new lawn in the back garden - it was sown in June. It was all slabs and gravel.Some of the gravel was incorporated into the soil and compost that I used. We have high rainfall so all the small stones help. Grass is shallow rooting so you don't need loads of soil depth. The winter rain drained away well, and although  a lot of smaller stones were revealed,  I simply added  some more soil/compost with the grass seed when the time came. 

    This is what mine looks like now  

    http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w595/fairygirl55/DSCF0369_zpszthabrlk.jpg

     

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


  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Well I've finished stage 1 and am pleased I pushed through till I'd finished today.

    image

    First jobs for tomorrow will be to fix the levelling and then heel the ground - not looking forward to that. There seems to be a bit of a natural dip from either end of the garden towards the centre, which is roughly where we've got a basic hole dug for a pond at the moment. Should I encourage this dip so that any excess water soaked in to the ground heads in the pond direction - am thinking of benefits for bog plants like loosestrife? Or does it not really work like that? We don't necessarily mind if it's not completely level horizontally, we just don't want lots of bumps which is what we had previously.

    Fairygirl - thanks so much for the encouraging photo. If our lawn can look like yours next year we'll be very pleased.

    Lucid image

     

  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Thanks Verdun - yes I will be taking the heeling seriously, although hadn't realised it had to be done a few times so thanks for the tip.

    We are going to be digging the rest of the pond and then have flowerbeds etc to dig. However my partner wants to get on and sow the grass seed before weeds start coming through. The area we'll be sowing is the middle so we have the outside perimeters to walk around and dig in, so hopefully it'll be ok. I plan to mark out these areas with sand pre seed sowing so that we know where we're working. Do feel free to let me know if it's a bad plan though as we're very much learning as we go along still.

    Lucid image

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