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Unused front garden ideas needed

Hi I've got a fairly large area to the front of the house partly lawned and partly overgrown sort of meadowed. We have just moved and I have just strimmed back the overgrown part and it's has very uneven ground. two questions how easy is it to level this ground and what do I need, I have a lot of topsoil to use if needed and then can I add grass seed I too to try and make it eventually look something that resembles lawn. Or would it be best to keep as meadow? And then what seeds could I add if I went for that option? Any help would be great. Thanks image


  • Anne17Anne17 Posts: 98

    Oh, I'd love to have a meadow in front of my house !

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 37,776

    Meadow - every time! If going down this route then don't ever fertilise it and when you cut it down in Autumn remove all the cut grasses otherwise they will just break down and fertlise the soil. Wild flower meadows like poor soil. You can then think about the sort of wild flowers you would like to introduce.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,542

    Given the setting the meadow would look good. If you mow a clear outline and a path through it, it miraculously makes it look deliberate and less like a case of neglectimage

    It needs cutting to the ground when the plants have had time to set seed and all grass needs raking up so it doesn't add nutrients. If you can add seeds of the annual Rhinanthus minor, the yellow hay rattle, it will reduce grass growth, as it is semi-parasitic on grass, and  this will allow wild flowers to flourish.

    Some wildflowers are more welcome than others. From your picture it looks as if you may have ragwort - the yellow flowers. Though they are pretty and insects like them you should not encourage them in a rural area as they are a notifiable weed. The seeds spread on the wind and they are very toxic to grazing animals, both green and in hay. You can cut them down to prevent them seeding. If you decide to pull them up, wear gloves as a precaution.

    Pictorial Meadows and Chiltern seeds do some lovely wildflower mixes.

    Last edited: 02 August 2016 08:50:23

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    wildflower meadow it, I've done the little patch at the front of my house and always get comments on it, this morning it had a flock of 20 finches in it munching on the seeds.

    if you want a meadow, its much easier to start from scratch with bare soil and seed than using plug plants (which are also extremely expensive) on existing turf.

    so you can either spray the area you want to seed and turn it over a week later, or you can strip the turf off (and stack it somewhere out of the way as it breaks down into lovely loam after a year or two) and break the soil up.

    once you've got bare soil get your wildflower mix and sow over the top, I would recommend an annual mix with some perennials in it, that way you get colour next spring instead of waiting a couple of years for the perennials to get established, try and get one without grass in it as grass turns up naturally anyway.

    and now is the perfect time to sow. Protect the seed to stop birds eating it by spreading some sharp sand over the top thinly

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,717

    I wouldnt use topsoil, if you want to keep it as a wildflower meadow, no good soil, or feed of any kind, it encourages lush grass.  Have just bought wildflower seed to "top up" wildflower bit, Dissagree with Treehugger, mine says sow October, unless area gets very wet then next spring. I dont know about "easier" to start from scratch with bare soil, an area that size you would want to hire a turf remover.  You can scarify, sow Yellow Rattle, to parasite the grass, in autumn.  My OH dug up some lawn to make an island bed, the soil was put in a pile down by our veg plot, it looked like a buriel mound, it didnt break down into a lovelly loam, it got harder and larger, this year, finnally hired a skip, it took, myself,oldest son and Hubby 5 solid hours to remove it.Also if you sow seed now, you have to keep it watered regularly.

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