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How easy will it be to grass this area?

I am a completely clueless new gardener.  We have an area in our garden that has random stones in it (this was there when we moved in) and then a weedy patch behind it which we currently have a small trampoline on (i'm hoping a photo of said area will attach to this post).  Ideally we would deck over all this and have somewhere to sit in the evening sun but we are very restricted on budget and therefore I am thinking of pulling up the stones and grassing the whole area to make it more useable.  We have 2 very small children who are constantly trying to eat or chuck the stones so they have to go. 

Can anyone offer some advice on what kind of grass seed I should use and any tips on what to do when spreading?  Would be very much appreciated!image


  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Problen, the preparation and sowing of another small lawn will be expensive as would decking. To start you would need to remove the stones, dig down and remove what ever is underneath saving some of the stones for drainage. That will mean around twelve inches deep. You would then lay some of the stone back as drainage but then need to replace around ten inches of soil of reasonable quality, Loam or Compost mixed with your own soil and plenty of washed sand. On that pan after raking all small lumps and bumps from the pan, any stones or clumps of clay depending on what you used in the mix walk up and down it shuffling along (the gardeners shuffle), this will firm the top for laying the seed or rolls of grass from a Garden Centre, with children a medium grass would be needed.

    OK that is how you would lay a lawn and the better you want the lawn the deeper you would dig and the more topsoil and sand mix you would lay under the grass. I am assuming time will also be a problem so I cannot believe I am saying this and will wash my mouth out later. Remove stones, lay a membrane and then Astro Turf, it is like a carpet for children to play on if you get the correct one, the early stuff could cause burns if you slid on it. I await the screams of traitor from the gardening world but often needs must.

    New builders get away with murder, laying six inches of soil onto the compressed pan of the building site then roll out cheap rolls on that. We get the cries of help on this board and it hurts to tell them the truth which is why I explained lawn laying. Time and Finances being an issue you have to cut your coat, as an old time gardener my way is do it properly, do it once, short cuts mean you do the same job over and over.

    Looking at the picture again, dig the stones out check the soil underneath if it is reasonable dig it over, remove lumps and stones then lay turf rolls. It would last until you have more time and money.


  • That's quite a bit of work, but . . . remove all the stones and woodwork and clear the area then dig it over, ideally to a spade's depth to ensure the drainage is good, but I accept that may be too large a task. Rake the ground over to make the top surface fine and level, then sow any good quality grass seed for a hard wearing lawn.  The packs will tell you what the mix is and one containing rye grass will be suitable. The site doesn't look to shady, so I expect it will work alright.  Sow now, expect grass to show in two to three weeks. Let it get about three inches tall at most and then just 'top' it, not a severe cut!  Allow it to grow back for a couple of weeks and do it again. If it's slightly uneven, then you can roll it after a few weeks on a dry day, but not when the ground's soggy. A light roll will ensure the surface is firmed down, making for a tougher lawn, without crushing and flattening the grass and compacting the soil.  It's several weeks' work but, I think, better than turf which takes far more watering just to make sure it stays alive!  


  • Parallel responses, but not dissimilar!  Yes, it is hard work, but it's spring - go for it!


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