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Using old bricks to disguise a turf stack?

Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

I have a small garden and an ugly stack of lawn turves to compost. Space is my problem.

No suitable hidey holes in the back garden so it's sat on the front drive at the moment looking ugly.  I've got a pile of old bricks down by the back fence doing nothing and I was thinking of using them to build a dry wall rectangle beside the drive and fill it with the turf while it rots down.  Approx 3'x4', maybe 2/3 bricks high.

I've composted bits of old lawn in compost bags before and it's taken about a year before it's useable. This time I have too much to bag and need a way to hide it.

Will this work?  Should I layer newspaper/cardboard in it? Should I keep it wet or dry? Can I plant annuals on top of it? What about weeds? (It's got a bit of dandelion in it)

I'd appreciate any advice on what's best to do before I start shifting bricks. Thanks image



  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Maybe some photos will help?.......

    1: The ugly stack


    2: Some of the bricks


    Don't be shy, if it's an insane idea just tell me.  I won't be offended, I lost my marbles many years ago image.

    Any advice....any at all, before I break my back, brick shifting? ?

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,706

    I've made a raised bed for growing herbs by just (offset) stacking old bricks one on top of the other and filling the centre with a couple of grow bags. Think it was about 3 bricks high - worked a treat.

    So I think your idea would work. The bricks won't be particularly stable as they're not cemented together but if you can put them somewhere they won't be knocked they'll be ok. You would be better making lower ones. No reason why you couldn't try to grow something in the top as well so long as it doesn't need much depth of soil.

    Not sure about keeping the turves wet / dry - I just left mine behind the shedimage

    I have also got rid of turves by lying them grass side down under hedges or really big bushy shrubs. Pushed right underneath you can't see them and they're gone in a season.

    Last edited: 08 May 2017 17:45:12

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Dave HedgehogDave Hedgehog Posts: 377

    Personally, I think trying to use it unless composting is more hassle than it's worth if you have to construct a wall.

    If you've got a car and a local tip, maybe take it there image. Could take a few trips though.

    If not, maybe put a small amount in your council green waste bin and cover it with grass/hedge clippings etc on each collection. 

    I would be apprehensive about burying those thick sods of seriously coarse grass and dandelions only a couple of bricks deep even with a thick layer of newspaer or cardboard. Unless it contains Couch grass, it will succumb soon enough but dandelion tap roots will have other ideas.

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Hmm... Food for thought with two different opinions.

    Don't drive MT and there's no way hubby will let me put it in his car image.  I am trying to compost it before I use it.  Just don't want to look at it.

    I was hoping to get some nice soil from this stuff, I've read that rotted turves are excellent for this, given time.  I like to recycle/reuse stuff as much as possible.

    It would be a rustic look Topbird image some of the other bricks are a bit mossy.  I'd probably top it off with some good compost, not plant into the turf. It's got plenty of worms in it, I've been picking out the dandelions as I've stacked it.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,224

    How about a combination Kitty? If you make the stack lower and wider, then arrange the bricks in front and round sides, cover with black polythene (old compost bag or similar ) put holes in for drainage then add some soil and compost over that and grow a few annuals which don't need much attention - nasturiums or even quick growing salad crops.

    Alternatively, put a board or paving slab over the top  (sitting on the bricks) and stick a selection of small pots with various bits and pieces in them on top. An alpine pan perhaps?

    I usually just stack mine in a corner out the way too, but if you can't find a space - make the most of the situation!

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,984

    composting needs wet.

    I certainly wouldn't be taking my good topsoil to the tip

    Give it a go, build up the bricks, fill in the gaps round the edge with soil or compost as you go, and plant something in it.

    Sounds a plan to me

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,706

    That's how I'd do it too Nutimage

    My mini raised bed was very rustic Kitty image - but it looked quite nice and allowed me to grow herbs in a perfect spot but where there was no soil. I'd forgotten that many years ago I did something similar on top of an ugly concrete coal store - that was planted with old fashioned geraniums and lobelia.

    As I said - try to put it somewhere where it won't get knocked because the bricks could move if hit at the wrong angle.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Thanks Fairy, nut and Topbird.  I'm reassured now.

    The stack is just dumped at the moment, low and wide was my original idea for it.  I'd have a leaning tower of bricks otherwise image.  

    He never actually puts the car inside the drive, always parks it on the run up which is two car lengths long image.  I use the space for my many pots image.  The stack won't get knocked, It'll be at the side.

    Good planting ideas, lobelia would cover the sides even more. I've loads of annuals on the go right now, just potted on 120 from module trays this afternoon image

    I'll make a start tomorrow, and post pics of the finished article (it may take a while).

    I predict broken fingernails and backache by the end of it image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740

    Fingernails???  you have fingernails??? ................... I only have fingernails in the winter when there's no weeding to be done image


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Kitty, you could go up to 6 bricks high and it will still be stable as long as you lay them overlapping the course underneath. Leave gaps between the bricks for air to get in.  It will take more bricks than you think!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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