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Process for clearing garden and sowing lawn from seed


I recently bought a house with a good sized L-shaped garden (c.142m sq.) which has overgrown with weeds and needs a total revamp.

It has a small apple and plum tree (which I'm hoping haven't died) which I plan to keep, and a concrete path with a wide border lined with house bricks (loads of them) to the right, both of which I want to remove.

The plan is to spray everything with roundup (apart from apple and plum trees), level it as it's quite uneven, and then sow with everyday seed.

I've been researching and want to see if you think the below is a good plan and if you have any tips to ensure success please?

Starting in early March

1.) Spray everything with roundup (leave for 2 weeks)

then another 2 weeks to complete....

2.) Dig up soil, weeds, bricks, stones, dead tree stump, hedges, and bits of lawn 

3.) Level the soil for whole garden - what's the easiest way to do this?

Leave for another 2 weeks so soil settles then in mid-April I can...

4.) Sow general purpose seed, rake and roll. Water once a day if dry and warm for April (I don't have time to do more).

Garden gets good sunlight and soil seems of good quality (although I'm very inexperienced).

Sit back and watch it grow and chuck a bit more seed down in September to cover any bare patches.

Is this a good plan of attack before the real fun starts?

Thanks  image



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    Personally I wouldn't touch the weedkiller. But if you're taking the chemical route, March will be too early. They work through the leaves of plants and you need to get a good growth of leaves to absorb the stuff.

  • Why wouldn’t you use weed killer nutcutlet? Whats the alternatives? When’s the earliest I should use weed killer if I do decide to use it? Does the rest of timings seem ok?

    Thank you.

  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,148

    I think you can apply weedkiller from April but I can't help thinking that it might be just as effective not to bother if you're going to dig over the whole area anyway. Even after spraying you will still need to remove the (now dead) weeds and the more persistent ones (like couch grass) may well regrow anyway. If you dig it over taking care to remove as many weed roots as possible then it should be ok to seed it without needing the weedkiller stage. I did this in an overgrown garden in a house we bought many years ago (when I was young and energetic!) and it worked very well. 

  • I wouldn't use cancerogenic round up either and you wont just effect weeds, you will effect all the microorganisms you need in the soil..

    Here is how i do it (my garden had been left for nearly 60 years).

    Year one: Do nothing, don't even cut the grass. Plants long forgotten might pop up in the garden, mark where they are as no one can remember all. You will also see if there really is weeds everywhere.

    Year two: Now you are going to be a potato farmer. First move the plants you want to keep (not the trees obviously) to a temporary border. Cover the ground with weat newspaper, throw out potatoes and cover them with straw, woodchips etc. If weed pop through, remove them. After harvest, cover the area again with magazines, leaves etc.

    Year three: Rake the area flat (try not to dig), replant and sow. If an area is still covered with weed, repeat year two in that area.

    This method has just positive effects on your soil and garden. :)

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,047

    Excellent method, Fire Lily. Congratulations. image

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,945

    Am I right in saying that Monsanto , who make Roundup , were the ones somewhere responsible for 'Agent Orange' in the Vietnam War ? 

    Why not remove the perennial weeds physically ? Annual weeds can be habitually removed by hoe until they 'give up' .

  • Paul B3 says:

    Am I right in saying that Monsanto , who make Roundup , were the ones somewhere responsible for 'Agent Orange' in the Vietnam War ? 

    See original post

     And PCB, DDT etc. I don't trust their "it's safe" jackshit, as they just don't have a consience. Studies has proved them wrong. 

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,945


    Yes , totally agree , and the b+++++ds still get away with it image

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,627

    Well, I don't think I could bear to wait so long as three years before I did anything because I love gardening. There's no need for horrible chemicals on an area like that. My plan would be to clear the area - a section at a time if you prefer - piling up grass turves, grass to grass in an out of the way corner, composting any leafy and twiggy material and disposing of deep rooting weeds. I would get out all the bricks, stones, etc, but possibly just pause on the hedge. After that I would level the soil, finishing with a rake, treading it in and raking again.

    Sowing a lawn sounds easier than it is, so I would be inclined to buy in turves, but I would want to plan some borders, an area to sit in and somewhere for my containers, too!

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 5,727

    Could we have some picutres of the garden?

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