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Raising land for grass advice

lanadiago55lanadiago55 Posts: 4
edited January 2019 in Garden design
Hi, 

I'm looking for some advice on garden design. I currently have a piece of land 16ft x 13ft which I need raised by about 5 inches. It is currently paved with cement from an old garage. I then plan on planting turf on top of this land. I've calculated that I will need roughly 2500L of compost/soil to fill this space.

What I would like to know is prior to laying the turf is it better to use compost, soil or is there another cheaper alternative for raising this land prior to planting the turf? Also in the UK do I need planning permission for raising land 5 inches? 


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  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 15,278
    Why are you raising it? Are you keeping the concrete and adding earth on top? If so than I don't think that is a very good idea. Bad for drainage and soil health and not deep enough.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Raising it as we need the level to match existing grass area. Had spoken to a couple of surveyors who said it wouldn’t be required to get rid of the concrete as only need couple inches for grass to grow. 
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,286
    edited January 2019
    Don't think you need permission it is just landscaping?
    The only consideration would be if it is next to a neighbours boundary you would need some way to stop soil from sliding or encroaching. And also whether it would cause any drainage issues for them.

    Unless parking comes into it and you might not be allowed to dispose of a parking area if it will cause problems on the road.
    I can't cite any cases but might be good to check with local authorities, sometimes there are covenants for such things like conservation areas and new estates.

    You should use soil to fill it. Check locally there are usually some companies who supply and deliver topsoil. Have a look on line.
    Some places supply a reasonable soil then you can get a lawn sowing "better layer" to go on top.
    Also it is better if you can find a local supplier and see or get a sample of what you will be buying. Reputable companies will be willing to let you do this before buying.
    And are pretty good at calculating what you will need .

    Good Luck that is going to be a job clearing all that concrete.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520
    It's true you don't need a lot of soil to grow grass, but you do need drainage, and the concrete prevents that. You'll have to remove it I'm afraid. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks for the advice. I was afraid of that. An alternative idea to avoid removing the concrete was to fill it with mulch / rubber alternative and convert the area into a play area for the children. 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 15,278
    I have a lawn which is on an area that used to be an old farmyard, not concrete but hoggin and gravel. The whole lawn area (not just the farmyard bit) is quite big and when we bought the house we had a garden firm in to level it and re-sow. The house needed renovating so we just hadn't time to do it all. The firm said they just needed to put some topsoil on it, so they added about 3 - 4 inches. It was fine the first year or two, had quite a bit of rain, but the farmyard bit has turned into a troublesome area since. The grass doesn't grow well there and weeds grow very well, when there is a hot summer the grass goes beige very quickly in that bit. Also in very wet winters it gets quite boggy as it doesn't drain well.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520
    I think it'll still be a problem, lanadiago. Anything placed on top will move, so you might need to rethink how you use it. 
    It wouldn't be a big job to remove if you can get a couple of lads in with a jackhammer. It depends on your budget though.
    If you knew a few youngsters with sledgehammers, that's also a possibility, but it might be too thick for that.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • From what I can see from digging around the concrete is easily 6 inches deep. Possibly more. Moving it isn’t in our budget and can’t think of any other ideas for filling that space in the garden. Any ideas? We already have a pateo in another part of the garden so would rather avoid this solution. 
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,622
    It's a bit hard to tell without seeing the garden and knowing what you'd like to achieve but a garage sized concrete base would be a real advantage to a lot of gardeners. A nice base for a shed, summer/play house or greenhouse, you can construct all kinds of raised beds or planting features on there. I'd have a serious think about how to make it a benefit before burying it.

    As someone said above you need to check that the garage space isn't legally required as a parking space for the house before removing it. My garage is here (even if I haven't been able to put a car in there for 10 years now :# ).
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,547
    Might it be an option to hire a jackhammer and drill some drainage holes all over the base to allow rainwater to drain away, then fill it with bark mulch as a children's play area? A solid base would be ideal for a swing, climbing frame or trampoline.
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