Levelling slope in back garden

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by tugrul, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. tugrul

    tugrul Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello

    I have a slope with my back garden which I tried to show in the attachment.

    A friend of mine told me that easiest way I can do for levelling is fill

    (1)Dig the grass up
    (2)Fill with hardcore to the desired level - keep in mind it will sunk in time
    (3)Use the grass in step(2) to cover hardcore

    For this sunken corner I`m just looking for it to be levelled. I will not grow any vegetables / plants there. Just grass.

    I`m not sure if this photo shows but there is concrete between the fence and sand. And it`s my neighbors garage . I guess i can level it with 2 conditions. Which are
    (*)don`t exceed the concrete
    (*)do not close the air gaps within the brick on the garage wall

    As a second opinion , Do you think steps 1-2-3 makes sense ?

    Also , Can I just lay hardcore on existing soil without digging and lay top soil then and grow grass there ? (This would save me from digging)

    Thanks for your time
     

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  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    Yes you can just lay more soil. I would slice off the existing grass first so it can be re-used. If you grow new grass from seed or buy in turf it won't match, if that doesn't bother you then the easiest is to buy turf.

    Just be careful how high you go, avoid the dpc on that wall and is the fence gravel board strong enough to retain extra soil? You don't want it collapsing into the neighbour's. Is the gravel board wood? That might be an issue too.
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      Also you need a good layer of soil over hardcore, at least 12" preferably 18.
       
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      • Sheal

        Sheal Total Gardener

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        If you intend to plant anything in the future in the areas where you want to put hardcore now, you will have to replace it with soil at that time. Would it not be better to lift the turf and build up with soil now, forgetting the hardcore? Also the turf will need a good bed of soil to be able to grow properly.

        I'm not so sure that hardcore will sink in time. My garden is on bedrock and rocks and stones work their way to the surface of the lawns over time, they don't sink.
         
      • Loofah

        Loofah Well used member

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        The only way to level that garden is to remove the soil from higher up. If you add lower down you'll compromise the fencing and wall of the building.
        You might be able to add a small amount of soil lower down but not enough to be anywhere near level.
         
      • Loofah

        Loofah Well used member

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        And don't do as your neighbour suggested as nothing will grow above it
         
      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        Is the contrasting band above soil level a fair faced edge of concrete? As there are only 19 courses (1.425m) above it to underside of eaves soffite, it might be part of a retaining wall rather than edge of the floor slab.

        Having a corner low point like that appears odd, normally the topsoil would be level against that brick wall and only sloping along the line of the fence.

        When there's a torrential downpour of rain, does rainwater run down across the surface of the ground into that corner? I'm wondering if a previous owner might of had that problem and dug it out as a sump.
         
      • tugrul

        tugrul Apprentice Gardener

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        Is the contrasting band above soil level a fair faced edge of concrete? As there are only 19 courses (1.425m) above it to underside of eaves soffite, it might be part of a retaining wall rather than edge of the floor slab.

        Having a corner low point like that appears odd, normally the topsoil would be level against that brick wall and only sloping along the line of the fence.
        Hi
        Thanks for the comment.

        This is 2016 build and as far as I know this corner was always like this since the built.
        Although its strange that builders left it like this I don`t think previous owner dug that out.

        Our house is located on higher ground as opposed to neighbor so I would assume rainwater would naturally rundown without the need of extra effort (like that corner) but now I started to worry if they left that sunken corner deliberately !
         
      • tugrul

        tugrul Apprentice Gardener

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        The only way to level that garden is to remove the soil from higher up.
        Hi
        Thanks for comment
        Am I wrong to think that it is safe to level up as long as I do not pass the concrete ?
         
      • Loofah

        Loofah Well used member

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        You can't level up enough. At best you have about a few inches to fill before breaching the top of the gravel board and it will not be anywhere near level with the rest of the garden.
        Lowering the higher bit rather than raising the lower bit is the way to go.
         
      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        If the dividing fence is sitting on precast concrete gravel boads, be carefull not to undermine the post foundations.

        If it's on top of a concrete retaining wall, and constructed as below, removing material your side above the 'heel' could destabilise it.

        20210407_135711.jpg
         
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          Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
        • Black Dog

          Black Dog Gardener of useful things

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          Yes I know not very helpful but I try my best with a different approach:

          It's not a bug, it's a feature. Why not use it and spare yourself some work. You might even make something out of it.

          1. Build a pond. Since it's already lower and the water will naturally flow there, just build a reinforcement near the fence and have a nice spot for lots of waterloving plants. Doesn't need to contain fish but there's lots of plants that love good marshy soil.

          2. Build a deck on top.
          With concrete, some wooden planks and a few friend this could be a new place for the children to sit, play or to set a few plants in pots. And no need to fill it perfectly.

          3. Turn it into a sandbox.
          Your kids or grandchildren wil love it. Board it up around the edges and just fill it up with a big bag of sand.

          4. Bury a water reservoir.
          You are already halfway there, so why not dig a little deeper, bury a few cubic metres worth of water storage tank and use the leftover soil to level put your garden.

          Those are just a few ideas and you should take them with a grain of salt, but maybe something sticks
           
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          • tugrul

            tugrul Apprentice Gardener

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            Thanks :) i loved them
            It`s always nice to hear about other options
            Many many thanks
             
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