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New Garden Project

Discussion in 'Garden Projects and DIY' started by Temmy, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Temmy

    Temmy Gardener

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    Hey folks,

    After over a year of clearing out (including pulling down a workshop, brick BBQ, unearthing foundations of an old green house, replacing a hazard of an oil tank, and 4 skips of brick, stone, rubbish and concrete) our space is ready to start turning into a garden.

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    Here's the dream plan:

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    The reason for the split elevation is the fact in the future we'll have doors at the back of the house which will lead straight out - and so the lawn there wants to be the same level as the floor. However, the oil tank and fence at the other side of the garden is already higher up and would be costly to redo so; split elevation it is (plus we just think it looks nice)

    I need some advice:


    I want to try and do as much of this myself and the first thing I want to tackle is getting levels and a lawn sorted.

    - What's the best way of planning out levels? String lines?
    - I was thinking tilt the lawn towards the back corner for drainage and to slope water away from the house. Is there a good ratio for the amount of slope over distance?
    - The soil which was under the workshop looks dead, cracks in the heat, and is full of stones. I've also no idea how long it's been covered. Could have been a decade.

    My thinking is to simply remove the top few inches and replace with brand new fertile topsoil. Is that a good idea?

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    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. jowwy

    jowwy Gardener

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    Get a rotavator in the to turn the soil over, lay down some new topsoil and compost. Level it by eye with a rake or large length of timber by dragging it over the top
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener Staff Member

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      Use a ladder, borrow if you don't have one.

      Surely the slope is dictated by your site, unless you can build a retaining wall at the back corner?

      If it's just going to be a lawn I would dig it over and spread it about and mix with the adjoining soil.
       
    • Temmy

      Temmy Gardener

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      Thanks. Would you remove the existing grass first, or just rotavate that into the soil (bearing in mind I want to seed / turf a new lawn on top)
       
    • Temmy

      Temmy Gardener

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      Thanks. Should I remove the existing grass first, or, is there any benefit just chewing that up and digging that into the soil?
       
    • jowwy

      jowwy Gardener

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      Personally i would kill the current lawn with glysophate, wait two weeks to make sure everything is dead and then i would rotavate, re-topsoil and compost, then put down the new seed. It will give a nice new green garden, with one lot of grass ans not mixed grasses of which you dont know what they are…..

      i had to kill and regrow all my back garden this year, after i found it was infested with couch grass……its now growing back lovely, with one type of seed and not a mash up of loads of grasses.
       
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      • Temmy

        Temmy Gardener

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        Ok, glysophate it is!
         
      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        In image 3 of post #1, the difference in levels of the gravel boards in that corner suggests there is already a slope in the garden, and probably towards that corner.
         
      • Temmy

        Temmy Gardener

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        A bit of an update on the garden project!

        I sprayed everything down with glysophate which did a good job turning everything brown...except for one patch of green I missed. I'm now skipping the dead turf and an inch or so of soil, not only because the level of the garden needs to come down, but I want to give the garden a fresh start, so I think some new topsoil wouldn't hurt.

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        Before levelling, I'm thinking of digging a soakaway at the back for the gutter drains. Currently, I think they just run into pipe which is a few meters long then just ends in the soil - probably not the best way of dealing with drainage!

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          Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
        • Temmy

          Temmy Gardener

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          The more I discover, the more I think all the drainage needs to be redone. The garage gutter drain is far too close to the surface (and funnily enough I don't want the top of a pipe sticking through my lawn), and the gutter drain at the back of the house runs a few meters into a soakaway....which is full of clay resulting in no drainage

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          My thinking is a new soakaway at the back of the garden, and some bending pipe to take both gutters there. Think that's a good idea?
           
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            Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
          • Loofah

            Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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            A proper soakaway I think needs to be 5m from the building and is a massive effort in terms of digging a deep pit and filling with rubble or crates. Have you looked at rain gardens as it might be better for what you need?
             
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            • Giri

              Giri Gardener

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              To assess your levels, the easiest way I know is to use a long clear plastic pipe with water in, (food dye is useful). Curl the ends of the pipe upwards, almost fill with the water and it will show the same level at both ends. Also useful to establish a gentle even slope on a pipe.
               
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              • Temmy

                Temmy Gardener

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                I haven't! I know nothing about rain gardens, so I'll do a bit of research. Thanks!
                 
              • Temmy

                Temmy Gardener

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                [​IMG]

                A bit of an update; I installed my first bit of 110mm drainage. Wooo! Just a temp solution to at least replace the pipe that was there and better take water away from the house.
                 
                Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
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