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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Good evening everyone

We moved into our new house a few months ago and I've just got around to sorting the garden out.

About half of it was grass and the rest rough old concrete and flower beds. Two skips and a breaker later I smashed out all the concrete and began to prepare the soil. The amount of rubbish and hardcore to shift was unreal! I ended up buying three cubic meters of top soil to top up what I had removed.

Sadly the new soil hasn't impressed me all that much! Advertised as screened and rotivated it turned out to have lots of clay lumps in it. When raking it I'm left with lots of small lumps of clay on the surface which will be impossible to remove. I think it was pretty level - v hard to get perfect with the rake though. The soil depth was about 3.5 inches top soil over 4 inches or so of sub soil.

I fertilised with growmore (about 100gr per meter so probs too Much) and about 60-70gr of Wilko rapid grass seed per meter. I used their shady blend for a strip down one side of the garden which gets v little sun. I v lightly raked the surface but most of the seeds are still visible on top of the soil. Also looks like too many seeds whoops!

The birds seem to have ignored it and four days in no sign of life so far but I know it's early days. My worry is I didn't cover the seeds enough- 90% must be on the surface I would think. I have lightly watered twice a day apart from today as it's been wet.

Also will the small lumps of clay be an issue now and also when I come to mow?

Many thanks for any help!


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:06 pm 
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:dunno: Normally if seeding a lawn you need to rajke to a fine tilth.. add sand to a heavy (clay) soil .

I live in a place where depending on which part of the "Village" you live in you'll either have clay (Potteries were very big business here in the late 1800's) or you had a very fine soil.

In my previous house it took me about 6 years to get the clay soil in the rear garden conditioned enough (too much clay) to be able to lay a lawn. This involved digging out clay, adding sand annd compost digging again, raking adding more sand aand horticultural grit.. raking again... removing clay again... repeat.

Basically even once you have established your lawn it requires a LOT of work to keep it in decent condition.

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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:28 pm 
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I have large areas of paddocks and we are on the worst clay one could imagine.
Two years ago we did some building work and had about an acre to reseed. It was roughly leveled yellow subsoil. I bought seed from Boston seeds and sowed by hand in the autumn. It was not raked in, just left on the surface. It germinated within 3 weeks, formed a very light sward which went on to form a dense 'lawn' by next midsummer.
This winter in December, I did some trenching work and had more disturbed sub soil. It was too late into the winter to sow seed so I thought I would catch it right in the spring. It never came right, by the time it was warm enough, the surface was dry and starting to crack. I will now leave it until the autumn.

How this relates to your situation, I think it will work so long as you do not allow the surface to dry out, the reason for raking light cover is to prevent the seed drying out. If the seed is on the surface and starts to germinate, it will die if it dries out even for a fairly short time. as regards the lumps of clay, providing they are not too big, they should roll down with mower roller or just by walking on them.
It is essential to use fresh seed.



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 9:49 pm 
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Thanks chaps- that sounds fairly promising then! Our soil isn't clay down here so hopefully the clay in the few inches of top soil won't affect things too much.

I have been watering twice a day but still find the top of the soil does dry out. I picked up a sprinkler today so will give it a decent amount of time working to keep it nice and wet!

If it doesn't work then I'll try again in the autumn- we are having a kitchen extension later this year so no doubt the garden will be chewed up again anyway!


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