London (change)
Today 23°C / 16°C
Tomorrow 26°C / 15°C
9 messages
22/02/2013 at 08:50

Hi all,

I've been fighting a losing battle with a poor, uneven, weed-riddled lawn. This year I plan to kill off the existing patch (about 30ft x 20ft) and relay with new turf.

Last year I added a brick edging to the lawn which means I'm in a position to raise the level of the lawn by a couple of inches. So, after killing the old lawn I was going to add appropriate top-soil to raise the level before laying turf.

What's the best process to achieve this?

1. What do I do to kill the lawn - whilst making sure that there's no harm to new turf?

2. How do I remove the dead thatch?

3. What time of year would be best to crack on with this project?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Simon.

22/02/2013 at 09:51

A good dig for a start. Improve the soil. A couple of inches of topsoil on top of  compacted, badly dained, impoverished...........etc, ground won't support a good lawn.

22/02/2013 at 10:07

Glyphosate will kill the old lawn, but it works best when the grass is growing and it takes about 3 weeks. It is inactivated in the soil, works on the green leaf it touches. Then rake off dead thatch. Otherwise you can dig up the existing grass in turves and turn them over, grass side down, which will be a bit like using green manure. Weedkiller is best if it is full of perennial weeds. Rotovate the top. Rake in fertiliser, like blood, fish and bone. Actually there is a good site explaining what to do here:

http://www.ratedpeople.com/m/advice/diy-guide/gardening/laying-turf.html

22/02/2013 at 10:08

Any glyphosate based weedkiller will kill all the existing growth without leaving any harmful residues. Your local garden centre or DIY barn is sure to have a selection.

The weedkiller will need warmer weather and for the plants to be actively growing in order to work so depending on where you live about another 4-6 weeks maybe? It will take about 2 weeks to work and might need another application but a good dig and removal of all remaining roots should take care of anything left.

By then it will be late April/early May which would be a good time to lay the new turf but make sure it is well watered through the summer.

22/02/2013 at 10:11

I think, in fact the site above is a bit over the top! It says add sand 20ins thick over the whole area, which I've never heard of before. But it also says add 4 ins topsoil which is what I imagine you were going to do.

22/02/2013 at 10:59

Thanks everyone for the speedy and informative replies. So, as far as I understand it, the process is as follows:

1. Apply Glyphosate weedkiller - wait until all grass/weeds are dead (takes about 2 weeks) and reapply to any spots, if necessary.

2. Rotivate the dead lawn.

3. Top up with topsoil to raise the level to required height.

4. Use roller to level and compact.

5. Lay new turf.

6. Keep watered until well established.

This can start when growing season is underway, so anytime from late April onwards.

Sounds like a plan; how hard can it be... 

22/02/2013 at 11:16

Just about right -but do not use a roller to compact it-level with a rake and then shuffle with you feet all over the bed  -then rake again-a roller will over compact it

General fertilizer -then lay turf

22/02/2013 at 11:29

Thanks sotongeoff - no roller, fine by me, one less tool to hire!

22/02/2013 at 12:42

Instead of a roller, nail a couple of old boots onto ca. 12in x 6in boards, and then "shuffle" all over the bed.

email image
9 messages