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Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum & just wanted a little advice on how to deal with my overgrown back garden. I've just moved into my first property & having limited gardening experience i'm wondering how i would tackle the lawn & what jobs i would need to do first.

The grass has completely overgrown & has turned into a yellow/straw appearance. There is also quite a lot of weeds and moss underneath the grass. I've attached some photos of the lawn below & would really appreciate any advice to help me on my way.




Bunny ...

Im no expert on lawns but sure someone can advise how to deal with that. Are you having beds and borders or just lawn ?


I inherited a garden similar to yours but much more overgrown and i had the lawn removed and the garden rotavated top soil added and returfed. However you may be able to rescue yours but someone much more knowledgeable than me will be able to tell you that.



When it is dry-just run a mower over it-you might have to do a couple of runs-then decide if you want to keep all that lawn and if so a combined weed feed moss-killer will do wonders but do not apply that until things warm up a bit-so not now

On the other hand you could create a whole new vista with beds running around the outside and just lawn in the middle-if you want lawn??

You have a virtual blank canvas-what do you fancy?

Thanks for the replies guys.

I'm hoping to save the lawn and not re-turf. I'm looking at having borders on the outside & beds at the back & keep a reasonable amount of lawn. I'm also wanting to lay a decent size patio area at the front to hold a bbq, table and chairs etc. I guess i'll just have to wait for some drier weather.



I would stain the fence first as it is looking like it needs a coat first.

Second, as above has said, if you want to add borders then plan them now.

Lawn - I would rake over the whole lawn taking all the thatch out. I would then go over it with a garden fork and aerate the whole lawn then get some sand mixed with compost and throw that in the hole created. Leave the lawn for a few weeks. By that itme it will be March and you can throw some grass seed where it needs it.

Gardening Grandma

Aerate meaning to use your foot to drive the fork straight down into the lawn every few inches, so that it has lots of little holes. Then, when you throw the sand and compost onto the lawn it will go into the little holes and improve the drainage of the lawn and allow some air to get to the soil. Have a great time planning and creating your garden!

Thanks again for the advice people..i will certainly be busy this Spring/Summer trying to make my own stamp on the garden

Bunny ...
Good luck , post some pics of your progress

1. Paint/ Creosote the fence

2. Scrap the lawn, rotovate the lot with as much organic material you can lay your hands on. 

3. Plan borders , lawn, bbq areas depending on which direction your garden faces.Circular lawn in the centre, borders, think about hight, climbers up the fence      

If you have a lawn, you need a mower - where are you going to keep it? Maybe consider doing without a lawn in such a small space. A mediterranean garden with stones and gravel, interplanted with lavenders, rosemary, cistus, etc and some grasses could look great.


Lol. I wish our garden was like that this time last year when we moved into our new home!


 Keeping in mind that the garden now looks more like this:


 Still got a lot of work to do.

With yours I would rip it up and start again. If you sow the grass seed at the right time, it'll grow within a couple of months.

If you are going to keep your lawn then when the weather warms up and hopefully if we don't get any more rain say around middle of march mow it short then get some Lawn Magic from Richard Jackson on QVC follow the instructions and then be patient and you should see a lawn to be proud of I've tried it and my lawn looks amazing and all I do is mow it once a week if you decide to put borders in afterwards put shrubs in it do a little bit at a time then it will not cost you a lot of money paint the fence either with creosote or any fence stain oh my garden was like yours i had nothing in it what so ever if I can do it so can you your garden would take me 3 to 4 weeks tops to make it look good

Hello,  I have to confess that the first thing I have always done with all my new gardens is to scrap the lawn, and concentrate on good plantings, with maybe  small paths, one to a tree that would add height, with little woodlanders planted beneath, and/or  a bench under or around it, where you could sit for picnics to view your wonderful plantings.  Lawns are such a lot of work, and often trouble, whereas reasonably small shrubs and perennials are a long-lasting joy, and in the main take care of themselves. Yes, the fence definately needs attention, and it is amazing what a lift it can bring to take time to carefully choose a colour which will make a great backing for what you wil plant, and lift your spirits.  Each to their own, of course, and if a lawn will bring you great pleasure, I wish you the very best. May your grass be greener!






Lots of good advice there.  However, one thing I would say is that if you are having borders and beds, please please don't make straight edges; use a vegetable-based aerosol marker and 'draw' freeform on the lawn before it's lifted/returfed/reseeded whatever.  Then go back to the area you plan for the patio/BBQ and see what pops out.  Then you can plan your borders and beds in regard to form, height, colour, theme: woodland, 'hot', 'calm', pastel, etc. (but only after you've established the pH of your soil) and decide if you want to reduce the lawn area further using paths.  Don't forget to plan as much for pollinating insects as possible.  It may be small, but there is so much you can do with it...good luck (We moved into our place 18 months ago and I had loads of new beds cut...last summer's wash-out meant it didn't come quite as I wanted it to, but there's always this year and then maybe I'll have some photos to post - perhaps we can have a competition!!)

Word or two in favour of lawns. Lovely place to sit, lovely fragrance when it's cut and that green blanket is restful and relaxing to see. I agree with earlier comment to cut lawn when dry. Rake it, re-seed bare patches and at the end of March feed it.

One thing I would recommend, apart from sorting the lawn and I think you have had a lot of good advice on that score, is to keep a record of what areas get full sun, partial sun and stays in the shade. It looks like you have some pretty high fences around you  and this will dictate what you can grow and where. The space looks pretty compact, so I would try and plan out what type of effect you want from the garden and what you want to grow before you start to bung plants it. Have a good look at other gardens to and see if there are ideas you can 'crib'. I would also recommend the 'Garden Design Bible by Tim Newbury as a good source book of ideas. Good luck with this Martin, once gardening sucks you in your life will never be the same again, but in a good way!

We have just bought the house we have rented for 5, almost 6 years and I now feel we I can make my stamp on it. So, I'm using the advice left for Martin!! Thank you all. I will be checking out website's above posted by "reuse" and also need to calendarise the aerating & feeding of the lawn (although I was doing this before). I am so excited!! ...although wish I had so much more time to spend doing the garden than I actually do. Have fun Martin! My tip - enter the current GW competitions (topsoil & gardening tools).

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