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We live in North Wales and have a garden which has overhanging trees, weeds, moss, ivy, stones, not much drainage (though maybe it is too well drained, it seems very dry in summer and very wet all the time in winter) and not much grass,  All I want to do is completely grass over the garden and then mow it every week.  The trees can't be cut because they have a preservation order on them and none of the grass seed I have tried will take, I have tried turf but it just dies in winter.

Basically I have no idea what to do for the best and what order to do it in, can anyone give me any pointers?  I have tried books but none of the ones that I have read deals with all the problems that I have in any useful order,  I have also tried gardeners but they seem to disappear when winter comes.  If anyone is bored and wants to come and be fed tea and cake for an hour whilst imparting some wisdom that would be even better 






Hi Gareth. Could you post some pics of your patch. Also it would be useful to know what size your plot is.We don't want to advise you to dig the whole thing over when you have an acre but if it is only a few metres square.....Are the overhanging trees yours, a neighbours, the council's and what kind of trees are they? What direction does the garden face? What kind of a garden would you like - what would you use it for?

Sorry for all the questions but you will get more relevant and better answers with more detail.  

If you are new to the area, it is always worth looking at neighbouring gardens to see what seems to do well and to ask your neighbours advice too

p.s. The trees are the ones covered in ivy at the back of the garden on the first picture.  There is a protection order on them because of some kind of moss...

Bugger sorry wrong links...







Anyone got any ideas please?


It could be such a lovely garden, but yes the 'grass/moss/green' is in a bit of a state. Have you thought any more about how you will use the garden or is it still as you originally said that you just want to improve the grass? Will the grass be used by children or dogs, for sitting out, as a backdrop for planting at some stage? I wouldn't know where to start to improve / start again with such a large area just of lawn but as you have found it will need a lot of work and expense.I'm sure there would be lots of ideas for making it into an interesting and fulfilling garden.


Thanks for the reply.  I don't want to do anything with it at all other than grass it. I just want it to look neat and tidy and green I just don't know how to go about doing it...  I did spend quite a lot of time last spring taking it back to soil and raking it and then seeding it with Canada grass but that didn't take at all.  And I do mow it every week/fortnight when it needs it which does make it look neater but it's still full of 'crap' as you can see.

I think it the lawn just needs a lot of help to get established. Currently the moss is winning but if you help the lawn, it can get the better of the moss. You will need to;

  • regularly apply lawn feed with weed and moss killer.
  • only mow the lawn when the soil is moist.
  • do not cut the lawn too short and leave it long in winter.

You may need to rake out dead moss after the initial application of moss killer and sow some more grass seed, but with your support the grass will keep the moss at bay.

OK thanks, any tips for what kind of grass to plant under the trees?

Hi,  If you can afford it and if there is one in your area, we've been very impressed with the Green Thumb franchise. They come and do a survey, make written recommendations and then quote a price dependent on area to be covered  and then come 4 x a year to fix your problems. It's so easy to let them do it and they have access to professional stronger fertilisers, moss-killers etc than you can buy in the shops. Ours costs about £21 per visit, and the lawn looks so much better, not a weed in sight and very green - we've had lots of compliments. You can stop at any time as there's no long term contract.



lizzie, that sounds like quite a bargain for a busy family, with no time to become lawn experts

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