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We have a nightmare garden.  It needs to be completely cleared, levelled and re-fenced, but the problem we're having is the clearing and levelling.  The ground consists of a high level of clay but is littered with rocks and bricks throughout.  We have tried to dig it over before, and have struggled terribly, been out there for hours and have not managed to dig a square foot.  A retired neighbour/handyman offered to do it for us (for a fee) and managed to break his wrist whilst doing it.

Are there any mechanical tools that we could use to help us level the ground to remove the bricks etc and help give us a good starting point so we can at least decide where we can go from there?  Obviously a rotivator is out of the question because of the debris in the ground, but I wondered if there was anything else that anyone could recommend.  We do have limited funds, but could save or stretch to something that could get us moving, and physically moving home is also out of the question



If your soil is that bad, maybe you need to do raised beds instead and buy top soil in.


What about just hiring a mini digger in to take the worst of it off and popping it straight into a skip? Wickes deliver them to your door - show you how to use them, and off you go. They have tiny ones that go through a standard sized door way which are terribly useful (we had one to dig my pond & his shed foundations out).

Scott Edwards

hi Mrs G71

It sounds like a big job indeed. If a Rotavator is not suitable I can only think of two possible solutions. The first is the expensive option of hiring a mini digger with an operator for a day or two (depending n the size of your garden) if there is sufficient access to get a digger into the garden. The second is to use a good old fashioned pick ace and slowly tackle a small section at a time. You might like to get someone a little younger than your neighbour to do the hard work for you. I wish you every success.




I hired a man with a mini digger for a day to  level the ground for the studio, move all excess earth up to the far end for a raised area. It was 13 years ago, it was not expensive; I got him through the local tool hire place.

For smaller areas; when I want to plant something at the edge of the drive, which is compacted clay and building rubble I use a crowbar, it is hard work so I take it slowly, to dig out a 4'x2' rectangle can take the best part of an afternoon.

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