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in Tools and techniques
We are going to lay new turf soon as a wet winter, a dog and no stepping stones to get to the chickens have left us with a complete mess of a garden!
Do we need to take off what is left of the existing lawn? My husband think we can just dig it all over and turf on top? I am more inclined to think that we need to remove the old stuff first?
It's not really the best time of year to do it, and you'd be surprised at how well a really scruffy lawn can be restored with a bit of care and attention. There are several threads on here about lawns.
What have you done with the dog and the chickens? You won't be able to walk on a newly turned lawn for at least six to eight weeks.
If do decide to returf, lots of advice here http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/lawns_layingturf1.shtml
We haven't been able to do it before now and i don't want a summer of no grass, what is going to recover has done and the rest is full of weeds or just bare. The chickens are in a run, damage has been caused by us walking up and down the garden to see to them over the grass when it was very wet! We have stepping stones to put down once the turf is down and we can keep the dog off it until its established. I know its no an ideal time but needs must!
Good luck - don't forget to water it
most important is the soil you are planning to turf. If you prep it right, you should have a real easy time of it. You can just dig over existing stuff, but try to remove any nasties like danylions or docks. Dig to a depth of a spit (ie a spades depth) and then stick in as much sharp sand as you can, ideally looking for approx 50/50 with the soil you dug over. Remove bigger stones, ones bigger than 3". Once you have dug over and mixed in, tread the soil down, rake then tread again. Rake to roughly level. Lay turf, loads of vids on how to do it. Use a sprinkler twice a day for about 30 mins each time, make sure turf is completely wet. Don't walk on it for about 6-8 weeks, if you lay the paving when you turf, you won't have to walk on it! First cut (after 6-8 weeks!), take the top 1/3rd to half off and leave for a few days, then take another third a few days later. after a few months give the lawn a feed with lawn fertiliser also if dog wees on lawn, immediately chuck a whole watering can of water on the area. If you follow this, you should have a lovely lawn with very little maintenance and if there's no shade, very little moss. The sharp sand sounds excessive, at 50% but trust me, grass loves free draining soil and will grow like a champ.
Thanks BrummieBen thats really helpful. Would a one tonne bag on sharp sand spread over the area (the top half is 10m long by 3.5m wide and the bottom track about 8 by 1m) be enough? We do have loads of stones everywhere so will try and remove the biggests ones.