Latest posts by BicesterTerrier

11 to 20 of 21

Which tool to break soil the best

Posted: 10/10/2013 at 08:56

Thanks for all the advice. I was going thinking of leaving the veg patch until springh, but by the sound of things I could do alot worse than letting the winter at it. Might mean I have a bit more work to do over the weekend.

I am not afraid of a bit of hard work and appreciate the time it will take to get the garden up to a decent level, I am expecting this to be a yearly job, just wanted to find a way to avoid the acjing back and blisters from the fork. I have keyboard hands, not digging hands!

I might get out there and get it turned over with a fork and then look to get a tiller on it to brteak it, might look into hiring something.....

Thanks again!


Which tool to break soil the best

Posted: 09/10/2013 at 18:46

Waterbutts - thanks for the suggestion, you crazy, crazy person. Sadly the front garden bed is under the front window against the house, as much as I love a fire for no reason I think it would likely lead to divorce or at the very  least it would before the wife would speak to me (not all bad news then.......). Might have to rely on mechanical means.

I have so much clay I'd be as well spreading out a layer of charcoal over the garden and torching the lot!

Which tool to break soil the best

Posted: 09/10/2013 at 18:32

What would you consider large? I have a bed to finish of about 1m x 6m. I have a half finished bed that is probably 1.5m x 3.5m and then I have a yet to be determined veg patch. Although the area I have put aside for the veg patch (es) is a triangle - 12m wide at the base with 2 equal diagonals, distance from base to apex is around 5m. Was thinking a tool might help with the initial breaking up but would also come in handy year on year to get some nutrients etc well distributed.

Thanks for the link, I might have a look at that stuff for the smaller borders.

Which tool to break soil the best

Posted: 09/10/2013 at 11:35

I am looking at 2 very different tools to help me in the garden. I am in Bicester and on very heavy clay. I have partitioned the garden to give me some space for a veg patch in addition to the lawn. Currently the area is lawn, I plan to either lift or glyphosate the area to get rid of the lawn . I then plan on adding a lot of organic multi purpose, top-soil and farmyward manure to the area. I have dug 2 beds to date from the compacted garden and although turning with a fork and digging in the aove cocktail does break down the large clay clumps I am still left with golf ball (maybe tennis ball) size lumps with a nice mix of compost/topsil etc in and amongst.

Has anyone any experience of either of the tools below and whether they will help break down the clay further, or am I better getting on hands and knees and brekaing it by hand.

The front bed looks horrible tpo be honest with the large lumps on the top, but hopefully the wallflowers will hide the worst of it in the summer. Once I lift them next year I plan to go to work on the lumps.

I want to start to prepare the veg patch later this year into next year - I should add I have quite a lot of stone in the garden, not builders rubble, but from the farmers field the house is now on. Stones range from small 1/2"-1" up to 5-6", am I going to have problems with either.



palm has gone brown?

Posted: 15/04/2013 at 13:46

Eventually the leaves will go brown as the new growth comes, is it likely this is just the old leaves dying back. Do you have a photo you can add? How long since you "trimmed" the outer leaves back?

I had a couple of palms in the ground at an old house, sadly I did lose one to the winter. This went from the middle, the leaves as they grew did look healthy, but a quick tug at one in the middle and they whole heart cam out, it was rotten.

New build house, new build lawn - help to start off the right way.

Posted: 06/04/2013 at 13:35

After trying a couple of spots to get the aerator in I decided there is far too much stone under it, in fact there are patches browning already where I have discovered large stones close to the surface.

Plannign now to lift the lawn back and level using some top soil/John Innes 3 mix.

Upon rolling back the lawn in a few spots to see the stones I found a few little critters - see attached images - garden centre suggests the smaller ones are leather backs, anyone know how to treat them. What is the larger one?

Gonna be a long job rolling back all of the turf, but the amount of stone and crap from the 2-3 bits I have seen so far should make the effort worth it once I can have a nice lawn. Sorry knees!







New build house, new build lawn - help to start off the right way.

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 15:45

Bought a hollow tine aerator and plan to get out there as soon as the weather stands a chance of staying above freezing for a day or 2. Will buy some sand in the coming days, bought a hard wearing lawn seed to add into the mix to fill the gaps with.

Looks like there is quite a lot of stone under the lawn, tried to get the aerator into a couple of points and struck rock!

New build house, new build lawn - help to start off the right way.

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 12:51
Realawnexpert wrote (see)
Aerate, aerate and aerate....hollow tine during spring, autumn and even winter.
Newly turfed lawns consist of dwarf ryegrass which is a grass that likes food.
keep it well fed....don't roll.....but!


Thanks for the tips.  most helpful, looks like I need to buy me a hollow tine aerator. Would you recommend something to fill said holes? If so what? Sand/topsoil? A bit of food in there too?



New build house, new build lawn - help to start off the right way.

Posted: 19/03/2013 at 13:55

I'm going to have to look for a more recent photo, the ground has settled in places, I don't recall it looking that good as it does on the photos.

New build house, new build lawn - help to start off the right way.

Posted: 18/03/2013 at 12:49

Thanks for all the replies. Below is a photo of the garden - well lawn - taken at 9am on 30th December.

I think I will keep things as they are for now and see how the lawn fairs this year. We have given ourselves a year to see what we want to do with the garden, but I think it will stay mostly as lawn. Might put a border down the left (and maybe the right. The bottom of the garden meets at a point, was considering squaring the main area of lawn, adding a small picket fence and having veggies and a greenhouse down there (is 37 too young for a greenhouse!?! ). The 3-4m closest to the house will likely be removed and replaced with either a patio or a deck, probably not the whole width but enough to get a decent table and maybe an outdoor sofa type thing. There is room for a shed to the left of the shot but down the side of the house.

Going to concentrate on lifting the low bits rather than lowering the high bits. There is some debris under there, although my wife was once looking round the place whilst they had a guy picking stones from the garden prior to lawn. We are told the builder scraped off the top soil and then replaced this before turfing, I doubt that very much. When I have walked on the lawn to date there have been a few grating sounds like stone on stone, so might have to get out there and lift those. When I get round to beds I will put some time/effort in getting the soil to a good condition, if it takes me a couple of years to get the lawn good then so be it.

Any manual work is going to have to produce as little waste as possible, there is no vehicular access to the front of the property and no way of getting a truck/van to the rear, Going to have to rely on rubble bags and trips to the tip.

Anyway, thanks again for your help, must make a point of having a nose around elsewhere now you have been so helpful.





11 to 20 of 21

Discussions started by BicesterTerrier

Peony in a pot over winter

Will it survive? 
Replies: 3    Views: 947
Last Post: 19/11/2013 at 21:33

Which tool to break soil the best

Electric tiller or Wolfe Soil Miller 
Replies: 29    Views: 10677
Last Post: 08/11/2013 at 13:22

New build house, new build lawn - help to start off the right way.

Bought a barnd new house, with a brand new lawn, looking for tips on the things I should be doing with the lawn. 
Replies: 15    Views: 6977
Last Post: 06/04/2013 at 13:35
3 threads returned