Latest posts by Palaisglide

How do I rejuvenate a lawn?

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 12:34

Paul you work as you find, over many years of gardening always with at least one patch of lawn, I now have two, I had to resort to chemical in that I use Feed and Weed. Living on the edge of farmland and with surrounding lawns wick with Dandelion Daisy and such which some people like, the only way to keep it clear was that and it does year on year. I remember coming home from work once and my Wife asking what the nice yellow plants were right at the back of the garden, "what yellow flowers" so went to look, it was Rape, the birds dropped the seed and I had missed it. I never use chemical on the borders or elsewhere but if my lawns were riddled with weed they would come up and as some have done gravel it and park the cars on it. The lush sward I see at some garden visits, never a weed in site tell me the story, I once asked the Gardener at a house we were at well known in the NE what he used, got the full lecture on feed and weed and how to use it, I must have looked like a learner. As I said we find out what works for us and that is my way of gardening, sorry to any greens although I do my bit by taking my holidays in the Uk and not flying, others may fly yet not use feed and weed well we are all different.



Posted: 21/03/2017 at 10:12

Logan that is the problem with you young whippersnappers, all go. I expect you want a bouncy castle and a Big Mac? well you are getting Salad and Carrot cake so there.

Many Happy returns.


How do I rejuvenate a lawn?

Posted: 21/03/2017 at 10:01

Edd I would agree to everything you say above only years of working my lawns and bowling green lawns taught me sometimes chemical is the only way. The Lawn over the road from me is chemical free and a riot of Dandelion and Daisy every year plus other nasties they seed and cross the road to me on the easterly winds. I see the odd weed start at the edge of my lawn and if I did not knock them back they would spread like wildfire. We always had a patch of lawn at the bowling green for repair, if we had a weed on the green we cut it out with a small cutter then replaced with a piece cut from the spare but come Autumn when we did the main repair and maintenance chemical had to be used.

The choice is ours you can have a lawn or a meadow and most around me are the latter, they boast they do not use chemical then ask me how I keep my lawns so nice, I tell them, you pay's your money you take your choice. I grew up in a time when everything by todays standards was organic, yes well my Dad a gardener supreme used bordeaux mixture, soap sprays, slaked lime and other methods used by most people who had to feed the Family from the garden. If you did not you could go hungry as many did, no supermarkets then with berries from Mexico Potato's from Egypt and Cyprus or Salad from Spain. We need to have some sense about what we do as against what our ideals are.

I use feed and weed after the first cut now done, then six weeks later, then after scarifying and aerating a winter feed and weed then leave it never walking on it when wet that compacts the lawn if I need to go on it then I use a board to stand on, spread the load. We all have our own way of doing things Edd.


Renovating old, soggy lawn

Posted: 20/03/2017 at 15:10

Rosy, it depends on how much old grass to remove, if you can manage it cut the grass with the spade into square sods around a foot square to eighteen inches, easy to handle, lift one edge with the spade then lowering the spade down push through under the sod, this will cut through the sod just below root level that should give you a sod about an inch and a half thick, doing it that way makes it easy to stack in a corner for a lovely loam is a year os so. Time and Patience is much needed in gardening. If there is a lot then hire a cutter for a day, this will cut the grass sod at the correct level and the better ones roll it up, normally though they cut the lawn into strips and you chop it into lengths with a spade to stack them away.

Looking again at the pictures if that is a ditch the water runs away from then I would laid some large Gravel in the base for drainage, you could use any hardcore broken brick or what ever you have, it definitely needs raising a bit and take the opportunity to mix in plenty of grit and washed sand to the layer you use to raise the area this will give better drainage. The top layer will be compost or topsoil again mix in some washed sand. I never walk on my lawn in winter if it is a must I use a board to stand on, compaction is something you do not need.

Hope this helps, I can breathe again now you know the danger of ponds.


Renovating old, soggy lawn

Posted: 20/03/2017 at 13:59

WHOA UP Rosy, A five year old child and ponds do not go together. A child died a couple of years back in three inches of water, they had fallen face forward into it after mother took a phone call. You need to heavy net the pond or fence it securely my way as I did with the Grandchildren was fill it in and bedding plant it, better safe than sorry. Children and water do not mix.

A medium wear grass is what you need, the whole class will not be around every day. You can make the lawn around the pond or ponds I can see, one of them looks very dangerous for children, if they fell in you would not see them.

Why not make over the whole as a lawn then at some future date replace the pond. You could get rid of the existing ponds and Put a half barrel pond in with water plants and a wire mesh fitted to the rim of the barrel the frogs would came back to that. That area needs raising in any case.

I would say to all new gardeners, gardens can be dangerous places for children, the tools we use the chemicals we use I try to be none chemical although some is a must, lawns need feed and weed all my years gardening taught me that, a rethink is needed Rosy this time with a five year old or at times several, inquisitive adventurous little mites and you cannot keep an eye on them every minute of the time.


Renovating old, soggy lawn

Posted: 20/03/2017 at 11:53

Rosy, if it were me I would move, Joking aside it is a big job, you need to treat it as a long term project and do the work in sections you can manage in the spare time you may have remembering the good old British weather. Make sketches and a plan (a guide, plans can and do alter). Decide which small section you want to work on first, say a place to sit and contemplate the next move and where you can put down some nice pots of flowers to give you heart for the work ahead. The pond needs to be left as you will get Tadpoles then small frogs, one day you will look in the pond they will be gone, they always come back to the same pond the next year and very interesting to watch as well. So the pond renovation after wild life vanishes.

The lawn the biggest job and depends on funds available. You need remove all the grass, stack it upside down in a dark corner and leave for a couple of years you will have the best potting compost ever. It now needs to be dug over, this I would  double dig adding in a good compost grit and washed sand as you go. Quite often there are local gardeners who would do this bit for you. For the lawn the best lawn would need around twelve to fifteen inches of topsoil added, once the pan has been broken up and drainage added six to eight inches would be OK, the lawn does need to be raised from what I see in the pictures. Now it is up to you seed or rolls, Garden Centres have reasonable grass rolls with a medium grass or order on line the type you want a soft does not take heavy wear Medium for Children and heavy duty for a football field in the garden dogs cats, keeping wild boar is not good for any grass.

To sow seed the top needs to be well raked all stone lumps of clay and any other bits taken off My last Lawn we riddled the soil added first. Rake it flat then do the gardeners shuffle, wear big flat boots and shuffle up and down the patch compacting it very slightly. Rake again with the back of the rake after checking levels, a long flat lath or plank moved along the patch will show high or low levels. Buy your seed from a good Garden centre read the packets it will tell you what it is best used for, light medium heavy use. then sow as the packet tells you adding a few extra hand fulls for the birds, WATER in and leave, I cut by hand for the first cut then the blades on the mower up for the next couple of cuts, my way is never cut below one inch long, scalping kills a lawn and you are not after a bowling green. Decide what you wish to do first and do it, trying to jump from job to job never works you end up with a complete building site, a bit at a time gives you something to look at and show you are getting there. Good Luck.


It needs to be said

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 12:04

Interesting. I do not see the world ending anytime soon. I do see pictures of Children with distended stomachs stick thin arms obviously starving needing medical aid clean water food and medicine, living in tents in a Desert I personally know can drop below freezing at night. I saw that kind of thing so many years ago, villages with no sanitation, no fresh water, no doctors or electricity, children so ill you knew they would be dead before you had finished searching for hidden arms, I thought then this is wrong it must get better. It never has, year on year it gets worse as people start wars populations move because of those wars and worse the war only adds to the so called Global warming as the infrastructure breaks down.

We in our cosy little country where poverty is not having a 50" TV or all singing all dancing mobile phone potter on with efforts to save a world that is going to h@@@ on a handcart. We should be using our riches on bringing up the standards for those people to whom starvation is real and deadly. It seems to me we are selfishly thinking about our selves and a future which will change more rapidly than we could possibly know, for better or worse? who knows, it depends on whether we get our act together and do something about the biggest problems feeding those who cannot feed themselves.


PS I am off for lunch, there will be more on my plate than some children see in a month.

It needs to be said

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 10:20

My Daughter in California tells me the Trump Administration has pulled the plug on any more money being spent on Global warming projects. It would appear the USA has been spending money on low, prone to flooding lands in South Asia, that will stop. She also tells me California has had a colder wetter winter than she ever remembers, more water fell this winter than in the last ten years, they were on a form of water rationing for a couple of years now they have full reservoirs. The East Coast have been hit with a massive snow storms. and also had heavy rain falls.

Meanwhile here in the North East of England the coastline is disappearing under a wall of wind turbines and another contract has just been signed. We can see for ourselves that in  the very cold still air between weather fronts they are not working and then in the high winds again have to be shut down, they are OK in summer when we have mild winds and it is warm in other words not needed.

Wilton they are building new Power Stations burning wood chips from Canada, shipped to our docks then transported to Wilton, last week an article was claiming wood burning fires are worse than burning coal for the amount of carbon and particles they release into the air.

We are told we must (MUST) go organic yet I know from experience this is not the best way of producing enough food, it takes up more land and is more costly to City dwellers who rely of Supermarkets, OK for us with access to the local farm shops and can afford the extra cost, The UK has never produced all its own food, I have just eaten my porridge with berries from Spain and Chile.

My question is:- why should the little old UK be paying for something the rest of the world seems to ignore, Germany closing Nuclear and going back to Coal, China? well we have all seen the pictures, India and South Asia putting millions of trucks and cars on the road year by year. Then we have Famine in Africa once the bread basket of the world, that tears me up Children dying whilst we potter along under the Halo of feeling Green, it is an illusion or is it.


Lawn drainage

Posted: 18/03/2017 at 23:22

Smiley My Dad poured a drop of petrol on the ants nests and then a match, don't do this at home. You can get some ant killer from any Garden Shop. Washed sand is building sand with the salt washed out of it, it originated as beach so there could be residual salt there in which would not do the lawn any good. Once you have mixed the sand and compost brush it into cracks as well as into the aerating holes, the grass will grow into it in time. You can even up the lawn by getting a long straight lath put it edge up on the lawn and sweep it round in a circle, you will see the high and low points. Fill the hollows with the same sand and compost mix, if they are deep just fill half an inch let the grass grow into the first application then do it again until you get a level, we levelled any low points on the bowling green the same way but did it in Autumn so we could bowl in the Spring. This may take a couple of years to get a level verdant lawn, you said it has been neglected.

So way to go, Aerate and scarify, Fill with a mix of washed sand and compost, Mow to no less than one inch at least once a fortnight and when the grass is growing fast (a warm summer, remember them?) mow once a week. use a feed and weed mid April and water in well (all Garden shops have it) six weeks later feed and weed again. You will start to see a big difference in the summer. Autumn aerate and scarify the lawn after the last cut, use Winter feed and weed slow release and water in well, I put it down when it is going to rain and still use a hose. It will take time although worth it in the end. One of my lawns is 35 years old and people passing say how good it looks the other lawn South facing so more water is needed but that also looks good, lawns take a lot of maintenance while growing, in winter I stay off it, if I need to go on it I use a board to stand on, a little thought can make life so much easier.

I would have got back earlier only I had a house full family Grandchildren and dogs, the larder is now empty so they all went home, still, that is what life is about, I love it.


Lawn drainage

Posted: 18/03/2017 at 11:13

Smiley, you are thinking a sump to drain the soil under the lawn, in your case looking at the pictures it would not work. You will never have a bowling green without renewing the lawn totally, that means removing lawn and soil, laying a drainage then at least ten twelve inches of fresh soil then the lawn. With children and animals that would be a medium to hard grass seed.

Fairygirl is correct and I know she has experiece in that field (sorry about the pun) you need to aerate, you can hire a small machine that would work on the raised section, it takes out divets leaving a hole, i should say many holes. Then get a bag of washed sand and one of compost and mix them together. Throw shovel fulls of the mix across the lawn and sweep in with a stiff broom or besom  into the holes this will aid drainage. Once about now and then again in Autumn after Scarifying that is getting the mat out of the lawn with a rake, either hand held or electric. My lawn has just been scarified. I like many gardeners do not like chemicals but having helped maintain a bowling green I know lawn feed and weed is a must. Feed it in about two weeks time and water it in well, then again six weeks later. Use a winter feed and weed in Autumn,(slow release) this should bring your lawn back into condition. Never let the lawn grow too long and never scalp, a one inch length is perfect in early summer this could mean mowing weekly.

Contrary to expectations lawns take more looking after than other parts of the garden, they can be hard work, TLC little but often will ensure a green sward.


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