Garden - start again?

I have a small patch of garden, about 2m X 8m and it is in terrible shape. Whoever renovated our building appears to have used it as a dump. Each time I put a fork in the ground I come upon some masonry, old electric cable, bottles.

The ground is also quite uneven and has some quite long grass and other weeds on there.

I want to start from scratch on it. It is about 6" lower than the paving which leads to it.

Would it be possible to get a load of hardcore, put that on top, put sand on top of that, then topsoil and then grass turfs and build it up to the level of the paving?

I have little in the way of gardening experience and very few tools but I am a big lad who will toil for days as long as I know what I am doing. I am operating on a very limited budget, about £600 so want to keep professionals out of it.

I would consider artificial grass.

Can anyone advise me if my idea has any merit or if anyone can give me an idea of what to do to get it looking right.

Thanks in advance,



  • FayFay Forumite
    1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi,I'm no expert but I guess it would depend on what you then want to do with the ground-would you want to plant into it? If so I don't imagine hardcore would be good to put down. I would be tempted to try and get out as much rubble as I could and then make a plan of what I want to use the ground for. Plants will need as clear ground as possible and wouldn't like to grow with hardcore underneath them-grass I'm not so sure about. Sorry, not that helpful!
  • Smick100Smick100 Forumite
    282 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thanks Fay,

    As things stand, I just want a lawn. I have a three year old daughter and I want somewhere that she can play about in on her trike and with a paddling pool.

    To be honest, I just thought the hardcore would be useful for building the level up. Maybe soil would do the same job.

    In my mind I have an idea like an American suburban street where paving runs seamlessly on to grass.
  • PixiechicPixiechic Forumite
    801 Posts
    If you don't want to grow anything and or even have real grass and instead have artificial grass then I suppose that you could just level it off and then lay the fake grass on top.

    Personally, I would want to grow things so I would try to remove all the rubbish and grow some nice grass with options to grow more things at a later date.
  • Smick100Smick100 Forumite
    282 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I'll maybe spend the weekend trying to remove the bulk of the waste buried in there and see how it looks.

    I think I'd still like to raise the level of the garden a bit though. I will investigate the volume of topsoil needed to level it off.
  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    I would also remove the worst of the waste from the garden, in case you later want to plant veg/flowers/shrubs. I would not put rubble down, just a layer of top soil. I'm not sure if it is worth mixing in sharp sand (Wickes do it cheap). For such a small area I'd sow seed rather than turf, you can even hand water it if the summer gets too dry.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • Smick100Smick100 Forumite
    282 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    How long would it take for the grass seed to grow? I have a 3 year old daughter and would like to get a useable garden ASAP for her. If I put turf down, can she start playing on it right away?

    I presume I will have to get the topsoil delivered given the volumes. The garden is small, could I hire a van and go and pick some up? I'd imagine the likes of a hired transit couldn't take much more than a tonne.

    Looking at other threads on here, people are discussing 10+ tonnes of topsoil.
  • edited 30 April 2013 at 6:52PM
    5.1K Posts
    edited 30 April 2013 at 6:52PM
    So long as the area drains OK, I'd just fill in with topsoil. For 8m*2m*12cm you'd need two bulk (1m³) bags of topsoil dropped off and I'd certainly use turf for speed. Check prices in your area, but I'd have thought £125 to £150.

    Turf would be usable in 2 weeks, keep watered to help it root.
  • Smick100Smick100 Forumite
    282 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thank you very much everyone for your advice. It is great to just get the reassurance and directions from those who know what they are doing.

    I am quite excited to get started. I have my weedkiller coming this week to start the de-weeding on Saturday. I will hopefully have something resembling a garden for the middle of June!
  • cte1111cte1111 Forumite
    7.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Just to add, we've laid turf in our garden and found it surprisingly easy. Neither myself nor my OH are good gardeners but it took quite well. We bought the turf cheaply from B&Q.

    Although we do now need to redo the lawn, as our naughty bunnies have killed the grass by eating it as soon as it begins to grow!
  • megc_2megc_2 Forumite
    142 Posts
    Hi smick, thanks for this thread as I'm in exactly the same position, although my garden is about twice the size of yours and I want to grow some veg/ flowers too. I was wondering what I'd need to do to get started too, so your thread has been really useful.
    Halifax Credit Card: [STRIKE]£4915[/STRIKE] NEXT Directory: [STRIKE]£1980[/STRIKE]
    JD Williams: [STRIKE]£1984[/STRIKE] British Gas: [STRIKE]£394[/STRIKE] First Direct [STRIKE]£2985[/STRIKE]
    Debt-free for over 2 years now!!! :j
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Martin's debt costs masterclass

Eg, balance transfer up to 35 mths at 0%

MSE News

£80 GHD Original IV Styler

Via MSE Blagged code (norm £109)

MSE Deals