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Ask Gerry

Lawns : Soil Preparation

  1 - 6 of 34 answer(s)
 

Sowing a new lawn

I am in the process of preping the ground for seeding, part of which includes drawing in top soil to raise the level by 4". I just have a few questions- • should I add sand to the soil prior to seeding? • should I roll the topsoil prior to seeding (I would presume so to to avoid depressions due to foot traffic when seeding) • what fertilizer if any should I add in conjuction with the seed. I want to do this right, so all advice will be greatly appreciated, or link to suitable webpage. johnny_gardener, Bandon, Co Cork Posted: 25/04/2017


If there is already a good, 20cm or so of topsoil, there is no need to bring in any more, unless you just wish to alter the levels. 
 
There is no need to mix sand into good topsoil and heavy clay topsoil should not be used anyway.
 
The new soil, if used, should be firmed evenly by trampling so that it does not settle unevenly after sowing. Trample and rake until firm and even surfaced. 
 
Rolling is not as effective as trampling with boots. If the area is large, it can be rolled or evened and firmed with a powered stone rake. Apply 50 to 100 grams per square metre of general fertiliser before sowing.

More at:  http://www.garden.ie/howtogrow.aspx?id=327

 

Covering decorative bark with top soil?

I'm having some problem in removing decorative bark from an area where I want to add about 10-20 cm top soil and sow a lawn from grass seeds. Can I just leave it and cover it with soil? The bark is Shamrock Decorative Bark Mini Chips. madster, Clongriffin, Co Dublin Posted: 08/09/2016

If it is just a thin layer of bark, just cover it.

If it is more than 2cm, the bark will rot down eventually and the soil might subside, leaving an uneven surface to the lawn. Uneveness could be remedied by top-dressing with good soil raked it in a thin layer.

 

Unable to grow lawn

We have only shale and builders' rubble in our back garden but want to lay lawn. Would we need topsoil/clay if we want turf/sod which already has about 1" soil backing to take? Arwen, Rathdowney, Co Laois Posted: 19/04/2016


Grass lawn needs at least 15cm, ideally 30cmm of good topsoil.
 
More at:  http://www.garden.ie/howtogrow.aspx?id=328
 
If you cannot get that without raising the lawn level too much, you will have to take out rubble and then lay top-soil. Although this is onerous, it will give the best result in the end. 
 

 

heavy moss

I have used Gallop to kill grass and moss. If I just dig the garden over leaving all the dead moss and grass will it make matters worse? 031120151, tuam, Co Galway Posted: 03/11/2015

Gallop is a brand of glyphosate, similar to Roundup. It kills grass but only sets back moss which grows again.

Do not go to the trouble of digging. Use sulphate of iron to kill the moss and re-sow the grass with No. 2 seed when it is dead. The seed can be scattered on the soil surface, even onto dead grass.

In future, do not mow as tightly and apply some lawn fertilizer each spring.

 

Returning garden

I need to return my garden and I want to do it with roll on turf. Do I need to strip the grass or can I just roll theturf on top of old grass. Would I need to put weedkiller on it? Dougall, Dublin 14, Co Dublin Posted: 29/07/2015

Lawn turf is rolled out on cultivated, firm, raked fine and rolled and levelled soil. If you want an easy way of re-sowing a lawn with better grass, spray it carefully with Roundup or similar in late August and when you are sure you have a complete kill, simply over-sow with grass seed of your choice. This is effective and costs a fraction of cultivation and re-sodding. 

  Horse trodden lawn
 

Horse trodden lawn

What would you recommend to restore a horse trodden lawn to its original condition as at 4th February. Basically two horses intruded on a lawn one night and left a lot of hoofprints. The lawn is an average square sub-urban back-garden lawn with no flower-beds. The soil is fairly soft and there are just imprints of horses's hooves - see attached photos. Will a roll suffice? Should it be done now in February? Or should we wait until the ground dries out in, say April. Would it need o be aerated? Or is there something else we should do? Meadowbliss, Howth, Co Dublin Posted: 06/02/2012

 

The marks are not very deep and when the grass stands up again, they will not be very noticeable.

Over a few weeks the soil will weather and pretty much even out.

By summer, you should see no lingering marks, but if there are spread some topsoil with a rake to even them out.

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