Discussion in 'suburban75' started by ringo, Feb 11, 2014.
Oh good, I already know how to do that, thanks
i got some bulbs planted today - including such delights as "fondant pink" hyacinths - if they prove a little too lurid, I mainly want them for the scent - so they could stay out of sight under my bedroom window - though they may actually be too overpowering - even with the window open only a crack.
I also did a couple of more tasteful containers with mauve alliums and crocuses.
Another wildcard will be a couple of containers of mutant diseased tulips - since I'm also trying to sneak yellow pansies and crocuses into the mix ...
I've also brought in my spider plants so I have two hanging baskets-full to over-winter indoors.
I'm wondering if my wallflowers are a bit too molly-coddled.
They luxuriated under artificial light for weeks, so went out as leafy plants in 7cm pots.
The ones they've just planted out at work are more like the ones you buy rolled-up in newspaper - started out looking starved, but are greening-up well, but the leaves are small.
Though mine are "giant pink" and there are a lot of them - 7 buckets each with about 6 plants in and when I grew them before, I coaxed a heck of a lot from one knackered plant - so if only a handful survive the winter, I'll be in for a treat
We have just moved to a house with a small lawn. We are both highly allergic to grass so the lawn must go, to be replaced with vegetables and flowers. The question is, how to get rid of the grass with minimum effort? I was talking to a professional gardener this morning and she immediately said double digging, which I don't think is going to happen. If we covered it up in weed-suppressant membrane, how long until it died and broke down enough to plant other stuff?
Oh, and is there an easy way to make pretty and non-slippy paths?
It's going to depend on how long you're prepared to wait ...
There's always cardboard and hardwood woodchips if you can get hold of it - but that's the slow way.
How compacted is the soil ?
The soil's not bad at all; the only time this lawn has been walked on in the past ten or twenty years is to mow it and it feels like a deep carpet underfoot. Though I suppose underneath the top few centimetres it could be pretty solid. The soil itself is dark and rich looking, moisture retentive and fertile as far as I can tell.
I suppose the first thing would be to put in the paths to save compacting the lawn area any further. This isn't going to be simple is it. And I have to find a way to make it look pretty too during the transition to the garden I want.
I'd go for gravel. One of the reasons I did that in my garden was that I couldn't really get anything else delivered but it's worked better than I expected. Get large gravel and you don't have issues with cats pooing or bits getting stuck in your shoes and it's easier to separate the gravel from the growing areas. You will need to top the gravel up now and then but that's not that difficult. If you have a driveway you can order gravel in bulk, cheaply.
I don't mean gravelling the entire garden because I loathe that, but you can easily have some nice flower and veg beds around a gravel basis. It really is important to make sure the gravel is large though.
The part of my garden that I turned into a gravel path and patio area were previously knackered muddy lawn - we put weedkiller down but mostly we just pull things up. Could you pull up stray bits of grass if you were prepared? It's going to happen anyway if your allergy is really bad but your body might get used to it.
I agree with scifisam, I'd go with gravel. It's what I've done with several of the paths in my garden. I actually went for 10mm gravel as I think it looks better even though it sometimes sticks to the bottom of some shoes and boots. I haven't had any problems with cats but since the foxes seem to poo on any flat surface in my garden, regardless of what it is, I sometimes find little presents from them on the gravel.
I chose gravel as it isn't ever slippery and any rain drains though it rather than collecting on the surface (risking icy patches in the winter), or draining off into unwanted places. I also thought it would be easier to remove if I chose to reorganise the paths.
If you go for gravel, consider how you're going to lay it. There is the risk of weeds growing through it so putting weed-suppressant membrane down first is a possibility. However, I've found that the gravel isn't very stable on it so it can sometimes feel like you're walking on a beach. You'll still find the odd blade of grass and other determined weeds coming through the membrane even then. Although it's not difficult to spot them and pull them out. For most of the gravel paths I just cleared the weeds, compacted the surface and laid down the gravel. It's more stable this way and there haven't been significantly more weeds this way.
You can also get matting with a lattice pattern in it which helps to stabilise to the gravel but having looked into it I thought it worked out too expensive.
I was fortunate to have hundreds of brick pavers to reuse in the garden so I used these to edge the gravel paths in places to keep the gravel separate from the garden beds.
As for removing the grass, weed-suppressant membrane (or cardboard and old carpet) will take months to stop the weeds growing. It's definitely the least back-breaking way to do it but you have to be patient. I guess this time of year would be a good time though as you're less likely to want to use the garden now and leaving it over the winter and spring would hopefully significantly reduce the risk of re-growth once you've removed it and dug it over.
As grass roots don't go down too far a quicker approach is to remove the top layer. Although this is a lot harder you will be able to use the area sooner. If it's a large area you can hire a mechanical turf-cutter but you can also use a spade or buy a hand turf cutter. You can put the cut turf, grass side down in your compost to rot down.
Once it's clear, you can dig it over. I wouldn't bother with double-digging though. You may find that you'll need to top up the area with extra topsoil to replace the layer you've removed but I've found that digging it over loosens the compacted soil and brings the level back up to close to the level it was before. My garden was completely overgrown so I found and I needed to dig it over a few times over a period to remove any traces of weeds but if the lawn had been well-tended I would think there's less of a risk of other unwanted weeds popping up.
ETA: I'm sure I've posted this photo before but it does show some of the gravel areas. The bit on the left has weed-suppressant membrane under it and you can just about see it's a little more uneven from people walking on it.
Turf used to be valued in the garden as a source of good soil - so depending on the area,you could either cut it out with a spade or hire a turf-cutter - stack it inverted somewhere. Traditionally, some people would stack it up and plant marrows in it ...
I'm not sure that'd work with the grass allergies though.
The leaf that broke the camel's back.
I'm struggling to understand how anyone can be allergic to mown grass...
Last year I bought a leaf blower which also sucked up the leaves. It was perfect for this time of year. Earlier this year my neighbour's tame fox got itself shut in the shed where I kept the leaf blower. In its frantic attempts to escape it managed to pull everything off the shelves including the leaf blower. Somehow the collection bag on the leaf blower got ripped. One of my jobs for today is to attempt to repair it so I can collect all the leaves without the chopped bits spewing out of the hole in the bag.
How much did you pay for that?
It was this one Bosch ALS 2500 Electric Garden Blower and Vacuum
Although I think I paid a little more than the £65 quoted on that page.
That is very reasonable I could hire it out to neighbours too and make some cash on it...
It's not a bad price but I looked at buying a replacement collection bag which was £40 just for the bag! (Which is why I'm attempting fix the one I've got)
You'll need an extension cable for your big garden but I suspect you already have one for the lawnmower.
yeah I have an extension cable as the lawn mower and strimmer are electric too.
I am going out now to buy myself an early xmas gift. It is literally all I want and need.
They have one in Aldi for £30 Rutita1 and I can confirm that it does work.
If I was closer Leafster I'd patch that for you, but in the absence of sewing skills, I'd suggest duck tape, inside in one direction and outside in the other.
My neighbour lent me a canvas sewing awl (I think that’s what it’s called) and I can confirm my sewing skills are almost non-existent! I also realised that my eyesight isn’t what it was so I struggled to see what I was doing. The tear was through the lower part of one of the zips but I think I’ve managed a bodged repair having sewn the zip together and then used gorilla tape to keep it altogether. I’m going to give it a test later this morning. Keep your fingers crossed everyone!
I got a flymo on which was £50.-ish. Has good reviews but I haven't tested it yet. Outside is pretty soggy today so I may wait for a dry day.
The repairs seem to have held out but like Rutita1 said, it's too soggy to collect the leaves up easily today.
I just noticed that my birch tree is now about twenty feet tall! It's quintupled in height in less than 2 years!
Here is a pic of the rather substantial box
Change of plan. Have assembled...it's hugeeeeee... It's going down... Will report back....
Blowers with bags are an absolute massive pain...unless you love emptying it every 30seconds. Just blow the leaves in the general direction of a tarp or, if you want more target practice, then one of those builder's bags...and roll up the enormous amount of leaves (from just one smallish shrub).
I have had a few of those and since they introduced plastic blades they are shite imo
Hello gardeners. I've been a lazy gardener this summer... Just enjoyed it!
Had a big pre winter clean up of the pond though, including a thorough removal of all the nature area. Ill be donating the excess grasses and banded horsetail to a friend so no waste of good organic matter or the pond life in it. Cut back the rushes and all the fading lily pads, half emptied the pond and scrubbed the sides of blanket weed. Hopefully will keep it nice and clear through winter into spring
Separate names with a comma.