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Garden Makeover advice

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by swaring, 1 Oct 2018.

  1. swaring

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    Hi guys,

    I wonder if any of you clever people could help. I have recently moved into a newbuild. Lawn is surprisingly good but on a sloped garden. I'm basically wanting to level it all out, but I have a few questions:

    1. Would I be able to use a turf cutter to get up existing lawn, and after levelling relay it? Or is it easier just to start from scratch with new turf?

    2. Would it be best to use sleepers around the edge to make the level from the back of the lawn and have a slight step at the front?

    I have attached a few pictures. Any help would be much appreciated.

    May not be able to see great with regards the slope, but it slopes about 1 foot+ being higher at the back of the garden.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. PhillCO2

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    I'm doing something similar in mine although the slope is a lot more pronounced, probably 4 feet or so higher at the top compared with the house. I thought about using sleepers to do it but elected to set in some footings and build walls instead.

    The sleepers do a reasonably good job though, I've used reclaimed sleepers previously for it, laid down flat. I then bored them through at regular intervals and fixed through with a long length of reinforcing bar with the aid of a sledgehammer. You can also sink some long timber fix screws in to fix each course of sleepers to the one underneath. I know people that prefer to set in a small footing even with sleepers, up to you.

    Regards the turf, grass is pretty resilient stuff. I cut out a load of turf when I set in new panel fencing in the first stage of this project. Because of the slope of the garden I had to use a few layers of gravel board in places to retain the garden next door so effectively dug a trench with posts set in. The turf that came out went back down with no problems, even considering how much of a mudpit the garden was during the work it's a lovely luscious green again now.

    It might take a bit of effort to get a perfectly level lawn back with no lumps or bumps but shouldn't be too hard. You will have to make sure the turf isn't up for too long before relaying it does suffer.
     
  3. swaring

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    Ah thanks for your advice. Did you use a turf cutter to remove the lawn? Just wondering how good these things actually are?
     
  4. PhillCO2

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    I can't give you any advice on that I'm afraid.
    I wasn't removing a particularly large amount, perhaps only a 2 foot wide strip over 10 metres so I just used a particularly good sharp spade and got in underneath to lift about 2-3 inch thickness across the length.

    With the sleepers, we also filled back behind with gravel rather than soil for about 1.5 feet back to improve drainage and then only put soil on top for the last half foot or so.

    I've heard people warn about soil contamination issues from creosote in the reclaimed sleepers and some people advocate putting a membrane in between sleepers and soil/gravel. We didn't and I haven't noticed any issues.
     
  5. swaring

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    Also, if i'm using sleepers to raise the garden at the front. The soil i put in to create the raised bed around the border will be up against the fence. Would I need a secondary sleeper to stop the soil touching the fence? Damn adding this up it could be quite an expensive project :/
     
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