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Isle Of Wight, United Kingdom Gb

I have a small garden (approx 37sq mtrs) which is completely laid to lawn. The house is about six years old and the garden is solid clay no top soil to speak of. In the summer the lawn cracks open to reveal quite deep fissures that you can sink your hand in and in the winter it floods. It is a north facing garden with 2mtre high fencing so particularly down one side there is little direct sunlight. The lawn itself is uneven and not of any good quality. Realising we have a drainage problem we have already installed a land drain running diagonally across the garden with two feeder drains, one either side. Drainage is then to a soakaway in the lowest and wettest corner. However this is of limited success as there is still dense clay in the garden making drainage to the drain difficult. I believe I now need to get some sand and compost into the soil. I would like to do this by using a small tiller. My question basically is can I just dig in the lawn (which is not worth keeping for reasons stated above) or must I remove the turf first? Or do you have any other suggestions? Afterwards I will level and lay a new lawn but long term intend to install a patio in one corner.



you call that a SMALL garden!!!!!!!!!!!! No thats huge. I would get a landscape garden

26 Apr, 2010


Hi Guest my suggestion is remove the turf and stack it upside down for use later. Then till your land using something like a merry tiller. Gets lots of organic matter and grit or sharp (not builders) sand into the soil. Start planning and creating your wonderful new garden. I would strongly suggest you join GoY so you can ask more questions and interact with us all. Good luck no matter what you do!

26 Apr, 2010


I have heavy clay and our front lawn did this very wide deep gaps. We took up the turf and went over it with a machine and as Moongrower suggested we put loads of organic matter, clay soil conditioner and grit. Then we put new turf down. It was a lot of effort but I am so glad we did it. The winter water logging problem also resolved after we did this work.

26 Apr, 2010


Here in Arizona, we use Gypsum to open hard clay, as well as organic matter, but if your soil is very acid, you may be better off with lime instead of gypsum.

28 Apr, 2010

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