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I can not cope with mowning the garden due to health problems. What is the best way to get rid of it?



Just so I understand, you want to get rid of the turf in your garden?

6 Aug, 2011


Wouldn't it be better to get a friend to do it, perhaps ring some garden maintenance people to do it for you - the cost is minimal.

To remove it, lay membranes and cover with chippings or bark etc will be costly - more so if you're going to have slabs laid.

Plus, all of the above means adding to the horrendous 'concrete jungle' out there - see if there's a way to avoid stripping your area of nature :-/

6 Aug, 2011


I see your problem as both my near by elderly neighbours have yearly contracts to have lawns and general garden work done as and when needed, but it does not come cheap!
To make it very low maintenance, you could do it or have the area treated with weed killer and cover in a weed suppressant and then add 4" of bark/woodchippings or large sized (1/2") shingle (the large stones the cats dont use) you can then break it up with things like pots, bird bath, bird table, or a sundial. Again this is not cheap but once it is done there is virtually no more to do, and it is reversible should you wish to change it in the future.

6 Aug, 2011


If there are trees nearby there will be quite a bit of leaf fall to be cleared up - and this is really energetic work on chippings and bark. Hard surfaces are easier to clear leaves off, if this is a factor where you are.

6 Aug, 2011


Thank you very much.

No there are not trees and leaves but there are cats.

Sorry i am very inexperienced so i'm still confused.
Ok, so i was very desperate and tried Round Up but nothing happened. Do i have to do that again?
Or i just put straight the membrane and that will kill it?

Also, the grass is quite long now, will i have to cut it first?

What happens after? Will i have to do anything else?

(sorry for too many silly questions but i will be really grateful if you can help as this really gets me down every day)

6 Aug, 2011


No I dont think you need apply any more weed killer but you do need to cut the grass and then lay down the weed suppressant membrane within a framework of stones or wood to contain the stones or bark. The right size of shingle stops the cats from using it, I think mine was 1/2" in size. I have a shingle area and 3 bark areas I just rake the stones once a year and the bark I top up every 4-5 years. Depending on the size of your lawn this is at most a days work by one person. If you know any neighbours with lads off to university in the autumn they may be glad to help you with the heavy materials for a days pay? Most garden centres deliver.

6 Aug, 2011


Round up can take three weeks for the top growth to wither so if you applied it very recently don't give up on it yet.

If you think you will miss the green of the lawn you could plant a prostrate juniper or a prostrate cotoneaster which will spread itself out over some of the pebbles for several feet eventually and not need any maintenance.

6 Aug, 2011


Winter flowering heathers require very little maintenance( a light trim every two or three years is sufficient and will give you colour for 3 months in winter/early spring.

There are also many low growing evergreen perennials which require no attention.

Dwarf pinks( dianthus) only grow to about 4-5 inches tall and I don't bother to dead head them

There are several dwarf evergreen campanulas which provide colour for about a month and interest all year around

If you weed kill the lawn,spread a weed suppressing membrane over it and cover the membrane with either bark or gravel ( I'd recommend gravel because bark slowly rots away and will require replacing and birds love to throw it abouit looking for insects ) you can then make a few cuts in the membrane,plant plants in the earth and they'll look attractive with virtually no maintenance.

I know this works because an elderly customer of mine had a huge vegetable plot( perhaps 80 feet by 25-30 feet) She simply couldn't look after it any more.

I did what I suggested above and it now looks good all year round. I doubt if I do more than 45 minutes maintenance per year for her on that large area . The maintenance includes a very occasional spraying of the gravel to keep down any weeds which germinate + a light prune of the plants/shrubs when required

Here's an aerial photo of the garden and you can see the gravel garden at the top of the photo

7 Aug, 2011


Hello and thank you very much .

I am so glad i discovered this site.

Anchorman, that garden is really fab! Yes i would love some plants like those although i am on very low budget due to my health problem so even £5 is a problem. Can i ask you how much the labour would cost for someone to cut the grass and lay the membrane (outskirts of london)?

Also can you or anyone else advise me on quanities? I've had a quick look and seems that some sites talk about L, others tones, others bulk bags. How much gravel does a bag contain and how much do i need for about 25 sq.m.?

What the cheapest place to get the gravel and the fabric?

Many thanks again to all.

8 Aug, 2011


You need to get several quotes with and without materials, as it is so easy to get ripped off?
Bamboo a member on here, does gardens in London if you send her a personal message I am sure she will be happy to give you some pointers re cost and amounts etc Good Luck.

8 Aug, 2011


It's very difficult to give you good answers on the questions you ask Not gardener.

It would depend on so many fasctors. eg how deep would you want the gravel. i often see figures 4 inches deep recommernded but unless you're going to be on it very regularly 2 inches would be quite sufficient. So there's a doubling/halving in cost depending on what you choose in both labour and materials.

Then is there anything required to keep the gravel in place ie a border?. If the gravel butts right up to a hedge or existing retaining wall/edge strip then there's no cost. If not the cost will vary enormously depending on what materials you use eg brick pavers/second hand bricks ,timber edging and precisely how they're laid etc.

I can't remember what the coverage rates are for gravel( I've not done any of this sort of work for about 5 years) but you'll easily find these on line or a builders merchant would advise you.

Gravels vary in price enormously but if you choose the simple beige coloured gravel commonly seen on drive ways that is the cheapest. ( As long as you're going to have plants in amongst the gravel it will still look attractive )

Get it from a local builders merchant not a garden centre as builders merchants are much cheaper. Go for good sized gravel because cats will use fine gravel as a toilet!

I bought mine delivered in 1 tonne bags for (I think) £35 per tonne about 5 years ago.

As for the membrane I bought mine from a wholesale suppiler of products for nurseries

Once again there are different types. The one I used will last virtually indefinitely. Because it was such a big area I bought a 100 metre roll four metres wide for if I remember correctly about £120.(30p per square metre) Obviously you need much less and you should be able to get it from a DIY shed or big garden centre but it will probably cost at least £1 a metre.... sorry I've not checked lately

If you go for a 2 inch covering and don't require complex edging I'd agree with DRC above that a day or less labour for one person would be sufficient.

Hourly rates vary enormously and I don't know what they are on the outskirts of London. In my area ( North cambrdgeshire /Lincolnshire border )the cheapest would be about £10 per hour (an odd job man) the most expensive £20-25 per hour .

So in summary

1. Decide how deep you want the gravel

2 Go to a builders merchant armed with the square meterage you want to cover and they'll tell you how much you need.

3 Go to a DIY shed/big garden centre to get membrane prices

4. Decide what edging (if any ) you require and cost that up at a DIY shed/garden centre/builders merchant. The edging could easily be the most expensive part of this so think carefully about it

This will give yo the total materials cost (excluding plants)

Then get some quotes for labour only or labour + materials ( at least 3) If you're not requiring complex edging any half decent DIY type or odd job man can do this very simple job or better still do as DRC suggested and find a fit young teenager to do it for you.

If you get a proper landscaper in they'll probably charge an arm and a leg!

Here's another photo showing a customer of mines front gravel garden.

When I took it on it was extraordinarily bleak... just gravel with no planting at all. The addition of a few plants and tubs improved it no end and it is very low maintenance. The front garden is probably about the same size as yours and I doubt I spend more than 30 minutes a year on it + a bit more to fill and empty the tubs.

I wou'dn't recommend tubs because they require regular watering but if you can manage that fine. Otherwise plant in the ground and they'll require minimal attention.

On edit:

I found some more gravel gardens I've either designed or look after.. they might give you some ideas

8 Aug, 2011


Lovely, thank you both very very much!

Now i promise you this will be my last question: how can i send message to Bamboo?

8 Aug, 2011


Go to the search box top right of this page and enter 'Bamboo's profile' and it will come up in a list click on it and at the top of her profile it says 'leave a private message' If you find it does not work for you? let me know on this page.

8 Aug, 2011


Ah ok.

Thank you very much for all the help x

If i do it i will post a pic!

8 Aug, 2011


OH yes please do .

8 Aug, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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