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Remove small lawn, using plastic? Garden advice required


 
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Ally336
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 21 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Remove small lawn, using plastic? Garden advice required Reply with quote

Hi....as I am new to this site and gardening I was wondering if anyone can advise me on the following... I have a small lawn at the front of my house and it has been untended for a number of weeks. What I want to do over the weekend is remove the grass either by cutting it and killing it with weedkiller or by digging it up and replacing it with a black garden liner where I can cover with coloured stone etc.,

Any advice would be much appreciated

Thanks


Ailish


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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
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Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:06 pm    Post subject: black plastic Reply with quote

Ailish. Welcome to the site. I don't want to sound negative but you seem to want to cover over your front garden with stone or slabs? I am very opposed to this kind of plan in principle. Here in England, hundreds of thousands of 'front gardens' have been concreted over to give parking spaces etc and it is causing an ecological disaster. I know it's less of a problem for Ireland but I don't approve.

Having said that, you asked for advice! If the lawn is reasonably flat why not put the black plastic sheet down directly? There is no reason why you have to dig out the lawn or kill the grass with weedkiller. The total lack of sunlight will ensure that anything growing under the plastic will die and nothing new will grow. That will save you a load of time and unnecessary work. Once the plastic is in place and smoothed out you can lay the slabs directly. Just be careful not to cut or tear the plastic as you go.

I'll be murdered for saying this but wot de eck

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Re: black plastic Reply with quote

walltoall wrote:

Having said that, you asked for advice! If the lawn is reasonably flat why not put the black plastic sheet down directly? There is no reason why you have to dig out the lawn or kill the grass with weedkiller. The total lack of sunlight will ensure that anything growing under the plastic will die and nothing new will grow. That will save you a load of time and unnecessary work. Once the plastic is in place and smoothed out you can lay the slabs directly. Just be careful not to cut or tear the plastic as you go.


Quite right walltoall.
Just to add Ally336, and to avoid confusion, the material to be laid in that instance should block light completely.
In this case 500 gauge black plastic film would do followed by a 2 to 3 inch layer of chips.
If you instead lay one of the porous landscape fabrics from you garden centre such as plantex or mypex, these can allow light through, which can then encourage regrowth of the grass through the fabric.

You may actually have to begin by cutting the lawn as low as you can, then step back for a look.
Ask yourself at the height that it is, will a layer of plastic film covered by chips result in chips falling out over kerbs onto walkways and driveways. If it looks like this will happen, then you should scrape off grass and soil to bring you to a desired level before you go any further.

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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
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Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:39 pm    Post subject: Advice on killing a lawn with unkindness Reply with quote

Following what I was saying and GPIs welcome addition, there is a further very useful bit of advice. I have the paths around my tiny garden gravelled in small flinty gravel and apart from some therapeutic weeding it is maintenance free. When setting up the paths some years ago, I realised that weeds/plants would find it harder to establish if the ground under the gravel was very compacted. In my case I used a 'post tamper' turned upside down and filled with water to make a sort of very heavy pile driver which compact the undersoil almost to rock status. (My garden is London Clay). You might consider as a very first manoeuvre, the rolling of the area with a heavy roller (providing it is possible.) Following GPIs advice regarding totally opaque plastic AND a very compacted surface may optimise what you want to achieve and stabilise the surface so that when the slabs bed in they do not go wonky. The bedding in process can go on for a considerable time and be aware you can roll the surface after installation (unless it is concrete :D
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a very old aunt living in sheltered housing and she wanted to get rid of her lawn out the back because she had become unable to mow and for it to be replaced with shingle.

The first problem is: how do you get rid of the lawn and four inches of topsoil? That's the biggest problem.

I was lucky in this respect as there was a farmer's field behind her rear garden wall and over three weekends I dug up the lawn and fired it over the wall. I then put down 5' by 4' sheets of hardboard on top of the subsoil and wheel barrowed a load of peagravel around the house and up on top of the hardboard. Two years later not ONE weed has peeked up through the gravel. Also there isn't the slightest evidence of a lawn tossed over the wall into the field behind now!
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walltoall
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Joined: 25 Aug 2008
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Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:48 pm    Post subject: Lateral thinking will always get you results Reply with quote

Hi KindredSpirit, I'm killing myself laughing as I see you heaving the old lawn across the divide. You're my kind of person. The difference between a challenge and a problem is the the problem does not have a ready solution. The challenge has, but it may not have yet been applied. Keep it up my man. Guys like you are what keep this earth revolving.
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