Tuesday 25 January 2011

Moving Mountains

On Saturday, Garden Dad levelled all the pathways around the raised beds ready for laying weed fabric. Garden Girl and Garden Boy helped out for short bursts, heading in and out of the house as they became cold and tired. Garden Lass and I stayed clean and warm indoors, supplying hot drinks and warming food for the workers outside.

Then on Sunday, we swapped and, donned in my wellies and leg warmers, I set about flattening the mountain of soil that had grown in the middle of our lawn. I had no little garden helpers, whose attention was drawn away from the garden by the distraction of Hello Kitty on the play station. I don't blame them. It is tough work moving a mountain!

The soil was wet and compacted and it stuck, in large clumps, to every tool I tried to use. I tried shovels, forks, trowels, rakes and even at one point my hands. But eventually, and with much satisfaction, the mountain was laid flat. The result is that we now have a more even lawn, that is level along the bottom edge and, although it is by no means a croquet lawn, it is certainly much flatter than it was early on Sunday morning.

There is now a large patch of bare soil in the bottom right hand corner of the lawn, over which we will scatter lawn seed this coming weekend. I am sure that spring time is probably a better time to sow grass seed but we would like some growth there as soon as possible, to make the garden slightly less muddy. We are not expecting the perfect lawn from our sowing and we are aware we will probably have to resow to fill patches in spring, but some covering early in the year will make a difference. My biggest concern is that the birds will eat all the seeds before they have a chance to germinate so on Saturday, before we scatter the seed, our Little Garden Helpers will be attaching rags to sticks, to wave like pirate flags, scaring away the birds. And I think we will make a family of grass heads as well. I can't resist.


  1. Looks great! Lawns are great. Interested that yours stays green over winter. When I was living in Colorado (much colder I guess) the lawns all died over winter, so spring was marked by everyone rushing out to make their lawn happy!

    We've had success with propagating lawn by transplants- taking narrow bits from happy bits of the lawn (which quickly replace them) and planting them in the bare patches. I guess it depends on the grass variety etc. If you're not out much, the other option would be to seed, water and then cover with some clear plastic. Then if you get any sun the ground will warm up a little and the germinating seed will be protected.

  2. Hello, I'm a freelance journalist working on a story about people who have turned their gardens into veg patches, would be very interested to talk to you, if you wouldn't mind getting in touch? I'm at mail at clairecoleman dot com - would be great to hear from you. Many thanks, Claire

  3. Garden Mum - I don't think seeds will germinate until weather and soil a lot warmer. Wait at least until March (preferably hang on to April if you can) - otherwise the seed will all have been wasted. On the other hand - if you really can't wait let me know if successful because we have newly cleared areas waiting for grass seed here too.

  4. Hi

    Thanks for the tips re. grass seeds. I think we might give it a try early. There are enough seeds in our packet to cover the space a few times over so if it doesn't work we can try again. Laying clear plastic over the top to keep it warm is a good idea. I'll be happy with just a small amount of growth - if it makes the mud patch slightly less muddy!

  5. Hi - the clear plastic will probably make all the difference provided you can anchor it securely. Plus it will keep the birds from eating all the seed! I think the area we want to seed is too big for plastic (the whole of the former front path plus largish area of levelled out hilly part) so we'll have to wait until it gets a bit warmer. Hope you get lots of lovely green shoots xxxx