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I want to get rid of my gravel garden!

(16 Posts)
bananaskinsnomnom Fri 11-Oct-19 20:25:25

My whole garden (front and back - it continuously stretches round the side) is gravel and I’ve come to hate it.
I had a thread a few months back asking for advice as I had grass and weeds and all sorts growing up it as it wasn’t laid well by the previous owners. A lot of back labour and weed killer solved that issue.
Not quite so fussed about the front but would love to clear the back at least. It’s not huge, approx 6 meters by 4. So has anyone experience in this:
- paying for it to be removed? Does this service even exist and how much did it cost?
- has anyone removed it all themselves?

The outer edge (about a foot around 3 sides) is soil behind a short wooden edge which can stay put, ideally ide then like fake grass over the rest. I know the deal with fake grass and am happy with it.

Is shovelling all the gravel into bags and hiring a skip to chuck it all, then getting someone in to so the grass and groundwork for me a realistic idea or is it going to take me a stupid amount of time and energy? Or could a landscaper come in and do it? But will this set me back thousands? (I don’t have a huge budget for the garden- it’s the last part of my house I’m working on!)

cakeandchampagne Fri 11-Oct-19 23:50:18

Maybe you could list it as free somewhere and someone who wants gravel could remove it?

BobTheDuvet Sat 12-Oct-19 08:27:06

Yeah - I'd definitely offer it on freecycle/freegle or local fb pages. Initially list for someone to come and bag up themselves. If you don't get any response you could then bag it and list again.

TiddleTaddleTat Sat 12-Oct-19 08:29:54

Please don't put down artificial grass!
Detrimental to wildlife sad

Bluntness100 Sat 12-Oct-19 08:34:41

Any decent patio or ground work company will be able to bring a digger in, remove all the top layers, and then flatten etc,

Disfordarkchocolate Sat 12-Oct-19 08:40:23

Currently doing this for part of our back garden (about 13 square metres). It's hard work and as the membrane underneath was old lots of gravel has gone through in patches. Time-wise (if we hadn't stopped for rain) bagging up the majority of the gravel was fairly quick, now we have to get rid of it!! This will be harder as it's so heavy.

There are plenty of low work solutions without putting plastic all over the garden. We're planning a wildflower meadow, one that will need to be cut once a year.

greathat Sat 12-Oct-19 08:42:32

Please don't use fake grass. The planet is fucked enough as it is without choosing to cover it in plastic sad

bananaskinsnomnom Sat 12-Oct-19 09:28:08

Hmmmm- ok now I feel bad about fake grass! How hard is it to lay real grass? (Will also have to buy a shed for a lawn mower!)
Thank you for the advice, this is gonna be a few days of mad shovelling!

TiddleTaddleTat Sat 12-Oct-19 09:46:47

Don't shovel til you've listed on Freecycle/Facebook etc! I've been very grateful to a few people letting me take gravel, slate chips, and rockery stones for free from their gardens. I've always come and bagged up and transported to my car myself - sometimes they've helped, not always. People are usually so happy to avoid having to pay for this stuff, you're happy to get rid - win win!

MereDintofPandiculation Sat 12-Oct-19 10:22:17

Even a well laid gravel garden with a good membrane under will eventually have weeds, as blown in soil and leaf debris will slowly accumulate on top of the membrane, and gravel itself makes an ideal germination bed. A lot of garden "solutions" are based on the idea that we all move house every few years, and will completely re-do the garden in the new house. So no-one worries what will happen in 25 years time.

Even fake grass will eventually accumulate soil. Also - some people were having trouble this summer - natural grass stays cool in sunshine, fake grass does not - it reaches the same sort of temperatures as tarmac pavements.

How deep is your gravel? Is there a membrane under it? What is your soil like? If you have clay soil, only a couple of inches of gravel, and no membrane, it might be worth simply digging in the gravel to improve drainage (hire a rotivator).

Disfordarkchocolate Sat 12-Oct-19 11:50:09

Laying grass isn't hard but the prep is time-consuming. You can get quite a few weeks of someone cutting your grass for you for the price of a shed and lawnmower.

TheAlternativeTentacle Sat 12-Oct-19 11:52:43

What is the soil like underneath?
What are you planning on using the space for?
You know weeds grow anywhere? If you want a sterile space, then perhaps outside isn't for you.

bananaskinsnomnom Sat 12-Oct-19 13:58:55

I’ve said before, I’m useless when it comes to gardening! But yes I do know weeds can grow everywhere - the space is simply garden! Hoping to have children in the near future, my nephew uses it, not really planning on putting much on as it’s a small space. So playing space and just a garden if you get me. I have flowers and such around the edge in the soil. I would just like to walk across my garden without hurting my feet! This is my long term home - I can’t see myself moving, certainly not in the next few years!

It’s about 2 inches deep gravel wise in parts (it’s a bit deeper at the front of my house) - I think it’s too much to bury - at least if I don’t remove some. I’m going to follow suggestions and offer it for free online and go from there.

There is a membrane which is poorly laid, hence my thoughts to start again! The soil seems ok, certainly capable of growing things! I’m planted multiple things around the edge which come up great.

frostedviolets Sun 13-Oct-19 12:54:45

You could try thrift instead of grass.
It needs no mowing, weeds don't tend to grow in it.
Has very pretty pink or white Pom Pom flowers for much of the year.

frostedviolets Sun 13-Oct-19 12:59:07

This is thrift, sometimes called sea pink.

The leaves are very grasslike, I have it in my garden and it's very easy.
Evergreen and low growing.

I don't know how it might stand up to heavy running on it but I do stand on mine sometimes and it doesn't mind.

frostedviolets Sun 13-Oct-19 13:08:20

Or you could try a trenague camomile lawn, that also needs no mowing, evergreen and has no flowers so it's more like a normal lawn.

I think camomile is meant to be in a sunny spot but thrift does alright in a shady spot, I have mine in dappled sunlight.

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