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Not strictly a lawn but presume principle the same.

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by silu, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. silu

    silu gardening easy...hmmm

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    I have just bought 5kg of grass seed to sow an area of about 1/4 acre of hellish ground in the hope of getting the grass to take and create additional grazing....well make the area green will do!
    I will be sowing by hand and have some sharp type sand which I thought might be a good idea to mix with the seed to enable me to sow the seed better. I know pretty well how to sow ie up and down and then across the area but wondering how much sand to mix with the seed? I'm going to split the seed I have bought into 6 separate portions for 3 lots across and 3 up and down as could easily see me sowing all of it in too small an area. By splitting the seed up I reckon I can gauge how much is needed better, just not sure how much sand to mix in. Hope someone can advise, thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mike Allen

    Mike Allen Gardener

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    Hello Silu.So you have a problem. Firstly do your maths and calculate how much seed you require. Work on the basis of land area=1/4 of an acre. An acre =4840 sq.yds. Divide this by 4. That will give you your 1/4 acre area. Now you need to calculate amount of seed required. As rule of thumb, sowing grass seed has long been 4 ozs per sq.yd. These figures are relative to groundsmens practices.
    You mention the area is for grazing. Perhaps soil preparation is being left by the wayside. You perhaps want a nice grassy are for the pony nibble on.

    Choice of seed. For grazing you really need a wild selection. Waste of money buying the best lawn seed. Get the wild, natural mix. Now then. You seem to suggest the soil/land etc is difficult. Methods of sowing. Broadcasting is ofeten used. This implies, using a shovel or mechanical device to swing out and distribute the seed. This remains your choice. If I may suggest. Calculate the area and seed rquired. Now double the seed quantity required. Line out the area in say linnea yards or meters. Of you can get hild of a seed spreader, do so. TOTALLY forget the use of sand. Sowing seed with sand only applies to very fine seed. Finally remember. Although wild ares seem to flourish. It will take about four years for your plot to become grazable.
     
  3. Jiffy

    Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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    Ack local farmer if he/she has a fiddle grass seeder (but don't use sand in the fiddle it may break the bow sand to heavy)
    As it would be the best way, if broadcasting by hand just put a bit more seed on (wont heart), i've never use sand, add a bit more seed and rake well in and keep watered

    One like this, pic from net
    upload_2018-8-15_8-12-14.jpeg
     
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      Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      I once made a large lawn ....well, sowed a large area of grass....and simply used seed. Not mixed with sand, compost or anything.:noidea: I have, like a lot of people, made many lawns and adding sand was never felt necessary.

      Silu, you clearly know enough or given it enough thought to do it effectively....i.e. Sowing half one way then half the other as well as dividing the seed into appropriate portions. The right time of year too, esp with conditions cooling a little. Hand spreading grass seed is very much a rhythmic thing and I find it easier and better than using a spreader or anything else. Not a thing to overthink I feel.:) On that "hellish" ground some seed will take and some will not regardless of how you spread the seed or whatever you add to it:)
       
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      • silu

        silu gardening easy...hmmm

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        Thanks all for you input, sounds like my sand idea is not a good 1!.
        @Mike Allen your advice is very detailed and good of you to bother. The area is pretty much 100% subsoil:yikes:, it has taken 2 seasons of blood sweat and tears to remove as much rocks and stones we can do so had to laugh at your comment about preparation:). We have done our absolute upmost to get it as good as possible hurling manure and grass cuttings at it but it is quite a big area and not sure that has made much of a difference.
        The seed I have bought is specifically for paddock repair areas so no fine seed and the amount is what the company I bought it from recommended. I actually got 10 kg in case many of the areas don't take due to compaction. The seed is a mixture of Timothy, 2 different Ryegrasses and Red Fescue. Because of the ground's poor structure even newly dug ground re-compacts pretty quickly after rain. However, I am slightly hopeful I'll get some growth if the number of grass seed "weeds" that happily germinate in areas where you'd think nothing would grow is anything to go by.
        I have been gardening in big gardens for over 30 years and this "project" has all but killed me! I now have 2 approx 30ft long x4ft thick x about 2ft high stone dwarf walls (didn't dare make then higher as they may well not be that stable due to zero cement being used!...I do not have shares in Blue Circle). I also got 2 huge pits dug to take stone... now full.
        it would have been very much easier to have got topsoil brought in but....funny how there is a but, the access to the area in question is not that good for large lorries and it would entail going through another paddock which would have done that area no favours. If I had known the summer was going to be a drought I might have risked it but if it had been wet I would have destroyed a perfectly good field to make a small in comparison area better so didn't seem worth the risk. That is also presuming bought in topsoil was just that and not rubbish.
        Thank you @Jiffy, I will ask my 3 nearest farmers if they have 1 but hae me doots as I never seen them do anything by hand these days:rolleyespink:. All work seems to be done at breakneck speed in massive very very expensive tractors.
        @Marley Farley again thanks, had a look at the spreader. Does it have a lid to keep the grass seed from coming out of the top? The area to be seeded is not flat and still has some small stone on the surface so the spreader would bounce up and down a bit. Also how much seed does it take? looks a definite possibility if it will cope with less than flat lawn type areas and could well be useful to over sow the other paddocks where poached.
        Thanks too @Verdun well my idea of sand is definitely a no then which is what I wanted to find out. I have sown small areas before with ok results but this is a much bigger deal so to speak. I have some dead (tried sowing a wee bit and nothing) grass seed dated 2006 so no wonder it is dead! I think I might practise sowing that on our driveway and see how to get a good technique in sowing reasonably evenly. Knowing my luck the stuff will germinate and I'll have to get the weedkiller out:). The most important thing which I cannot control is the weather. If I sow the grass and then it stays dry (can't artificially water the area) and windy then I expect the whole lot to end up in Norway...time will tell.
         
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          Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          @silu no that one doesn’t have a lid I am afraid but you could easily cover with plastic and hold it on with elastic.. ;)
           
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          • Jack McHammocklashing

            Jack McHammocklashing Sludgemariner

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            Oh Silu
            I bought wild bird seed and put it in the feeders, the birds chucked most of it out
            Now unfortunately for me I have grass and wheat growing at six inches a week beneath the feeders, even without the rain
            If I had a horse it would have been the best £15 I had spent :-)
            Oh and two cannabis plants
             
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            • Jack McHammocklashing

              Jack McHammocklashing Sludgemariner

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              @silu what I was intimating was a 20kg bag of wild bird seed would give you six inches of grazing a week for a £18 pound bag of wild bird seed
              I can not keep on top of the stuff coming up from mine and that was just the discarded seed the birds decided was below them
              Even without the rain I was having to mow every seven days
               
            • silu

              silu gardening easy...hmmm

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              :) I can lend you a grey thing on 4 legs if you like. He would scoff the lot in a blink of an eye @Jack McHammocklashing.
               
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                Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
              • silu

                silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                Well the ghastly job of trying to turn a complete disaster area of about 1/4 acre back into a field is finished at last. It has taken me 2 years of blood, sweat, swearing and tears to achieve. All that is left to do is :fingers crossed: watch the grass seed germinate and manage to grow on the dreadful "soil". I am hopeful as weeds certainly grew on the area with monotonous regularity.
                Of all the jobs I have tackled in my life which is a fair few including 2 huge total restorations of buildings this project was the worst.
                It is maybe difficult to see from the photos just how much stone has been taken off the area. There are 2 pits of approx 15ftx8ft x 4ft deep which are full of stone plus the stone walls plus there are 5 mounds of stones maybe 4ft high under various trees! I wonder if in maybe a couple of hundred years these works will be discovered and people will wonder what stone age tribe (idiots) did them:).
                if anybody thinks they can't clear away builders rubble from their gardens, yes you can, I am now a begrudgingly knowledgeable person on just how hard it is but with determination and bloody mindedness an old bird did it so no excuses:snorky:.
                The photos aren't that clear of "before" as they were taken at the last minute before the huge earth mover got going but hopefully shows just how dreadful the area was.Photo 5 shows just maybe 1% of the stone taken off the area. Photo 6 shows 1 of the pits full of stone. Thanks to everybody who offered advice as this was more of an agricultural rather than horticultural task!
                061.JPG064.JPG067.JPG068.JPG057.JPG
                055.JPG060.JPG054.JPG
                 
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                • Marley Farley

                  Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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                  Wow @silu we certainly can see the time and effort put into that project and I agree, rather a mammoth nightmare, but fabulous now..!! All that hard work was certainly worth the effort..! :SUNsmile::yay::hapfeet:
                   
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                  • silu

                    silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                    Thank you @Marley Farley . Definitely not to be repeated and I am lying in a darkened room for the next fortnight to recover:). A GC member visited me last week and perhaps was a little surprised at my huge garden looking a fair old mess in places. The above is why! Hopefully i will be able to bring some sort of order to it before winter sets in. If not there is that "famous" gardening expression about there is always next year:rolleyespink:.
                     
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                    • Redwing

                      Redwing Wild Gardener

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                      @silu , I missed this thread; how that happened I don’t know. You’ve done it girl! :hapfeet:Well done! When you’ve recovered in your darkened room, in about two weeks you can wake up to a nice green paddock. Then just think of all that lovely stone you can make a dry stone wall with.
                       
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                      • silu

                        silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                        I never want to see stones ever again and as for building anymore walls that is a definite NO:). For months I've been counting stones rather than sheep if having trouble getting to sleep. Thanks for your kind words @Redwing, you were very encouraging and helpful when I started the marathon project.
                         
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