Changing my backyard of gravel to lawn

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by handsomeBwonderful, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. handsomeBwonderful

    handsomeBwonderful Member

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    Toronto, ON
    Hello,

    I'm in Toronto, Ontario. I am a new home owner and looking for some advice.

    My backyard is currently gravel but I would like to change it to a lawn.

    Right now there about an inch worth of gravel, covered with a thin carpet of leafs left over from last fall. As well as weeds, weeds, weeds. (A few weeds)

    I was wondering as to the best plan of attack for this transformation. Some questions I have:

    Do I need to remove the stones, or perhaps till the ground?

    Should I just cover everything with topsoil, (or something else maybe)?

    Do I need to remove the leaves or is it best to leave them?

    I am eager to get started but want to do it right, right from the start.

    I appreciate any advice as I am a novice to gardening/landscaping.

    Thank you in advance!

    Shawn
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I'd remove the stones and then just rake the soil to loosen it a bit. If you want to add topsoil, go right ahead, but it's not strictly necessary. Leaves will provide a nice mulch for the new sods, but you might find it hard to take up the gravel without removing them as well....
     
  3. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Are you seeding the soil or buying the mats they seem to use here to make instant lawn? If seeding, needs a bit of work to get it cleaned up. Not sure if the instant turf is laid by the provider.

    Liz
     
  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    It can go both ways in Canada. I'd say the best is to let the pros do it, because they have the big sod-rolling wheely-pressy-thingies, and I don't.
     
  5. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    you'll need to remove the gravel. well, the majority of it anyway. a little bit, here and there, turned over into the soil won't matter.

    if you do this yourself, do it in sections so that you're not overwhelmed!! taking up the gravel will be work - 4-letter word all caps!! and if you try to it all at once, you'll quickly become discouraged. so, piece by piece would be what i would do. split the area in four and do one section now, one in the fall and then the last two next spring/fall.

    if you hire a contractor, they can get it done all in one shot...will be costly though.
     
  6. karmahappytoes

    karmahappytoes Active Member

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    Location:
    Felida, WA USA (NW of the other Vancouver in USA)
    handsomeBwonderful, it really depends on the cost and your time as to how to go about this. Do you have an idea how you want to landscape this or is this all going into just grass? Have you talked to a landscaper and priced out sod or what type of grass seed works best up there? We here have found that putting in a lawn works best in the fall. Yell if you want a few ideas.
     
  7. handsomeBwonderful

    handsomeBwonderful Member

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    Thank you everyone for your thoughts and ideas on this project.

    Right now I am seeding my front lawn, (it was originally a rock garden). Depending on the results from that, I will either seed the backyard or use sod. I spoke the local gardening center about the type of grass to use and will do the same regarding sod if need be.

    This is an ongoing project for me so I agree it's best to do it in parts so as to not get discouraged, (Thank you for the idea Joclyn!)

    Right now, there are a multitude of shoots coming up from the ground. They look like tiny maple trees. My neighbour's has a large maple tree which is nearby. I have heard these shoots spring from the roots of a larger tree and was wondering if they would grow to become full grown maples as well. If that was the case, I would consider keeping some and not rooting them out with the weeds. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    Right now, my backyard looks like a parking lot and I would like to begin it's transformation back into green. I am hoping to have it slowly evolve over the years with some attention and guidance.

    First step: lawn by the patio stones, close to the house. Farther out, I would like some trees and if I can help these tiny maples, that would be great.
     
  8. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I suspect they may be Maple seedlings. If they are you could pot them up and plant them where you really want them. Or are there maples that make suckers like Liquid ambers? [Styraciflua ]
    Liz
     

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