How to rescue 10 Week Old Turf Dying A Slow Death....

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Airwalk, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Airwalk

    Airwalk Apprentice Gardener

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    So as mentioned i purchased a new build property 10 weeks ago and with it came nice newly laid turf.

    I religiously followed the instructions given to water lawn daily for first few weeks and then as needed based on weather.

    Over this time i have noticed that the grass is becoming ever thinner with lots of brown dead grass at the root all over the lawn. There are still green grass growing through which grows at a rapid rate and from a distance still looks relatively green until you get up close and look down then you see that it is getting thinner by the week and the brown grass at the root is getting denser.

    I have no idea what is causing the problem I can't see that whatit was under watered as you will see the remaining grass is quite green? And not knowing what the issue is leaves me unsure what i should do to rectify? Should i try to remove all the dead grass/scarify or is that totally wrong with a new turf, or should i try to seed over what i have?

    I have attached a few pics in the hope that to an experienced eye it may be an obvious error on my part.

    I am totally new to gardening or lawn care and welcome any constructive criticism or advice from you knowledgeable bunch.
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  2. WeeTam

    WeeTam Total Gardener

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    I would guess the soil under the lawn may be your problem. So many new builds have buildrrs rubbles and poor quality "dirt" chucked into the "garden" and turf is put over it.

    May be worth removing a small square of turf and having a look at the material underneath it.

    If it looks like soil rather than crushed rubble then i would give it an autumn feed, keep it moist,feed again in spring etc . I wouldnt scarify it because the roots wont have had tine to fully develop and knit together.
     
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    • Airwalk

      Airwalk Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks for taking the time to reply and i think you may have a point, looking at the un-turfed garden next door it is does look like a post apocalyptic dumping ground with hard compacted dirt and masonry rubbish. So to presume the builders took the time to top soil properly is foolhardy.

      So let's look at worst case scenario if your thoughts are right and it is laid over poor quality ground, am I looking at having to rip up and start from scratch or would you say i could still try Autumn feeding etc... Or am i just being too hopeful with that idea.
       
    • daitheplant

      daitheplant Total Gardener

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      Like all plants, grass needs to put down new roots. While doing this the top growth gets neglected. It should recover over the next couple of months.
       
    • Liz the pot

      Liz the pot Super Gardener

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      Some builds where turfing is completed are done by contracted landscapers so while next door looks like a mess unless you carefully lift and look at a small section you will never know. Other times it’s just laid by the building company but normally just looking at the turf that’s laid tells you who done the job.
      I would hold back on the Autumn feed and let the turf settle in. It can take a long time for turf to establish and when you consider all the variables involved like your tap waters ph level, quality of turf, preparation and so on it can take a long time.
      What you want is good old rain. Keep the cut high to encourage root growth and let it develop its roots.
      The rule is cut no more than a third and when you cut this has a knock on effect where it can stop root growth so you want to take as little off as possible on the cut.
      Don’t scarify or be tempted to rake it, just let it keep going as it is.
      Your other picture looks like it could be red thread, not uncommon to see this and the way to check is you will see a reddish tinge but some of the tips will have a red or bright pink tip. Normally it’s due to moist humid conditions and you would try to restrict water but in your case as it’s new turf you need to keep the turf from drying out. It’s unsightly but will do on its own accord but will pop up when conditions suit. Have a careful look to see if you can spot any signs and let us know. Also look for webbing on the grass early morning or any type of white floss early morning.
       
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        Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
      • Airwalk

        Airwalk Apprentice Gardener

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        I definitely will take a look underneath to see the situation, although have to say the turf has rooted quite well and wont lift up easily but I will take a look in one of the corners of the garden to be sure.

        With regards to mowing, I did first mow after 6 weeks and had blade on second highest setting but did notice afterwards the problem seemed to worsen although it may have just been that the longer green blades were hiding it better. Since then the green grass seems to grow rather quickly (although the green grass is losing density it seems to grow rather fast) and I have since mowed fortnightly, but will take on board everyone's comments regarding the need to keep longer and cut on the higher setting and less frequently.

        Not noticed a reddish tinge or red/pink tips to the blades will have a closer look this evening, but I have seen a white floss material on the lawn some mornings, not widespread but dotted about in a few small patches randomly across the lawn, also noticed occasional mushrooms appearing again not in one specific area or widespread but just here and there in small patches, they are very shallowly rooted (no more than a couple of mm into the surface) and I remove as I see them, but not sure if that is significant?
         
      • Airwalk

        Airwalk Apprentice Gardener

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        Forgot to mention, totally appreciate everyone's comments, it feels like a rather steep learning curve and under the added pressure of ruining £800 worth of turf, of which my better half was against from the outset wanting to seed ourselves and me opting for what I thought was the easier option. HA!! So I am genuinely grateful for you all taking the time to offer your feedback.
         
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        • Liz the pot

          Liz the pot Super Gardener

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          Thanks for letting me know you have seen white floss.
          Have a look at this as it sounds like Fusarium and you can then confirm it.

          Fusarium Patch Disease | Rolawn Information Centre

          As with many lawn diseases there maybe a second one hiding away, it’s not uncommon. The sign of seeing a Webb like structure relates to a few diseases like dollar spot but could be associated with Fusarium but to be honest over the internet it’s very hard to discover what diseases are present in the lawn unless I was on site.
          Seeing white floss does indicate a disease though so not all what you are seeing is natural turf establishment issues.
           
        • Airwalk

          Airwalk Apprentice Gardener

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          Yes, totally appreciate that any advice is without physically viewing the lawn and the limitations the causes, nonetheless appreciate all suggestions.

          I did lift up a corner of the turf (most of the lawn is stuck down solid regardless of the brown grass at root, but found a corner that i could gently lift), have to say underneath the turf was fairly compacted hard earth, the small area i could see had no rubble or debris but was hard and didn't look like loose soil. Maybe this explains some of the issues along with the possible disease, im presuming this harder earth restricts drainage when i water would that cause the grass to possibly rot and also why i see mushrooms appearing shallowly across the lawn (happy to be corrected if this is not likely).

          Anyway if we say i have this issue with poor quality earth under the turf and the disease how can i best care for the turf. Can i improve the undersoil or drainage without removing turf, does disease need treating or can nature fix on its own given right conditions. Could the undersoil be exacerbating the disease?
           
        • Liz the pot

          Liz the pot Super Gardener

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          If it’s fusarium it’s best not to feed.
          The soil underneath does need to be firm and around 150mm of topsoil is required. No idea what’s under your topsoil though but it’s probably a combination of several factors.
          It could have been present in the turf, the conditions suited the disease and as the cooler weather hits it should fade away. There is treatment but I would let it run it’s course at the moment.
          Grass has a ph level where it grows best, watering the lawn can say higher the ph level and the turf responds. In your case you had to water. If you do need to water try early morning only so the top has chance to dry out.
          Mushrooms do pop on at times, could be something under the turf but they too will vanish soon.
          Just keep an eye on the lawn and only water if needed and early morning.
           
        • Airwalk

          Airwalk Apprentice Gardener

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          Ok, will follow this course of action and see how things go, thanks for all your help and everyone else's input. I will report back at some point once I have given things time to develop. Ta. :blue thumb:
           
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