Lawn Rescue Advice Please!

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by iam007, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. iam007

    iam007 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,

    Your advice please... and apologies for asking what so many other people have already asked, but I wanted to ask about a few specific points.

    Basically, we have a lot of patches of grass which look to be dead or dying and I'm looking for some advice on how to revive it.

    IMG_20160917_170430.jpgIMG_20160917_170544~2.jpg

    Firstly, our soil is mostly clay... to give some idea of the local clay content, the park next to us is based in the old quarry for a brick works! I can't get a fork or hollow-tine aerator into the ground at the moment, its solid; the ground has to be soaked over winter to even think about it. I believe that hollow-tine aerating and filling the holes with sharp sand would help, but I can't do this at present, unless someone has some advice there?

    Secondly, and I guess its related to the first point, is that I've found seeding the ground pretty hard going, the seed doesn't seem to take hold. There are a few spots where I've done stuff like take up a paving stone that was on the lawn or an area that had been turned into concrete mound by ants, so I've turned the soil and put new seed down... and the grass there is far healthier. So could that be that the thatch has gotten too thick, or simply that the ground is so tough that the seed isn't getting into the soil?

    Any advice greatly received!

    Thanks!
    Phil
     
  2. WeeTam

    WeeTam Total Gardener

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    Do you water it regularly as it looks like its dried out. The hedges surrounding it will be taking every last drop of moisture out of it also.
    Unless you can get more water into it reseeding will be pointless.Maybe consider reducing the lawn size (water the remaining patch) and planting up drought tolerant plants instead . ?
     
  3. daitheplant

    daitheplant Total Gardener

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    Phil, 2 questions, has the area always been a lawn or has there been features there before? What have you got the blade set on, because I think you are cutting it too short.
     
  4. iam007

    iam007 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi, thanks for the responses!

    Yes it's watered pretty regularly, I should maybe keep a track of it so I can be a bit more regimented with it. The hedges drinking up all the water never occurred to me.

    The lawn, so far as I'm aware, has always been as it is now, we bought the house off a couple in their 80s who won't have changed anything for a decade or two... The lawn looked great when we got here though, annoyed with myself for not maintaining their legacy!! (But we have two young kids taking up all our time and energy!!).

    The blade is set on 4.5 and the grass was cut immediately before taking those photos, not sure how to covert that setting into real money... Not sure if that setting means the same thing on all mowers?
     
  5. WeeTam

    WeeTam Total Gardener

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    Have you been feeding it.Maybe its just exhausted,again hedges taking all the nutrients out.Or maybe you had a leatherjacket investation and the grass roots have been muched/?
     
  6. HarryS

    HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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    Looks to be cut very short to me and also dry. Difficult to water a lawn so big.
    A good scarifying , reseed and top dress should bring it back - but this takes time and money for a large lawn.
     
  7. iam007

    iam007 Apprentice Gardener

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    To be honest, I've only fed it once recently, could be that. What would be the best thing to put on now? I have a summer feed and an autumn one... Given the change in weather, guessing the autumn one!

    How do you tell if you have leatherjackets? Is it a case of digging to see if you find grubs?

    Thanks!
     
  8. iam007

    iam007 Apprentice Gardener

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    So, as daft as it might sound, I have a scarifier that has a changeable blade and rake attachments, but I've never worked out which one is right for what task. When you say, "a good scarifying" would that be the blade attachment? And what depth do you set this to? Are the blades meant to just skim the surface or properly dig into the soil? Just worries me that my garden would be a mud patch after doing that! Although that may look better than a garden of dead grass!! :snorky:
     
  9. WeeTam

    WeeTam Total Gardener

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    It might be better to hire a hollow tyne aerator instead. It takes little sausages of soil out of the lawn allowing air to get into the roots, water also. Then brush sand into these holes especially as you have a clay soil.

    All this costs a diyer and it might be better to just get a lawn company in to sort it out. Once theyve hollowed/scarified/fed/reseeded it send them on their way and just give it some tlc and it will look grand again.
     
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    • HarryS

      HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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      http://www.lawnsmith.co.uk/topic/scarifying-raking
      In your case I would use the blade which cuts into the soil a little . First time your scarify is a bit scary , it looks like you are destroying the lawn ! But this does allow water , air and feed to get to the grass , as diagram shows. I don't put the collector box on the scarifier , it fills to quickly. I just go over with the lawnmower after , and collect all the debris.
      Lawns are hard work and trouble , god knows who invented them :biggrin:

      metal-blade-system.jpg
       
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      • iam007

        iam007 Apprentice Gardener

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        Thanks!
        I might have to bite the bullet and get someone into aerate the lawn for me, given that I can get my manual hollow-tine aerator into the ground!!

        I have used the scarifier before, but not this year... because I'm never 100% sure I'm doing the right thing and secondly because it makes such a mess out of the garden and it looks dreadful for a while and the kids can't play on it so easily in the condition (our youngest is only 1!).

        I think my mistake originally was trying to get rid of all the lovely spongy moss that was there! Maybe I should kill off the rest of the grass and have a uniform patch of moss!! :biggrin:
         
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