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Relaying lawn

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by EnglishmanCFC, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. EnglishmanCFC

    EnglishmanCFC Gardener

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    Two issues really, due to drainage and lawn height, neither being enough.

    What I want to do is lift the turf, lay an inch or so of sharp sand underneath and then relay.

    Now, firstly, is doing this now a terrible idea and should I wait until autumn?

    And secondly, should I just lay new turf instead of what is there now?
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    If it's only an inch or two then just add this to the surface the grass will grow through it. But I don't see that will help drainage much. Is it getting waterlogged? Have you tried aerating it?
     
  3. EnglishmanCFC

    EnglishmanCFC Gardener

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    Basically, where I live and about half a mile in all directions is built on very wet land. In the summer it's fine (other than a dip bear the gate) but throughout winter, it never ever dries out unless it's frozen. Drainage is a serious issue all around and I assumed that an inch or so of sharp sand/grit would help considerably.

    Are you proposing that I literally just spread it over the top of the grass now?
     
  4. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    Yes just spread it on the top of the grass now, I'd do it in two goes, an inch at a time waiting for the grass to grow through before reapplying.
     
  5. EnglishmanCFC

    EnglishmanCFC Gardener

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    Sharp sand or grit? And would that not just kill the grass by starving it of light?
     
  6. Liz the pot

    Liz the pot Super Gardener

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    It depends on the soil sub base contents..
    If for example you have a shallow amount of top soil laid on a clay and you suffer water logged grass for extended time then top dressing will not solve the problem.
    In some cases a drainage system is needed which is expensive and needs to be done correctly.
    You can't just add sand to the surface, it needs to be a dressing mixture and to be honest building up the soil this way will not cure your water logging issue.
    You can't cover the grass with dressing either, it needs working in.
    You need to seek advice from a well known local landscape company to see what's going on rather than throwing materials on the lawn and wasting money.
    The problem is below the surface and that's where you need to start with.
     
  7. EnglishmanCFC

    EnglishmanCFC Gardener

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    I don't think I've made myself completely clear.

    I have no issues with actual water logging, the soil in my immediate area just holds a lot of water all winter. Even if there has been no rain for a few days, it is still soaked, and I just thought that adding a bit of extra drainage would make at least some difference..?

    And of course, I need to raise the level of the lawn as when it was laid by a mate, we were falling out rapidly and as I wasn't paying him, he laid the turf below the paving.

    So since the turf needs raising an inch or so, I was thinking that doing so with sharp sand under the turf would make a big difference to drainage...?

    And will doing this job now be a good idea or is it best waiting til Autumn? And also, is it a better idea keeping the turf I have or relaying new stuff?
     
  8. Liz the pot

    Liz the pot Super Gardener

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    Without knowing the soil content below its impossible to say if simply adding a mixture will improve drainage.
    Soil will hold water in wet periods and in the colder climate. It really depends on how well the area was prepared before laying the turf and what materials were used.
    Because I don't know what the area is like I can't just say adding a dressing on the top which would need an aerator before hand so the mixture is worked in, will improve your situation.
    Some answers can't be solved online and rather than you spending time and money it's best to at least see what a local company has to say.
    I would rather be honest in my reply rather than have you do work and then return saying it's not worked.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  9. EnglishmanCFC

    EnglishmanCFC Gardener

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    All I actually care about is raising the height of the lawn, and lifting to put sharp sand under is the easiest (and cheapest) way I can think of doing this.

    It doesn't ever get waterlogged, there is no standing water, it just takes its time to dry out.

    When is the best time to lift and relay the same turf, and what is the easiest way of doing this?

    And thank you for your help and honesty, but as I said, the height needs raising first, it's only 25sq. metres, if it dries out better then brilliant but it's not a priority. And the soil is clay.
     
  10. Liz the pot

    Liz the pot Super Gardener

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    If you add a layer of sand only under the turf this will act like a barrier. Sports turf management use this as a barrier for roots so you don't want to add just sand directly under the turf.
    Turf can be lifted at any point if it's lifted and treated well but best to avoid hot weather periods when turf is stressed.
    you either lift turf, prepare site again with top soil to the correct height or you dress the lawn with a mixture similar to your soil content and this would need to be done several times to bring the level up.
    A note is that your turf will be settled in and lifting may require the hire of a machine or at least a tool designed for turf lifting on a small area as you stated. This will insure it's lifted correctly and is uniform in depth when relaid.
    Lifted turf needs to be kept damp at all times so not to dry out. The quicker it's relaid the better.

    Edit to say, is your lawn surrounded by a tall hedge. I looked back and found a pic from a previous thread showing the lawn with a hedge around 3 sides.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  11. EnglishmanCFC

    EnglishmanCFC Gardener

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    Yeah, it's surrounded by 6ft 6 laurel on 3 sides and a 6ft 6 wall on the last. It's only 25sq m, including the patio (which is the main problem) so tiny really, and the hedging obviously doesn't help! But I'm in a flat, and most flats don't have any private space at all so can't grumble.
     
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    • Liz the pot

      Liz the pot Super Gardener

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      That hedge can't help with the dampness issue as you say but it keeps you private.
      It's one of those areas where maybe a small artificial lawn would be perfect.
      My honest opinion is that putting a dressing on will not help much with the damp issue and the hedges will impact on the health of the turf over time.
       
    • EnglishmanCFC

      EnglishmanCFC Gardener

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      I actually wish that I'd had an artificial lawn put down, but this is the first garden I've had and have obviously made mistakes! Gardening is a trade which I'm gradually teaching myself but it's going to take a long time.

      I don't think anything will help with the damp in all honesty, but I would like to raise the lawn height though and dressing will have to happen because the lawn is two inches below the patio, and I have children.
       
    • EnglishmanCFC

      EnglishmanCFC Gardener

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      Looking at websites, it says that if I put a layer of only about 3mm, I can do it every few days? what do you think about the depth and frequency?

      I actually need about 50mm overall I think.
       
    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      I'd put on a bit more than 3mm and increase the frequency - say 10mm every 3 weeks. Keep watering it well over the summer to keep it growing and if 10mm seems to be smothering the garss then cut down the depth next time.
       
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