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  #1  
Old Wednesday 16th April 2014, 16:59
deuce22 deuce22 is offline  
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Caerphilly
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Patchy lawn

Hi.

I laid around 25m2 of turf about 12 months ago at the front of my house. For most of last year it looked very nice (very green and thick).

I cut it this week, for the first time in about 6 months and it looks very bad.

It seems to be very thin now and you can see the earth through it. It's also started to become patchy in places.

A few weeks ago I bought some grass seed and spread it over the whole area, but nothing has happened.

It stated on the box that I needed to rake it, spread it evenly and then water it. I did that but after cutting it I can see the seeds just laying on the top of the earth dead.

Can someone please give me some advice on how to repair it.

Many thanks.
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  #2  
Old Wednesday 16th April 2014, 20:05
d.steeley d.steeley is offline  
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Location: coventry
Posts: 556
Hi deuce22, did the lawn look bad before you cut it or was it the mower that has made it look bad? If the mower is set to cut the grass too low you will end up with scalped areas (especially if you use a rotary mower) and areas of yellow (or even white) grass. If this is the case you need to higher the blades so they cut no lower than 25mm (1"). This will mean that when you cut the grass you do not remove too much of the grass leaf at one time. It will then continue to grow well until the next cut.

Grass seed, ideally needs to be sown no later than the end of March unless you can water it regularly. If the seed germinates (takes about 2 weeks from sowing) and then becomes dry it will die. Again, ideally the lawn should be top-dressed with a mixture of old potting compost and sieved soil before seed is sown.

Some links you may find useful:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/...e.aspx?pid=438

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/...e.aspx?pid=413

http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/cale...y-advice/Lawns

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/...e.aspx?pid=425

Dave

PS: just wondering, are you the same chap who posted about a similar problem on the RHS My Garden forum a couple of days ago?
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  #3  
Old Thursday 17th April 2014, 08:58
deuce22 deuce22 is offline  
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Thanks Dave for the reply.

Was the other persons name deuce? I only have an account on this Garden forum, so it wasn't me.

The grass did look as if it was thicker before cutting, but that was probably because it was longer and covering areas that had nothing on it (like a bald person that brushes his hair over the bald patch). I did cut it pretty short this time, but I will stick to 25mm from now on.

Somebody told me that I can't just put seed on top and expect it to grow. This is what it said on the box though.

Cheers.
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  #4  
Old Thursday 17th April 2014, 13:50
d.steeley d.steeley is offline  
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Hi deuce, no the poster on the RHS forum had a different name but was based in Wales, so I just wondered. Grass seed, like all seed needs moisture to germinate, it absorbs this from the soil so has to be in close contact with it and the soil needs to be moist before sowing. Grass seed also needs light to germinate so has to be sown no deeper in soil than 13mm (1/2"). How this is normally achieved is by raking the soil to a fairly fine tilth (reasonably fine soil particles). It is sown by broadcasting over the area and gently raked in. For best results I've found that this is best done with a lawn rake (Springbok) drawn once over the seeded area. This buries some seed, partially buries some and leaves a few seeds lying on the surface. Some professional greenkeepers will cover freshly sown grass seed with a germination mat. This is a large piece of black cloth that allows some light through but prevents the soil from drying out before the seed germinates. It is then removed once the seed has begun to germinate and grow.

I would suggest with your lawn you need to shallowly fork over the bare patches to create a tilth about 13mm deep, below that it should be firm. A good test is to stick you finger into it. It should sink in up to the first knuckle but no further. You could mix a little potting compost with the soil to improve the tilth. Make sure the areas are moist before sowing freshly bought grass seed over the area at the recommended rate. Once sown lightly draw a lawn rake (or ordinary rake if you don't have one) over the sown area and cover it with either clear polythene (to help keep it damp) or plastic netting to keep off birds using it as a sand bath. Keep your eye on it and never let the surface dry out, use a rose or sprinkler to water to avoid washing the seed away. Once you can see the seed germinating remove any polythene but keep it moist making sure you give it enough water to soak down 75-100mm (3"-4"). 3 or 4 weeks after it has germinated give the whole lawn a light dressing of spring/summer lawn fertiliser. Avoid mowing the sown areas until the new grass is 50mm (2") high. Before you do mow the newly grown grass areas, if you can, roll them with a light roller, this makes sure the roots are firmed into the soil and are less likely to be pulled out by the mower blades.

Best of luck

Dave
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  #5  
Old Friday 18th April 2014, 09:34
deuce22 deuce22 is offline  
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Thanks very much Dave.

I'll do exactly as you say and let you know how I get on.
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  #6  
Old Friday 18th April 2014, 19:31
d.steeley d.steeley is offline  
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OK deuce, good luck.

Dave
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