Any lawn experts out there?

(2 Posts)
Titsywoo Thu 14-Jan-16 10:49:10

We are having a nightmare with our clay soil garden! We bought the house 3 years ago and since it was a mess of huge concrete and shingle rockeries we dug the whole thing up (with the help of a landscape gardener) then 6 months later in the spring we levelled the lawn area, built a small retaining wall (the patio is a few inches lower than the lawn) and turfed. We followed the instructions and kept it watered, walked on boards etc and last summer we had a beautiful lawn. The came the autumn and the rain. We have been doing a lot of work on our house and when we finished we needed to store all the tools etc back in the shed. This necessitated many trips back and forth across the garden and we had to do it so that whole section got churned up (the section in front of the shed door is now just mud). Then we got a dog in Dec and she kicks up behind her after pooing so she is churning up the other side of the lawn!

At the moment it feels like our garden is unusable and all that money wasted sad Since the shed is on the same side of the garden as the swing and trampoline I am tempted to dig up that side entirely and replace with play bark so it is usable all year round. Or would this not work on clay soil? There is a large soakaway in the middle of the lawn as we had an extension done last year. But this seems to fill up fast then has nowhere to go as the clay holds that water so we have had to divert a lot of water down the drains. Not sure if the soakaway makes it worse on the lawn? A local lawn company are scarifying the lawn at the end of this month.

Anyway my questions are how can I improve the churned up lawn and can I make a bark playarea or will this become waterlogged too?

shovetheholly Wed 20-Jan-16 12:33:55

Not a lawn expert AT ALL here, but some general advice until someone who is comes along.

1. Don't panic. It's been an exceptionally wet autumn. Plus, young lawns can be a bit fragile for a while, so it's not surprising yours has taken a hit. However, you can resow badly affected areas in the spring (make sure you watch a Youtube video and follow the instructions) and it'll grow back once the growing season starts! Maybe give it another year and see how you go before making a decision to scrap it completely?

2. All lawns - on clay or sand - take a hit when they are walked on over winter. Think about putting a path in. Even just some simple stepping stones will work wonders in limiting the damage of shed trips. (I have the exact same issue).

3. I'm not clear what the issue is with your soakaway - is it that water is actually standing on your lawn? If so, that's really not right and it needs sorting out! I didn't think soakaways generally worked well on clay soils - but I'm not a building expert. Perhaps there's another system you could use? Even small things, like installing a waterbutt, can help.

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