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Big bald patches in our lawn - can I resolve the problem before the end of spring/early summer?

(19 Posts)
PuffTheMagicDragon Thu 20-Jan-05 19:50:26

Our lawn has bald patches all over it. In the spring and summer, if it rains, it quickly turns into a mudbath which is trodden all the way through the house .

We can't afford to re-turf the whole thing at the moment, so can anyone advise what I can do.

Should I spread grass seed on the patches now or later? What about a fertiliser and watering? Do the patches need to be covered to allow the seeds to germinate?

I know nothing about looking after a lawn (my previous ones always looked after themselves!)- can anyone help?

TracyK Thu 20-Jan-05 19:56:34

I don't know when to reseed - but I think it may be a bit early - still frosts to come - but may be wrong. How big are the patches - can't you 'patch it up' wit bits of turf - rather than the whole lawn?

Avalon Thu 20-Jan-05 20:22:10

Puff - is it a new lawn? Have you used weedkiller or fertiliser on it?

makealist Thu 20-Jan-05 20:27:54

It might be a bit early still where you are, but what I do is rake the soil up a little where the patches are and cover with grass seeds mixed with a little compast and very lightly pat it down a little. Do you or your neighbours have cats, cat pee will make patches on your lawn as it "burns" the grass.

makealist Thu 20-Jan-05 20:32:37

Also if you find that your lawn gets very muddy you probably need to aeriate it. To do this you just need to push the prongs of a garden fork about 3 to 5 inches down and work your way all over the lawn about 6 inches apart, hard work but it will help the drainage.

PuffTheMagicDragon Thu 20-Jan-05 20:35:25

It's a "mature" lawn ie been there for ages!

The patches are all over it - they're not big, but numerous, so it doesn't look like a lawn anymore, just lots of patches and tufts of grass.

I know a fair number of local cats must frequent it, as I've seen at least 4 different ones in the garden myself.

If they are weeing all over it(yuk!) - what can I use to deter them?

If I do the re-seeding with compost etc, should I do it say end of Feb/early March?

Thanks for all the advice so far - its very helpful .

makealist Thu 20-Jan-05 20:44:07

we have tried nearly everything to stop our neighbours cats from using our garden as their loo and nothing really works, best thing is to "shoot" the cats with a good powerfull water gun (gives me great pleasure)or throw a cup of water over them if you see them in the garden. They hate it and they sort of get the message!! The other thing a vet told me was to get a cat yourself, they are territoral and should chase the other cats away. (they also won't "go" in their own garden, so it's also a bit of revenge

Avalon Fri 21-Jan-05 23:38:33

Unlikely to be cats as they prefer soil. Bitch urine will burn grass, however.

paolosgirl Fri 21-Jan-05 23:40:11

We use Canada Green seed on ours. It's wonderful - you just rake the soil a bit, scatter it on, leave it for a fortnight or so, and hey presto!

knot Mon 31-Jan-05 17:32:24

anyone tell me where to get this canada green seed from am having no luck thanks

biglips Mon 21-Feb-05 14:12:22

when is the best time to re-seed the lawn? as spring is approaching early, as we looked after my mums dog for 2 weeks last oct and dog wrecked our new lawn as its bald patches nearly all over from weeing, shitting, and not digging but when dogs finished their business they pull grass to cover their business (its a small garden)... so when is the best time to start re-seeding? april or may? or now?

gscrym Mon 21-Feb-05 14:24:47

I saw Canada Green in Argos, Homebase and Makro.

Our lawn is wrecked by our luverly pooch weeing on it. I've been given tablets by a petshop owning friend who says they'll help.

As for the cats, I've seen people using bottles of water as the cats don't like the way they look. Also a light dusting of really spicy (vindaloo) curry powder. They walk on it, lick their paws and hey presto, they walk funny and don't come back as their little bottoms can't take it.

biglips Mon 21-Feb-05 22:16:39

bump for my question

biglips Mon 21-Feb-05 23:51:28

bump

biglips Tue 22-Feb-05 10:04:35

bump

biglips Tue 22-Feb-05 11:03:03

bump

suedonim Tue 22-Feb-05 20:45:04

Biglips, have you checked out the back of the grass seed packet? They usually have 'helpful hints' about when to sow the stuff for best results.

user1497535267 Thu 15-Jun-17 15:21:57

We had exactly the same problem (including cats!) and followed advice from the garden centre next to Wandsworth prison and it has worked a treat.
1. Fertilise the soil with liquid fertiliser 4 -5 days prior.
2. Using a fork, dig in 6" and lift and really loosen the soil in all of the bare patches.
3. Use lots of grass seed and scatter it in the bare patches.
4. Cats like to pee/poo on loose soil rather than hard compacted soil so they love the newly loosened patches. We also found blackbirds going for the seeds. So we put large pieces of chicken wire over the patches to keep the animals off which worked well.
5. Now, 3 -4 weeks later we have nice thick turf again. The only problem is that I chose quick growing grass seed and now my other half has to mow it more often!

I can't remember the brand of the seed of the top of my head but can dig the box out of the shed if anyone wants it.

MattBerrysHair Thu 15-Jun-17 18:26:52

How long have the patches been there? You could have a chafer grub infestation. The RHS website has information about how to tackle it.

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