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What's wrong with our new lawn? :(

(11 Posts)
MummyPenguin Mon 21-Jul-08 23:35:41

This might be a bit long, but will really appreciate any advice.

We had a new lawn laid in April. The landscapers killed off our old lawn (not that there was much left of it, it had really died off) by spraying weedkiller etc. Once that was done, they took the old dead lawn off and turned over and prepared all the soil underneath. DH did suggest to them that the top soil might need replacing or at least perhaps 6 inches of new top soil should be put down before laying new turf as our house is a fairly new build, and generally what sometimes happens is that the builders chuck all their rubble out in the garden and put a cheap turf on top. Anyway, our landscapers said no, it was fine as it was. So they laid the new turf and gave us advice about watering and care of it etc. For the first couple of months it looked great, brand new lawn, it really looked nice. However, in the last month or so it has been really declining and looks now as though it's dying. It's very dry, straw like and brown in most areas, although some areas look a bit healthier. We don't know why this is happening, we've done everything to the letter. They said don't let anyone walk on it, kids run round on it or anything like that for 3 - 4 weeks, so nobody set foot on it for 5 weeks. DH kept watering it during this time, but managed to do so without walking around on it. Basically, the most advice they gave us was about watering it, which DH has been doing religiously. He didn't cut it too soon, only began cutting it when the landscaper said it was okay to begin doing so. When it started looking a bit dodgy, DH used a lawn feed/conditioner on it a couple of times which seemed to perk it up, but now it looks like it's going to die completely and we just don't know why. If the weather had been really hot since it was laid, we could perhaps put it down to that, but it hasn't.

We've been in touch with the landscaper a couple of times to ask him to come and see it, he says he will but hasn't. We just don't know what to do. Could it be the top soil? We followed all the advice given to us, and it's really quite upsetting to see it like this. Has anyone got any ideas/tips?

Will appreciate advice or thoughts.

essjayo Tue 22-Jul-08 10:57:25

I wonder how long they waited after killing old lawn before putting down new turf.... depending on which weedkiller they used it might still have been present in the soil in which case your lawn might be completely f*cked
But there is also something called red thread disease see here

If it's patchy it might be that

thehairybabysmum Tue 22-Jul-08 11:06:13

Difficult without seeing it but could be poor establishment, especially if yuou think it has been laid on poor quality subsoil.

Do the turfs lift at all, the new roots should by now be growing through to the soil underneath so shouldnt be able to lift it at all...if this is not the case then that could be the problem.

I would start watering regulary again and defo complain to contractors and get them to come out...demand it is relaid if it is v bad.

thehairybabysmum Tue 22-Jul-08 11:07:38

Also ask them what they used to kill off old lawn...if glyphosate it is not persisant so will not cause dieback to following crops (ie new turf) on here what it is.

Bramshott Tue 22-Jul-08 11:10:47

It depends how bad it is - I think all new turf looks great for a few months, then a bit dodgy, then hopefully the next year it comes through strongly and is okay. We have two lawn areas, and the one that was laid in 2006 looks good this year, but the one we did last year is rather brown and patchy. I'm hoping it is just because it's its first proper year, and it will come good next year.

MummyPenguin Tue 22-Jul-08 22:09:25

Thanks for replies. I'm not sure what weedkiller they used, but they waited about 2 - 2 and a half weeks after they did that before returning to prepare soil, lay new turf etc. DH is away this week, so I'm on watering duty, and I've been doing it every evening, giving it a good soaking. It does look a bit better in the last couple of days. I notice that when it's been cut, so is quite short, it looks dry and brown, perhaps just because you can see more down to the root, and when it starts growing again it looks a bit better. Still, if you look closely you can see it looks yellowy and threadbare, for want of a better description. I will show DH this thread, I think he's more au fait with this sort of thing than me.

Thanks again.

MadBadandDangeroustoKnow Tue 22-Jul-08 23:09:50

Have you been cutting it too short? New lawns generally need a higher setting on the lawnmower. It may perk up over the autumn/winter - that's what happened with ome new turf we had last year - and there are weed and feed treatments especially for autumn use.

But if you think the landscapers did a poor job, be persistent in trying to get them back. If this is the second lawn to fail it may be the underlying soil/rubble that's at fault. Would this be covered by the NHBC guarantee?

handlemecarefully Tue 22-Jul-08 23:13:17

Could it be red thread? I got this with my new lawn last year. It is treated with nitrate rich fertilizer

handlemecarefully Tue 22-Jul-08 23:15:42

red thread picture

handlemecarefully Tue 22-Jul-08 23:17:10

Ok now have read the other posts and see that essjayo has already mentioned this. Sorry essjayo!

MummyPenguin Wed 23-Jul-08 10:48:01

It does look a bit like that picture, but not so red, more straw colour. DH started cutting it on a high setting, did that for the first few cuts, but more recently has been cutting it shorter. Perhaps he shouldn't do that? I think our NHBC guarantee has expired now, as the house is over 10 years old. That said, it might come into effect from when we bought the house, I'm not sure, DH would know. We've been here 9 years in November, so we might have some cover left.

DH is away until Friday, so is going to give the landscaper hell when he gets back. We're so annoyed that despite phoning him twice and explaining the problem, he hasn't even had the courtesy to come and see what's wrong. He's had £900 out of us in good faith. (Not just for turf, a bit of a redesign too.) He'd soon be beating a path to our door if he hadn't seen his money.

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