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Advice needed please about our family lawn!
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Aprilsun1 · 26/06/2022 18:35

We are trying to reclaim our back garden after 3 years of very little tlc. We are getting there, but the grass is looking awful. There's actually very little grass there, mostly moss and weeds. It's a family lawn, and has had particularly heavy footfall over wet months when removing a garage and erecting a shed and boundary fencing.

I did attempt to scarify the end section last year, and applied fertiliser as instructed... But its still the same this year.

Does anyone have experience of how to improve the quality of our lawn without resorting to having to returf? (Which to be honest we can't afford.) I don't mind a bit of hard work... But can it be done?

I'd be grateful of anyone's experience and any useful products.


Thanks.

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Fitzfatsfeist · 26/06/2022 19:11

I'm no expert so hopefully you will get someone along soon who can better advise. But with the dry weather (depending where you are!) the grass isn't really growing much at the moment. Grass usually grows best in spring and autumn, so I would guess you would be best to work on it then. You can get product to kill the moss and weeds. Check the box for instructions. Raking the lawn will also help to remove the moss. Spiking the ground and then brushing sand into it will improve drainage and help with compaction which will help the grass grow. You can then overseed (apply grass seed over the existing grass). You can get different types of grass seed for hard wearing, shade and so on so take a look and pick what best fits your garden. Seeding is best done in spring or autumn, again follow the instructions on the box.

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Aprilsun1 · 26/06/2022 19:29

Thank you for your reply. I think I need to be more thorough in my approach ☺️. Thinking back, I did scarify the lawn, got 3/4 bin of moss, but I didn't spike the ground or apply sand, so maybe the ground was too compacted for the seed I applied to 'take'?🤔

I did apply a fertiliser very carefully, but to no avail either. I appreciate ypur reply and will look more carefully at spiking lawn as we have clay soil here which I dont expect will be helping.

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JamMakingWannaBe · 27/06/2022 06:35

Agree with PP that Summer is not the best time to do much to the lawn, however...

Hire a petrol driven hollow tine aerator.
Remove the plugs from the lawn.
Sweep a dedicated top dressing over your lawn, into the holes and to even up any dips. You need about 2L per m2.

Cut the grass little and often. You'll pinch out plants to make them bushy - grass is the same. Weekly as a minimum in the growing season.
Water in the evening every 2nd day it doesn't rain.

I recommend Westland aftercut lawn thickener. Apply every 4-6 weeks over the summer. Use a spreader for even coverage.

This product has seeds in it but for re-seeding I recommend the pay-by-weight grass seeds from Wilko. You'll need to net any area you reseed and water morning and evening to keep the soil moist.

Keep cutting little and often - except the newly seeded area. Give that a chance to establish itself.

If you have large bare patches, look on Gumtree etc for folk getting rid of excess rolls from their own re-turfing project. Water daily for two weeks.

If you have small patches, grow grass seed in a regular seed tray and when grown, plant it in your lawn.

Early next year, apply a moss and weed killer. Rake out the moss.

Continue to cut little and often and keep it well watered.

By next summer you will have a lush green lawn!

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KangarooKenny · 27/06/2022 06:38

Do you have trees and lots of shade on the lawn ?

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Keroppi · 27/06/2022 06:43

I'm no grass expert, but perhaps look into moss/clover lawns? Cheap, hardy and still looks good, especially if the lawn has a lot of footfall.

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TheSpottedZebra · 27/06/2022 11:19

Do you need to bring the grass back? Per PP, I have a lawn that is naturally very mossy. I did try for a while to get rid but have just accepted it. It is REALLY green, rarely needs mowing, and is surprisingly, pleasingly bouncy. And withstands foot traffic, balls, dogs...

I think that in a few years, we're going going look back on our (grass) lawn obsession and marvel at how un-biodiverse they are, how much upkeep they need and how many chemicals we had to chuck about to get to some idealised green carpet.

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Aprilsun1 · 27/06/2022 18:58

Thank you for all your replies, @JamMakingWannaBe your post is very useful thankyou. I think I shall need to look into hiring the machine, and help improve the soil.

To answer a few other questions, the lawn isn't in shade all the time, however the shadiest part near the bottom of the garden next to the fence is very bare and mossy. The moss on the lawn isn't lush and springy, it just looks awful with bare patches and a few blades of grass, lots of weeds!

Having read a bit more about lawns, and the replies above, attending to the soil is the way to go I think.

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Sparkle123r · 28/06/2022 06:19

I am just I'm the process of reclaiming our lawn. I have done the following and our front lawn is looking so good now. Back lawn is in progress, so I'm hoping a nother week or so and it will be similar. I followed advice from a gardener on Instagram!

Scarify the lawn
Use top soil to level uneven patches
Aerated the lawn to remove plugs
Overseed with Wilko loose seed
Spread a thin blanket of topsoil over the seed
Water day and night for 2 weeks. Maybe more on very hot days (don't let it dry out!
I will then apply a feed after 4 weeks.

I purchased my aerator from b &q for £20 as I will do this going forward annually as part of my lawn care. The ground does not to be really quite wet of its clay/very compacted soil.

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