Patchy lawn

sheriffwoody

Distinguished Member
We had our garden landscaped this time last year including a small (5x3m) lawn area.

Now I have never really been completely satisfied with the lawn, but it does the job for the majority of the time.

However, after the most recent winter, and when it came to mowing it again, I noticed a few patches in the lawn where the soil had kind of been pushed to the top of the surface (it’s difficult to explain really) - there was plenty of grass and then suddenly just a patch of really firm, hard soil that had somehow made its way to the surface and there is no grass on this patch.

One of these patches has become quite bad, I have tried to dig it out a little to “fluff” it up and put some seed down, but nothing has really happened and I am left with a hole in the lawn now (where I have dug it out).

So my plan now is again to dig out the remaining hard soil, fill it with new top soil to the right level (maybe compacting it half way through?) and then put some seed on top and keep it well watered - and see if that gets some life into it.

Question is - which seed to use? I came across Miracle Gro Patch Magic which looks fairly good, any thoughts or recommendations etc?

Also, is my method of compacting in new top soil, seed on top (and maybe a little top soil on top of that to protect the seed from the birds) and then keeping it well watered sufficient enough?

I don’t really want to call our a lawn specialist as I am trying to learn on the job - any tips or suggestions welcome!
 

Maxatoria

Active Member
Drainage is the key, unless you have consistently equal soil there will be problems and you should also consider the type of grass as the stuff they use for sports fields any near the same as the quick grow stuff they sell in wolkos etc
We had our garden landscaped this time last year including a small (5x3m) lawn area.

Now I have never really been completely satisfied with the lawn, but it does the job for the majority of the time.

However, after the most recent winter, and when it came to mowing it again, I noticed a few patches in the lawn where the soil had kind of been pushed to the top of the surface (it’s difficult to explain really) - there was plenty of grass and then suddenly just a patch of really firm, hard soil that had somehow made its way to the surface and there is no grass on this patch.

One of these patches has become quite bad, I have tried to dig it out a little to “fluff” it up and put some seed down, but nothing has really happened and I am left with a hole in the lawn now (where I have dug it out).

So my plan now is again to dig out the remaining hard soil, fill it with new top soil to the right level (maybe compacting it half way through?) and then put some seed on top and keep it well watered - and see if that gets some life into it.

Question is - which seed to use? I came across Miracle Gro Patch Magic which looks fairly good, any thoughts or recommendations etc?

Also, is my method of compacting in new top soil, seed on top (and maybe a little top soil on top of that to protect the seed from the birds) and then keeping it well watered sufficient enough?

I don’t really want to call our a lawn specialist as I am trying to learn on the job - any tips or suggestions welcome!
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
It's always amazed (annoyed!) me that, having spent a small fortune on my lawn with grass seed, fertiliser, moss killer, clover killer, cutting, scarifying etc, it always looks worse than the grass in the Country Park alongside us, which has no money whatsoever spent on it by the local council! ☹️
 

Ilovewaffles

Well-known Member
Our lawn, and those of many others around here are composed of mostly weeds now, thanks to the neighbour’s collection of dandelion and thistles which took over his neglected lawn and seeded everywhere.
 

akk0091

Active Member
Is your garden north or south facing?
How’s your soil?
Mine is north facing garden and before and after each winter I have to do quite a bit of work to bring it up to a good shape (hollow tine aeration, scarify, overseed etc.)
For seeds I usually use A1 Premiership pro. Bostonseeds’ seed is good too
Attached is how my lawn looked like last year before winter hit 😁
 

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Ilovewaffles

Well-known Member
Is your garden north or south facing?
How’s your soil?
Mine is north facing garden and before and after each winter I have to do quite a bit of work to bring it up to a good shape (hollow tine aeration, scarify, overseed etc.)
For seeds I usually use A1 Premiership pro. Bostonseeds’ seed is good too
Attached is how my lawn looked like last year before winter hit 😁
It faces South East, and the soil is not good.
It was turfed by the builders seven years ago.
I’m so jealous of your lovely, neat garden- it looks perfect!
 

akk0091

Active Member
It faces South East, and the soil is not good.
It was turfed by the builders seven years ago.
I’m so jealous of your lovely, neat garden- it looks perfect!
Thanks bud.
If it’s SE facing then the problem should be with your soil and/or fertilisation as the sunlight should be enough
Could be that your soil is pretty compacted
 

Maxatoria

Active Member
When you say builders laid it thats probably a bad sign as if its a new house then theres probably a skips worth of rubble under there with a sprinkling of soil on top followed by the turf.

If thats true then really the best solution is to dig it down and remove all the rubble and put in some decent soil also if the soil is clay in the area do consider sorting out drainage as well.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Get a tiller to break down the hard soil. Grass will grow in anything (just look around the countryside). My lawn pretty much died over winter, I used a tiller in March and it is nearly back to how it was before the winter (very wet up north).
Rubble underneath isn't actually a bad thing, it can help with drainage. Been reading a few articles about sand as well
 

Ilovewaffles

Well-known Member
Thanks bud.
If it’s SE facing then the problem should be with your soil and/or fertilisation as the sunlight should be enough
Could be that your soil is pretty compacted
I think the builders took away the top soil, and what remains is pretty hard
 

sheriffwoody

Distinguished Member
Just been out in the garden now and part of me just wants to rip it up and start again!!

Attached a photo of the hole in question (there are at least 3 other patches where the soil has pushed up to the top and stopped grass growing), but also there just seems like the entire lawn is FULL of dead grass underneath the top surface green grass.
8C2E4164-89E6-48E9-A46B-1A729E01A122.jpeg

I have attached other photos that shows the dead type grass I am easily able to get out just by running my fingers through the grass.

6310490E-5FE8-49BB-936A-D346D3E8125C.jpegC0EDE0C4-77C6-46DC-8A67-3DE7720FC8E5.jpeg

I’m not sure if it’s literally a case of it not getting enough water or if it’s completely dead underneath.
3188EDD9-E255-4634-A40C-05C36A3355F3.jpeg
 

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