Problems with turf laid last year

4 Feb 2006
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United Kingdom
I have recently bought a converted flat that used to be a house (converted about 10 years ago). I own half a garden. Unfortunately it is the bottom half which is under some very large trees. Last year I completely ripped evrtyhting out and laid new turf. It took well and was great in the summer. The problem is that over the autumn and winter all the leaves have fallen onto the grass. I thought I would leave clearing them until they all fell down. I have now cleared them away but most of the grass has died. what sahll I do? Returf over the top or try a hardier grass seed. I am also worried because I have 2 cats that seem to eat everything. Will seed and grass food etc be bad for them?
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I'd be tempted to wait, the leaves may have acted as a mulch, and at least kept the roots moist, grass can be very resilient, I certainly would bother doing in now in Feb, you'd probably do more damage than good.

That should have said not bother.
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The turf would have been the cheapest available. It would have comprised a mixture of grasses inappropiate for the location. If you have trees surrounding the lawn then it is likely there is excessive shade. You will also have drip from the perimeter of the trees(deadly for lawns). Finally leaves should be cleared as they fall not left to decay on the lawn which causes a multitude of problems in itself. The combination of these factors means that the finer grasses in the turf would have been killed off leaving only the course strains-and moss- and a very patchy lawn indeed.
Assuming you can,t correct the conditions don,t returf;the problems will simply return in a years time. At best topdress and in April sow a shade tolerating seed mixture,but do not mow this closely as such a mixture will not tolerate shaving. And clear the leaves next Autumn !! Roy.

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