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Turf keeps dying

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by HenryGregory, 13 Oct 2019.

  1. HenryGregory

    HenryGregory

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    Thanks everyone for your posts. As much as I agree, it might be easier to do it myself, having had to scrape by to afford this place, and only a share of it at that, I am now working all hours I can to pay my rent and mortgage. I just don't have the time and shouldn't be having to. What I have been sold is not what it should have been.
    I went through the NHBC guide for 2018 which was the year the house was built and completed and found several breaches with regards the way the lawn has been installed. I have raised these and have been told they are not taking it further with no explanation for why.
     
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  3. HenryGregory

    HenryGregory

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    How much work do you think would be involved in terms of getting it done myself.

    I have dug down into the edge of some of the grass and this is the state of the soil underneath..

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  4. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    Sorry to hear about this problem Henry, what a pain.
    Your photos don't seem to show bad looking soil, it looks reasonable.
    As per sodthisforum, if compaction is the problem there are a few things you can do. The first thing I would do would be to leave the lawn entirely alone. Do nothing. It means stop mowing it and letting it go long. Grass roots will penetrate deeper the more growth there is above the soil so you are using nature itself to decompact the soil. The roots create channels through the clay which helps with compaction. I'm guessing all the rain we have had has probably helped things a bit. Once the grass gets over a foot high, take off a few inches ideally with a strimmer. Don't cut the grass too short!! Cutting grass too short especially early in the year will stunt it. The grass needs to be able to store enough energy below ground to regrow itself, it can't do that if you are cutting it so short every time you mow. Over time you will be able to cut the grass shorter and shorter until you have the desired length you want, but you need to give it time. Leave grass clippings on the surface of the soil initially to help put fertility back into the soil. It might be worth feeding the lawn with a diluted liquid comfrey mixture once in a while.
    At present though your soil does not look at all bad.
     
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  6. Neilgriff63

    Neilgriff63

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    Henry,

    I somewhat agree with Hawkeye. See what damage has been done by the rain and if the lawn survives, stay off it and let it grow. Buy some fertiliser that you can spread by hand as it absorbs slower.one it starts growing in the spring, leave it 6 weeks and just take a few inches off to see what it looks like.

    You may need to aerate. If soil quality is poor is will need some compost. Take some core plugs from dead areas to see what soil composition is like.

    What if you also approached builder to split costs. He provides turf and you dig it over and relay?

    Have you also contacted HSBC?
     
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  7. Handykindabloke

    Handykindabloke

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    I had a similar situation some years ago where the grass in the back garden was appalling. I bit the bullet and did it myself after realising that guarantees and developers don't really care once the house is solved and I wanted it done right.

    The soil structure in your photos suggests that it has not been cultivated in a long time and is a bit compacted. It doesn't look a bad soil but in my view in need of a good digging.

    My garden was a heavy clay, full of demolition rubble and well compacted. What I did was to double dig the whole site and while doing so I added good layer of grit sand and mushroom compost in the deepest part of the trench before backfilling.

    The grit to help break up the clay and the mushroom compost for organic material. Horse manure will also be good. Horse manure will also contain worms and these are the best thing you can have for your soil as they will regurgitate the material and create a brilliant soil.

    You soil doesn't look like it has a great deal of clay so I would suggest that you just get a load of manure from a local stables, double dig it and the lay some turf. Make sure that before you lay the turf after the soil has had a chance to settle a bit otherwise the surface will not be flat.

    Digging will allow water and air to penetrate the soil which is essential for a good soil. It also means that in the future if you decide to create a bed for flowers or vegetables the soil will already be dug and ready for planting.
     
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  8. HenryGregory

    HenryGregory

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    Thanks everyone for your posts and help on this one.
    I have issues with my back and when I have attempted to re-seed portions of the garden before, by digging down a bit with a trowl and then putting in top soil plus seeds, it has left me in pain, so not sure how viable it will be for me to do an entire lawn.

    I took some more pictures of the grass this week. This is what it currently looks like.
    Does anyone have any ideas on how much it would cost me to get someone to do this for me?
    I have again contacted the builders, but it will be months until they get back to me and I would really like to enjoy and use my lawn, which to date, I have not been able to do.

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  9. HenryGregory

    HenryGregory

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    Just a quick update to say thanks for everyone’s input and help on this.
    I purchased a fertiliser spreader and followed some of the advice given on here and did not cut the lawn short. I now cut on the highest blade setting on the mower which has worked wonders with moisture retention.
    The patches are no more, my problem now is weed growth as the ground is doing so much better, the weeds are popping up everywhere.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks everyone and for the cost of a £20 fertiliser spreader, water and the fertiliser stuff at £10 a box from amazon, this garden has been transformed without the need to dig it all up and start from scratch. I did get compensation from the builder of £150 which is laughable given the condition it was left in, but either way, I am so pleased with it now.

    [​IMG]
     
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