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Help - New build lawn, repair or start again?

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by Luke Matthews, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Luke Matthews

    Luke Matthews Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello All,

    My lawn is currently in a bad way, it’s full of dips and patches that won’t grow.

    The rear of the lawn up against the shed grows moss in the colder, wetter months however the front of the lawn is patchy.

    Should I attempt to repair the lawn, or should I kill off the lawn, re-level and re-seed?

    Could you point me towards a step by step guide for prepping and seeding the lawn?

    And how much would it cost to do so?

    The lawn is around 20m2.

    I had also planned to stone the gap behind the shed so shaded areas aren’t a worry, and I am hoping to plant the edge of the lawn bordering the fence and shed.
     
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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      Luke, firstly is the lawn in full sun or in the shade? Does it drain well or does it hold water?

      If reasonably sunny and reasonably free draining I would prefer to start again.....and I have done so here and elsewhere a few times. Repairing will take just as long and will not produce such a good lawn.

      20 sq metres is not too big and wont cost much to make a decent lawn.

      September is perfect month for sowing a lawn. I would weedkill the grass or cut it very close and bury the grass 30 cm deep, grass face down. Then firm it using your heels. Firming, levelling by raking, firming levelling.....I would do this several times and you will end up with a good solid level surface and tilth. A wide rake is a useful tool for levelling the lawn.

      So September is the ideal time to sow seed but August is a good time to do the prepping etc....you have 4 weeks or so to get the soil ready for sowing. Dont rush or skimp this process...it is the most important part.

      A week or so before sowing seed, I would apply a granular fertiliser and rake it in.

      For a good, hard wearing lawn I would use a dwarf rye mixture. :) Available in garden centres, DIY stores and the like.

      Germination should take about 14 days in September.
       
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      • Gail_68

        Gail_68 Guest

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        Hello @Luke Matthews :sign0016: to GC nice to have you with us and Verdun as given you great advice but if you can add pictures, it always helps members when giving advice :)
         
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        • Luke Matthews

          Luke Matthews Apprentice Gardener

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          Thank you Verdun, I’ll upload a picture today to give you a better idea of the lawns condition! It seems as though the front 2/3’s drains well, however the back 1/3 retains more moisture.

          The garden is south facing and gets a good amount of sun through the day.

          For such a small garden, would you consider turf or does seed give a better result with proper care and attention?
           
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          • Luke Matthews

            Luke Matthews Apprentice Gardener

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          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            Luke, turf is instant but the preparation is exactly the same so, for me, I would seed it. Far, far cheaper and the result would be similar in a few weeks.
            Turf can vary in quality too, needs to be watered a lot more in the coming weeks before it settles and knits together.
            Enjoy it whichever way you go Luke :)
             
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            • Gail_68

              Gail_68 Guest

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            • Luke Matthews

              Luke Matthews Apprentice Gardener

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              Thank you Verdun, I think I’ll go with seeding! Any particular brand you would recommend?
               
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              • Verdun

                Verdun Passionate gardener

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                Not really Luke....brands are much of a muchness but go for dwarf rye. It's a fine leaf variety that is hard wearing. Very popular and available seed in garden centres or DIY stores
                When you sow the seed, do so one way, lightly rake then sow in opposite direction and lightly rake again . Helps give an even sowing. :)
                 
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                • Mike Allen

                  Mike Allen Gardener

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                  Not wishing to confuse our friend but, Verdun. You missed out that bit about sowing grass seed. A handful of seed for the lawn and two for the birds. Sorry, just remembering training days.
                  All the best with your new lawn.
                   
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                  • Verdun

                    Verdun Passionate gardener

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                    Ha ha Mike.....it doesnt quite work out that way alas! The birds do not read the script and will take the bloomin' lot :)
                     
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                    • Mike Allen

                      Mike Allen Gardener

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                      Funny how some of those sayings from way back stick in your mind. Like. 3.4.5 the means by which to square a corner etc. Verdun, care to pm and share the when where and why's we came into gardening. No problems if you wish not to. Mike.
                       
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                      • Liz the pot

                        Liz the pot Gardener

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                        Just be aware that rye, and the known or so called dwarf ryes don’t like extreme conditions and they don’t thrive in real wet conditions so you may want to think about adding/mixing fescue to off set this.
                         
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                        • Verdun

                          Verdun Passionate gardener

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                          Hello Mike....maybe on the open forum sometime :)
                           
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                          • ivanol

                            ivanol Apprentice Gardener

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                            Hi Luke

                            I'm not an expert by any means - logged on to post my second question and thought it was my turn to answer some! I have in the last six months successfully grown a lawn from scratch, and unsuccessfully (so far) renovated an existing lawn.

                            The best lawn-from-scratch descriptions I've seen are rhs (I posted a link, but wasn't allowed to. Try googling for "rhs lawn from seed"), and lawnsmith (google "lawnsmith lawn advice"). By "best" I mean they have lots of info. I'm assuming it's correct, and having mostly followed their advice I'd say it appears to work, but I make myself remember that anyone writing a lawn blog is likely to be more obsessional than I am!

                            I reckon seed rather than turf. The problem with turf is that it starts off looking perfect, and spends the next few months/weeks getting gradually worse. This is really depressing, and makes you then neglect the lawn. Seeding makes a new lawn start off looking rubbish and gradually improve which is really exciting (in a slow paint-drying sort of way). I find it inspires me to keep working at making the lawn look good in a way that trying to maintain the perfection of the turf I laid 3 weeks ago really wouldn't.
                             
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