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Lawn in a bad way! Help!

Hi Folks. 

Around 4 weeks ago now, I tried to repair my already patchy garden lawn with the Westlands 'All in One' lawn treatment. Despite efforts to use the right amounts, i must have used far too much and 'burned' the lawn. I had huge patches of black areas and it looked terrible. 4 weeks on, i've left the lawn to recover and gave it a trim yesterday (results in the picture attached). Some small areas have taken the treatment and look relatively healthy, however most of it is still very patchy, brown and dead looking:


What is the best approach to get this looking nice? The garden isn't huge, and i want to extend the lawn areas left and right to create more width. Is there a cheap fix to recover the lawn or will it need re-laying? If it does need re-laying, how much would a job like this cost?

Any help would be great! Thanks


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  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,974

    The brown/black areas are simply where the treatment is killing off the weeds and moss. Those should be raked out to remove the dead stuff.  What it highlights though,  is just how little grass you actually have there Joe - and that's the real issue. The amount of shade from the surrounding shrubs and trees will always make it difficult for grass to thrive. It's creating everything it hates. The shrubs will use up most of the available moisture, and the shade causes moss.

    If you really want grass, you'd have to look at removing a good bit of that shade. The conifer, bottom left, is something that particularly prevents suitable conditions for grass. There are grass seed varieties which are more suitable for shade, but it will always be a struggle to maintain in those conditions, I'm afraid. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • joe_1712joe_1712 Posts: 7

    Thanks for the replies guys! looks like a have a few options. Does anyone know roughly how much it would be to install artificial lawn on this sized lawn? Just an estimate bracket? Thanks

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    For supply only artificial grass price ranges from £4 per square metre right through to £35 per square metre.

    Of course the better quality you want the more you pay.

  • joe_1712joe_1712 Posts: 7

    Thanks! sorry for all the questions but what is the best way to re-seed the bad patches?

    I've bought some rapid grass seed today, and some people say just spread it across the patches, and others say to spread some top soil over the grass, and mix in with the seed. 

    What is the best way for the above picture?

  • With feed and weed it's easy to apply too much or if not watered within a few days, the grass will be scorched and turn , yellow, white then brown.

    Dead moss which is killed by the ferrous sulphate, goes dark brown or black. Weeds curl up, go yellow then black but this can take several weeks for the stubborn ones such as dandelions, clover and self heal.

    It looks like the grass itself appears to have suffered in places and if a good watering on an evening doesn't bring it back to life, you may need to re-seed the affected areas.

  • joe_1712joe_1712 Posts: 7

    Thanks Dave, 

    I've bought some rapid grass seed today, and some people say just spread it across the patches, and others say to spread some top soil over the grass, and mix in with the seed. 

    What is the best way for the above picture?

  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    Oh Dear!  Your garden is under a great deal of shade from those conifers. I think it would be very difficult to get any sort of decent lawn under all that shade, even with enough rain.

    Those trees will just soak it all up. The soil looks like dust . I would suggest your choice is to get rid of either the lawn or the conifers, or get an artificical lawn .

    Don't start feeding or seeding it now or you will just waste money. No grass is  going to grow anywhere in that garden unless you have enough rain. Wait  until at least September if this weather continues . My lawn is in the open and the grass is going brown and crispy.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • What brand of rapid grass seed is it? The gel coated stuff is overpriced snake oil IME. Your garden looks quite shaded so a shady area grass variety may do better in the long run. It's worth raking your chosen seed into the entire lawn to create a uniform appearance.

    You need to loosen the soil surface before sowing the seed otherwise they will struggle to take root. Give the areas a soaking to loosen up soil before sowing.

    The box of seed will probably tell you to prepare ground to 20+ cm but this is only practical for new lawns. I'd rake up a couple of inches at most, spread good quality dry topsoil on top, level it so lawn is even (walk over it in different directions or use a roller). 

    Then gently rake light grooves at rightangles, spread seed on top, rake it gently in and sprinkle topsoil over. You can turn the rake upside down to create a nice smooth coverage of topsoil. Give a a watering with a fine spray every evening.

    In a couple of weeks, you should see the makings of a fine lawn.

  • joe_1712joe_1712 Posts: 7


    When you say 'rake up a couple of inches at most' do you mean opening the soil up with a fork? 

    I have quite a few bags of top soil. So here's what i'll do:

    - Rake all the dead grass / moss off the lawn and remove stones etc.

    - Soak the grass (or wait until it rains)

    - Spread some topsoil evenly across the entire lawn 

    - Spread the grass seed evenly over the entire lawn

    - Sprinkle some final topsoil over evenly to protect it from the birds etc. 

    - Keep watering it (i have a water sprinkler i can set up). 

    Final thing - i really want to add more grass left and right (mainly to square the garden off) but i would much rather do this as part of the above process, rather than trying to match up and install new turf strips. i fill in the side areas with topsoil to bring up to lawn level, or do i use compost? 

    I know the side grass might not look as healthy down the line, but i'd rather do it just to make the garden look right in terms of its shape. 

    That should be the last question i promise! 


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