Dying New Turf
judlad Posts: 6
I'm new to the forum, not very green fingered to say the least!
Hoping it will be a wealth of information
We are currently on our 3rd lawn installation in a new build property! and all is not well with this. We are encountering dead patches of grass (see pics) and are lost as to why.
The turf has been laid for just over a week. We have watered it twice daily when we haven't had any rain (had lots here lately)
Really appreciate any advice anyone can offer as to why before we go back (yet again!) to the builder with this.
Do you just give it a sprinkle or a really good soaking? You need to make sure it doesn't dry out and it can take up to 6 or 8 weeks for the roots to start to knit with the soil below so, assuming you've prepared the soil well, laid it well and tamped it down gently to give the roots contact it just needs some patience.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
I shouldn't worry about it drastically. It is the wrong time of year for turfing.
I have been messing about with some of our turf too and despite copious amounts of watering small dead patches appeared. However, keep at it and it will recover. It is a massive shock for grass (turfing) so don't expect miracles this time of the year
Where the turf yellowed and died back like yours after a couple of weeks the tell tale pale green shoots have started to come up. Woo hoo. The grass isn't doing much growing around here (East Anglia) but is a little
Sprinklers are best and do it in the morning. With my rotation it worked out 15 minutes per section every three days (effectively twice a week). Evening sprinkling is not advisable due to potential disease as the grass does not dry out before night time. Judging by the size of your garden an hours worth (15 minute slots) would do the whole lot before you left for work (assuming 9 o'clock starts)
Once it was all set up in the morning (before work) it only cost about 10 minutes tops on top of the usual morning chores. So an hour and a half's watering everyday was incorporated with the usual daily work day routine.
For the areas particularly affected I would be dumping daily watering can's on it and really soak the ground.
Grass is hardy but will need plenty of water until established. Also get a sprinkler as a gun is not ideal for this task and costs too much time
Good luck and keep watering, it will recover
Forgot to mention. I would still water it unless there was torrential rain. The showers we are having are not enough.On top of that despite the rain there will be areas that will still not get watered due to wind direction, walls, fences etc
If it were mine it would get soaked everyday for the first couple of weeks and then begin to back it off to every other day. By the end of a month hopefully all should fine and no more watering unless we hit a drought.
Finally try to keep off the grass as much as possible and then let the grass grow much longer than you would (a few weeks) before cutting on a high cut first before working down to a normal cutting height in say mid September (2½ cm).
Just an opinion.
Overall it looks pretty good, it's probably lifted up near the edges. Not much you can do about that now it's dead, but the grass around it should replace it over time. I think you can summarise what's here:
Water it every day it hasn't rained. A decent amount of water is required.
Don't cut it at all in the first few weeks.
Check edges haven't lifted, push them down if they have.
If you're unlucky, it may be that the property developer dumped a load of rubble underneath the topsoil which, of course, the grass won't survive on top of.
I just want to add, where there are obvious dry edges, you can spike those areas and push some gritty topsoil down there if it doesn't improve after all the watering in a few weeks' time. As others have said, grass will recover. Even when they look dead, you just rake the grass vigorously, and it will rejuvinate again. I have seen numerous tents/marquees that have been erected over grass for weeks on end. When they leave, the grass in those areas are go brown. But with rain and a rake over, they soon get back to life.
Just want to say thanks for all the help. Grass is coming on well As you can see from the pic.
The largest area of dead grass has shown some re-growth, around 40%. Is it best to tackle this in the spring with new seed along with gaps in joints? Any advice on best methods/products on how to tackle this would be appreciated
Looks pretty good to me!
Regular mowing helps the grass to spread into areas where there's a gap, but you can sprinkle a bit of grass seed and compost/soil into gaps just now and water in. If it's warm enough where you live, it should germinate within a couple of weeks. As before, water wll in dry spells untill it gets going.
If you don't have seed which is the same as the grass you have, it's a good idea to broadcast some over the rest of the garden at the same time to help blend it all in.
I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
Early autumn is an ideal time to do lawn renovation as the ground is still warm along with the mild conditions and likely rainfall. Your turf should be relatively established. Just give the required areas a rake with a sprung-tine rake to create a bed for the new seed and away you go.
Give it chance!
I would definitely leave any fiddling with it until next year.
Just a good bit of pampering in the meantime. A bit of feed and plenty of regular cutting and the grass will love you for it . I'm doing it every five days or so although the grass isn't going mad at the moment here near Cambridge.
A good autumn feed would be good and keep an eye out for weeds before they get established.
Mid morning is the best time to cut grass as early evening makes it more prone to disease. Work, unfortunately, gets in the way.
No - no feeding as it's only recently laid. Leave that till spring.
Just keep cutting regularly while there's growth, and don't cut too short. Water if necessary. You can seed the little gaps if you want, but I don't think you'll really need to do that.
Dave H - I wish it was warm enough here to get seed to germinate - too cold even now, never mind in another month!
I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...