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Dead grass

Hi, earlier this year my neighbour emptied his fish pond and most of it leaked onto my lawn.

I only laid the turf towards the end of last year and it looked as though it was pretty well established with the exception of a couple of fist sized patches that are bare. Where the pond leaked the grass has died, there is a little grass left but it is all dead and the area is mostly bare.

The neighbour says it 'only' had cleaner in it.

I have spread a granule fertiliser over the area for the past month or so but no growth has happened. I am guessing i need to somehow flush the chemicals out of the soil before i can get any growth the occur.

Is there anything i can do before winter sets in ?

I would be grateful for any advice.



  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 3,975

    Without seeing photos, it is hard to say whether your bare patches are dead grass that needs raking up or you can see bare earth. If the latter, you will probably need to re-seed these small areas. It's the best time for it. Give the bare patches a light rake and brush in a bit of topsoil and then broadcast the seeds as directed on the packet. They should germinate in time for winter.

    Whatever chemicals from that pond leak, it's unlikely to contribute to the issues now. Very often, rain will wash any chemicals away quite quickly.

  • Thank you for the response, i have tried to take a couple of photos of the dead patch and also one of the small patches that have been there pretty much since i laid it, i think the cat might be responsible for these. The small patches have heavy growth around the edges, perhaps you can see that in the photo. The areas look a bit white due to the fertiliser i spread, some of this has not yet dissolved.imageimageimageimage

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,245

    If you used the recommended amount of fertiliser that shouldn't add to the problem.  Where problems occur is when people use too much fertiliser on the basis of if x per square yard is good, twice x must be even better.  Using too much fertiliser can actually damage growth, although it will eventually recover.

    As has been suggested, seeding now is the best way to address the problem and see what happens ove winter.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 3,975

    Thanks for posting some photos. Nothing too serious by the looks of it. Give the areas a rake and topdress a bit of top soil and re-seed. If you are quite worried about chemicals still down there. Water the affected areas very well and leave for another week. 

  • Thank you, i will give it a rake and re-seed this patch over the weekend.

    Whilst i have your attention do you have any ideas what might cause the small fist size bald patches ? They have been there pretty much since i laid the turf last year. This was laid on new topsoil at a depth of between 6 and 8 inches. They don't really notice too much when kept cut but i have let it grow for a couple of weeks and there is more growth around the perimeter of the bald patches than on the rest of the lawn as can be seen in this photo.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 62,245

    That looks typical of grass scorched by a bitch's urine. Initially it burns and kills a patch of grass, but after a while the high nitrogen content of the urine increases the lushness of the grass surrounding the dead patch. 

    Do you have a bitch or does one visit your garden? 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • We have a couple of cats, i thought that might be the case but figured i may as well check whilst my other issue was still being viewed.

    They only used it as a litter tray before the turf went down, or at least that's what i thought.  I have only seen them using the lawn twice since when it was freshly laid and we don't really get any other visitors in the garden although we do keep the cats in at night so i guess anything could be out there.

    Should i treat this the same way as the other patch ?

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 3,975

    Treat in the same way by scratching the surface with a rake first and maybe spike the area as it looks quite matted and compacted. Sprinkle a bit of topsoil and then re-seed. I agree with Dovefromabove, it does look like urine patches. If it doesn't improve after re-seeding in a month's time, you may need to dig area up to see if something is going on underneath those areas.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 62,245

    Maybe a visiting vixen ... image

    Or do you have the occasional visitor who brings a dog which uses the garden ... just occasionally ... 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • The soil underneath is about 6-8 inches deep new soil on top of a weed control membrane to stop the shingle rising to the surface. No dogs in this garden other than on the rare occasion the neighbours dog jumps the fence to chase our cats, its not been there long enough to do anything though.

    Never seen a fox here but that's not to say it cannot be that. Whatever caused it has been there soon after i laid it and it does'nt look to have got any worse since.

    I will give the patches a bit of a rake as well and seed it. Also got a load of clover appearing in a patch, will deal with that as well.

    Fingers crossed it will work, we have waited about 20 years to have a decent lawn and it would be nice if i only had to cut it.

    Thank you for the advice.

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