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New lawn thinning out at the end due to lack of sunlight and drainage + issue with the Acer tree

Hello everyone,

I started a thread few months ago about my new lawn having bumps due to bulbs growing underneath and I had really helpful replies/suggestions so was wondering if you could help me with another issue (2 actually) I'm having.

So my garden and lawn are looking great and for the most part very healthy. However I can see that the lawn is starting to thin out at the end, near the gate. It's still very green but I can actually see the ground/mud through the grass in this part. I suspect this is due to lack of sunlight and poor drainage there. Before my garden was landscaped/new turf laid, there used to be a concrete patio at the end (about 2,3 meters long) so we removed this. I remember the drainage at that end was pretty poor and it was very boggy for a couple of months (we did the work end of last year). My landscape gardener added sand and topsoil to prepare for the lawn and I used a garden fork to make holes in the ground before laying turf to improve drainage a bit.

I haven't really seen it water logged or anything but it does seem to have more moisture than parts of the lawn.

What can I do to stop the lawn thinning out? I spoke to my landscape gardener and he reckons reseeding + a lawn feed would help. What are your thoughts on this? I believe the lawn is a Rolawn and it's rye grass. Should I use rye seeds or a mixture of rye and fiscue (shade tolerant grass)?



The other issue is my Acer Sangokaku tree at the end (left hand side and doesn't' get a lot of sun either) although looked very healthy for a few months, in the last couple of months has started to look like it has a disease on it's leaves. I am not sure if you can see clearly but I see the leaves at the top are dying/dead basically don't look very healthy. What could be causing this and what can I do to remedy this?



Thanks in advance. 


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924

    Hi Cammy - I can't really see anything wrong with your grass! I'd be pretty happy if mine looked like that. It will always get more wear if there's a gate being used though, so perhaps you might want a little area there of hard standing (paving or similar) in the imediate spot in front of it. 

    I don't see any issue with your Acer either - it'll be dying back for winter now. They prefer some dappled shade, so it's probably in a good enough location. It might benefit from having a bit more room round it though - and that will allow it to look better aesthetically too. They make such nice specimens that it's a shame to have too much other planting close by them.

    As long as it's in a suitable medium for it to grow in, and it doesn't dry out (especially during long dry spells in late summer, early autumn and spring) it should be fine. The other issue can be if they're exposed to cold, drying winds, as that can spoil foliage a little, but I feel it's just dying back as it should just now.  image

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks for the reply fairygirl. I think the pictures probably don't tell the full story or aren't clear enough. The lawn is definitely thinner at the end compared to rest of the lawn. We don't really use the gate at the end so it's not like we walk on it a lot. At the moment it's not too bad but I'm worried that it'll get worse and more grass will die/more ground will be exposed.

    With the Acer, I see the leaves of the branches at the bottom are healthier looking. The ones at the end have ends that are dead looking. And I've already removed a lot of those leaves. I am not sure if it's a disease or it's just normal for the leaves to be looking like that this time of the year. Mind you it started a couple of months ago. 

  • I cropped the image maybe you it might be clearer now.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    The Acer leaves look like they are getting ready to fall off and that is normal. There is no evidence of curling or spots. A few tears and blackened edges are all part of 'weathering' leaves. You must remember, they can be scorched by winds and even rain can mark leaves, but all normal, especially now. 

    The lawn looks fine too, but if you are very concerned, I think the area you photographed could do with a bit of re-seeding or raking over next spring time. Nothing to be overly concerned with right now. The soil will be getting damper and any work on it now can have the opposite effect due to compacting soil area.

    If it's quite shaded, you can buy seed specific to shaded areas. You will possibly need to top dress that area every year too. Shade and damp normally means more sparse growth, but nothing unusual either, all gardens and gardeners face similar issues on some part of their lawn very similar to yours. It just means a little bit more care and maintenance on that area.

  • QuillQuill Posts: 6

    turf looks fine, no colour change to indicate a problem.

    i would simply leave the turf and let it winter and and see what it’s like in the spring.while there are grass types that tolerate shade more than others if you did seed you may well find a change in appearance in the area you seed which would make the area non uniformed. 

    Last edited: 31 October 2017 20:31:39

  • I wouldn't feed it.  If it's already in saturated soil then adding more moisture will more likely do more harm than good.  

    As pointed out already, it doesn't look that bad so I'd agree with Quill that just leaving it until spring makes more sense.  Patches to both sides of the photo are quite thick still, so I think it'll be just fine.

  • I agree with Bob (and others)  ... leave it for now ... fiddling with it is likely to do more harm than good.

    It's still a relatively young lawn ... warmer temperatures and regular and repeated mowing next year will encourage the grass to grow sideways as well as upwards, and consequently the lawn will thicken up.

    Patience is what's needed, as with so much in gardening image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thank you all for your replies. I will leave the lawn as is and assess next year :)

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