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What has happened to my turf?? Help!

Last year I laid turf in my back garden and felt like I followed all the required instructions to lay it effectively. I dug up a lot the existing soil, prepared the soil, applied top soil etc and laid the turf really well. When it was first down it looked really good. However what I did start to notice was that the turf wasn't rooting as well as it should. Slowly and surely the turf began to deteriorate and became really wet and boggy. Water was not absorbing and now I am left with a swamp in my back garden (see photos). Can anyone help with what may have happened and what I can do? The garden is totally unusable at present and I really want to be able to sort it. Also how can I help make the soil absorb water? Any help will be gratefully received. Thanks 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,904
    edited March 2018
    Hi Stephen :)

    It rather looks as if it's had a lot of traffic over the winter ... it's best to keep off lawns as much as you can in the winter, especially newly laid ones, and particularly in wet weather.

    Also, is it very shady there?

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

  • Hi. To be fair, it looked like that before winter. The lawn was laid in early August and we didn't walk on it at all at first and have been unable to since as it looks like that and in unusable. I have been out in it this morning, hence the footprints. But yes the garden has very limited sunlight. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,904
    I think the lack of sunlight may be at the 'root' of your problem ... there are varieties of grass seed which grow better in shady areas ... as it's not a large area it might be worthwhile waiting until the soil warms up a bit (not long, just a week or two now) and then raking the soil over to get a tilth and over-sowing the lawn with a specialist lawn seed for shade ... but you will have to stay off the lawn for quite a while.

    Otherwise it might just be time to accept that it's always going to be a struggle to grow a decent lawn in that spot and find an easier surface for your garden.  

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

  • Yeah thanks for that. I thought the lack of sun light might have played a part. Also if I remember rightly, the soil contained a lot of clay and I don't think it is absorbing water very well either leaving a lot of surface water when it rains. Any ideas as to how to help drainage? 
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