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Large area of browning turf

jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
I had new turf laid in Jan 2018 and it looked fantastic throughout the year - whilst some of it went a bit brown during the drought, I kept it watered and fairly long and it never really died off.  Earlier this year it looked very healthy - I keep the mower at a fairly high setting all year round.  

However in recent weeks a large area just looks increasingly brown and sad.  This is in Sussex, UK right after we've just had about 4" of rain in the space of a few days.  This area also produces very little growth.

Here is an aerial photo which shows it best ... one taken just now ... and one below taken back in Feb.  It's the middle-right which seems to be most affected.

Now:


Feb 2019:


Any ideas on what is going on and what I might do to solve it?

Posts

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,037
    It could be poor drainage on that bit. I would try spiking it thoroughly and brushing in some lawn sand. Apart from that I have no ideas. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    hogweed said:
    It could be poor drainage on that bit. I would try spiking it thoroughly and brushing in some lawn sand. Apart from that I have no ideas. 
    Actully I suspected the same.  We have solid clay deeper down underneath the 3 inches or so of sandy loam that was placed underneath the turf.  I wonder if that has formed a solid bowl underneath and the amount of rainfall is just sitting there with the grass roots soaking in that.

    If that is the case, would all that grass be dead/dying?  Or can it recover with some aeration like you suggest?
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    edited June 2019
    Was the ground well prepared beforehand?
    Sorry that is a bit like hogweeds suggestion already.
    Nothing like an old path foundation not fully removed, or a tree removed where old roots may still lie underground.

    I removed an old dead cherry tree a couple of years ago. Although I took out a lot of old root, there are some long strip type patches that leave similar looking areas to yours, ours is because of mycellium of fungus/ toadstools, making the soil dry.
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    Rubytoo said:
    Was the ground well prepared beforehand?
    Sorry that is a bit like hogweeds suggestion already.
    Nothing like an old path foundation not fully removed, or a tree removed where old roots may still lie underground.

    I removed an old dead cherry tree a couple of years ago. Although I took out a lot of old root, there are some long strip type patches that leave similar looking areas to yours, ours is because of mycellium of fungus/ toadstools, making the soil dry.
    No.

    Actually there was grass there before But it was on even so I lifted it all exposing the clay subsoil. We basically filled in and levelled with several inches of sandy loam. And the turf was laid on top of that to actually achieve a level lawn. As you can see from the picture a year after it was done it looked pretty much perfect. The problem seems to have come in in the last month or so.
  • lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 288
    Not a comment on the lawns - there seems to be plenty of good advice there.  But what a lovely garden you have created - well done!
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    lydiaann said:
    Not a comment on the lawns - there seems to be plenty of good advice there.  But what a lovely garden you have created - well done!
    many thanks!  it's a labour of love / obsession ... 
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    A few more close up pictures here 

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,079
    There's a fungal disease called red thread that affects lawns - could that be the problem? https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=268
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,238
    I was just thinking the same when I saw the reddish colouration in the pic. Afraid I don't know anything about it. 
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    Many thanks @JennyJ and all, fingers crossed as it looks treatable!  
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