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Has my 7 month old lawn had it?

In March this year I had my garden renovated that included the laying of new turf. The company that did the renovation and also put down the turf laid the new turf on top of the old turf which was turned upside down. From other posts I understand that this wasn't best practice but not necessarily a death sentance for the new turf. Since March the lawn has always appeared to be on the edge of dying. I've watered regularly, fed once with a mild natural lawn feed (perhaps I shouldn't have) and in a last ditch effort to rejuvenate before winter, cut low, de-thatched and overseeded. It's been 5 days since carrying out this procedure and as can be seen from the attached images, the lawn doesn't look great. Any advice or suggestions as to where to go from here or what the underlying issue may be would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Can't enlarge your photos but putting turf on top of old surely causes problems.
    The shorter you cut grass the shallower the roots are. 
    Not sure grass seed will have germinated yet.
    I would leave it for the winter and maybe get a grass specialist, Green Thumb or whoever is near you to have a look in the spring and advise.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,465
    I wish you’d not cut it so short ☹️ 

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







  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,453
    Aerate it and leave it be over winter - try not to walk on it.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    It’s normal to look terrible after scarification (de-thatching) for several weeks, and while it doesn’t look immaculate it doesn’t look at deaths door either, to me.

    How much topsoil was there between the upturned turf and the new rolls of turf being laid?

    Hows the weather been these last six months and where are you in the world?

    How did it look after 1,3 and 5 months?
  • dealsjpdealsjp Posts: 10
    Thank you for all your replies, much appreciated. From what I could see the new turf was lied directly on top of the upside down turf, no extra top soil added. For the first month it looked fine (I didn't touch or walk on it during this period, cutting it lightly after 3 weeks and watering regularly). It was from approx 2 months areas started turning brown but nothing drastic. From approx 4 months you could definitely see certain areas were browning and becoming thin. I've continued to water and cut down to approx 4cm regularly since 2 months in. Although I always collect the cuttings whilst mowing I've noticed lots of thatch developing. This is what I finally cleared last week, cutting it back possibly too much in order to over-seed and let the grass breath. I'm based in south east England were there have been some dry spells but the garden has never been baked dry. The only positive is that there are hardly any weeds/clover amongst the grass and lots of worm action.

    Regarding grass seed, looking at the seed I sowed a few days ago, some look like they are just husks/shells, is this part of the germination process or have they been attacked? Also, I just scattered and brushed the seed across the existing turf without putting any soil on top, was this correct?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,611
    You need to have loosened the soil abit wit a rake before re-seeding and then you need the right temperatures and rainfall for those seeds to germinate and send their new roots down into the soil.

    I suggest you stop cutting the grass now.  The leaves are the food factry and send energy down to the roots which, in turn, pick up minerals and moisture from the soil to maintain leaf structure.  Cutting the grass too short puts strain on the roots and they weaken and you get a vicious circle.

    leave it be for now and don't cut again till spring when temperatures are regularly about 10C or more.  Keep the blades high and don't cut it shorter than 5cm for a while when it start to grow again so it can keep feeding its roots.

    April is the best time for another go with seeding, should you need to try again.

    In the meantime, have a read of this advice from the RHS - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=438 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    I think Obelixx has it.

    Also, brown patches in July/August are fairly common for me in Kent, I wouldn’t worry about that either.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,349
    edited October 2019
    @Obelixx is right - Winter rain will hopefully sort it out a bit. Cutting too short has been a bit counter productive, as has the seed sowing too late, but grass will recover.  :) 

    If you need to sow again in spring, make sure the seed has good contact with the soil below too. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • K67 said:
    Can't enlarge your photos but putting turf on top of old surely causes problems.
    The shorter you cut grass the shallower the roots are. 
    Not sure grass seed will have germinated yet.
    I would leave it for the winter and maybe get a grass specialist, Green Thumb or whoever is near you to have a look in the spring and advise.

    Are McDonalds specialists in quality burgers too? 🤣🤣

    OP, don't do anything else just now. The lawn will struggle to develop a proper root zone due to the awful prep work that was done. Where in the UK are you? If you're south, try and get some debris netting, then heavily seed the whole lawn and cover with the netting for 10 days. 

    When you cut again in spring, set tge mower to maximum height.  This lawn is going to need to be given half a chance to develop, and that means a long lawn, cut weekly in 2020. 

    And make sure the dodgy builder/handyman that did it doesn't get any more work for anyone you know. 
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    edited October 2019
    Are McDonalds specialists in quality burgers too? 🤣🤣
    Green Thumb have always been pretty good for my last 2 lawns. Don't have one now.
    And McDonald's burgers are quality..at least that's what they advertise! 🤔
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