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Patches of Dead Lawn

Hello all,

We moved into a new build property in Oxfordshire 2 years ago and had new turf put in before moving in. The lawn seemed to establish itself well and my husband was doing a great job looking after it. However, this summer we started to get patches of dead grass with little holes and now we have large patches that are now almost completely dead (in both the front and back garden). The surrounding neighbour's gardens in the back all seem to be doing fine however we have the same issue of dead grass with neighbours in the front. Please help.. what could the problem be and how can we fix the lawn? Thank you!

Garden when turf laid 2 years ago

Garden this Spring

Garden now (with dead patches and holes)


  • This is such a frequent enquiry on this forum. Presumably the turf was laid on six inches of soil and just a load of broken bricks underneath...not exactly the recipe for successful long-term gardening. Try to use the search function to find similar previous chats there must be hundreds. Many things you can do to improve it come Spring...for now, sit back read and get ready for the work in March/April. 

    Probably a good time to think if you want to make some flower beds and reduce the size of the lawn. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I wonder if you have an invasion of leatherjackets in the soil. The holes look like those made by crows/magpies etc who are predators.
    Leatherjackets destroy grass roots unfortunately. They're the larvae of crane flies. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • asimandsidraasimandsidra Posts: 2
    edited November 2019
    @amancalledgeorge. Thanks. I’ve looked at the other posts related to new builds but I haven’t been able to diagnose what’s causing the holes. Would that be affected by the soil quality? Also if the soil was the problem, wouldn’t all the gardens in the lots have similar problems, not just ours?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I mentioned the holes in my previous post @asimandsidra
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I've tried laying seed twice and birds ate it all.  Tried an anti bird seed and it more enraged them into a feeding frenzy -_-  Little bastards they are.  Will give this a go as just threw it on.
  • You can try some light fleece cover to make sure the seed doesn't get eaten... @tetox44893
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,838
    I suspect leather jackets too.  Have a look at this infor from the RHS -

    Do not try sowing any more seed before April.  It is too cold and wet for it to germinate and you need to prepare the soil before hand too - 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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