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Repair turfed area

I replaced some slabs with turf about 18ths ago. I knew when I was halfway through that I hadn't put enough soil underneath. It's a strip approx 2m x 15m.

You can clearly see how it's sunk below the level of the adjacent slabs and existing lawn. 

What's the best way to fix this without ripping it up and starting again?


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,015
    The best way is just to add some topsoil to the lower bit and sow seed. 
    The main problem is that you have it right up to the building, which isn't the best idea, but if you make it a slope, that should work well enough. 
    It's either that or you'd need to put in a retaining barrier of some kind [paviours etc] along the existing paving, and house/building wall, which may not suit.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I purposely wanted it up to the building and I vaguely remember looking into this at the time regarding water and I think it's ok. My memory is shocking so I can't say how, but I'm comfortable with that. Saying all of that - I do want to change that bit. Those walls are s/w facing and get some great sun in the afternoon, so I think I'm going to incorporate a couple of narrow vegetable beds there for the kids to grow stuff.

    I'll go for your soil and seed way. I wasn't sure if it would work just chucking it over the existing turf.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,015
    Yes - up to a point, spreading some soil on top will work. Once it gets deeper than an inch or two, it's different, but a wee drop of seed sprinkled over it will soon have it greening up.
    Whether you can get any is a different matter!
    The other drawback is that you'll have to stay off it for a while.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,675
    If the grass is growing strongly, top-dressing a little at a time without adding seed will also work (maybe half an inch, brush it in as well as you can and wait till the grass has grown up through it so you can't see the new soil before adding more), but if you can't get seed you might not be able to get topsoil, sand etc for the topdressing either.
    It does rather look as if the strip alongside the house is used as a path. If it's compacted from being walked on repeatedly, spiking it all over the area with a fork (as deep as you can) will help to relieve the compaction. I do the route to the compost bin and the strip under the washing line every spring because they always develop that worn, walked-on look over the winter. Contrary to most advice I don't bother brushing in sand or soil or anything, and it still seems to help.

  • That strip is used for a path. It was all slabbed originally and I took them up becuase the kids play in that bit. My plan was always to put some kind of child friendly stepping stones/ slabs along that line because it was always going to be a path. However, we chosen the worst time ever to put our house on the market so I'm torn between doing nothing or doing something to make it a bit better and wait until this COVID stuff is all over. 

    I'll try and fork it but as I've cocked it up in the first place it really isn't that deep at all. I could probably fork it with a dinner fork and still hit the gravel underneath. 

    If I wasn't selling I think I would just rip the whole thing up and start again. 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,675
    Gravel a few inches down would also help to explain why it looks less lush than the rest. It might be a case of live with it until you can get materials for whatever you decide to do. Garden centres around here are all closed. B&Q are doing deliveries of "essential items" which includes gravel (building material) but not garden stuff. Presumably other builders' merchants are still trading. Maybe you could lift the grass and make a gravel path, perhaps with stepping stones if you can get them. Having said that, house sales are likely to be pretty slow for a while so there's probably no hurry.
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