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help please... my lawn is dying.

Hi everyone, i am new to gardening and trying to revive my lawn. i had new lawn laid in September.

beforejpg


looked lovely and lush, now it looks tired and dead

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i watered it and mowed it but it didnt really survive the winter too well. now i am thinking of overseeding and topdressing and i need some advice. my soil i very clay based and i did not think the people that did the lawn in september added enough top soil before laying the grass, what i want to know is do i seed and then cover with compost, i have read that compost and grit or sharp sand would help being clay soil is this correct? do i just pour the seed on the ground and then pour the compost over it, does it matter the condition of the existing grass. what i have done so far is

1. mowed it to the current height seen in the picture

2. scarified it to remove the thatch and moss (my research said the scarifier would also aerate the soil, but my ground is so hard it didnt even get into it much) so i might now need get one of those aerating shoes

now i want to overseed. can anyone advice on how i might be able to get the lawn back to looking good.
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  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    edited April 2020
    Hi 
    Your photos haven’t come through from that link 
    But, if your lawn has bare patches, then I would spike these areas with a garden fork, iand then break up the soil. Once you’ve broken up the soil then use a garden rake to rake over the soil and also remove any large stone. If it a smaller area, then I would normally use a hand cultivator. The soil should now be ready for sowing the grass seed. Once the seeds are down, then I would cover slightly with sieved top soil. (a sieve is normally plastic or metal that normally allows small particles to pass through it) If you can get some bagged up top soil then it will save you doing this
    I would normally use soil from my boarders. 
    It’s not critical to cover them over but I normally do to keep the seeds in place 
  • seunakinsola001seunakinsola001 Posts: 9
    edited April 2020
    Sorry Steve I didn't know about the pictures not coming through... i'll upload again and hope this works.. the top picture is how it looks now, the bottom picture was a month or so after it was originally laid




  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,622
    I have got my lawn into worse states than that, and it bounced back by itself. I suspect you let it get a bit too long and that made the grass a bit thin and patchy when mowed?
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,622
    Is there any reason why you are using a roller on it?
  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    Hi 
    it looks like you have a build up of thatch ( dead grass and moss) I would use spring tine rake and rake off all the dead material and then throw down some grass seed and keep well watered 
    it does look as if it’s been cut a bit too short so let’s it grow a bit then cut it on the 2nd or 3rd setting on your mower. I would then apply a foliar feed to the grass that will green it up in a few days. Apply the feed every 6 weeks and it will bounce back.
    Don't lose hope because lawns are tough and a little work it will green up 
  • WillDB said:
    Is there any reason why you are using a roller on it?
    the reason for this was that it seemed to have some mounds on it, it wasnt level and internet told me that rolling might help level it out.... is that wrong? what would have been a better to achieve a level surface
  • Hi 
    it looks like you have a build up of thatch ( dead grass and moss) I would use spring tine rake and rake off all the dead material and then throw down some grass seed and keep well watered 
    it does look as if it’s been cut a bit too short so let’s it grow a bit then cut it on the 2nd or 3rd setting on your mower. I would then apply a foliar feed to the grass that will green it up in a few days. Apply the feed every 6 weeks and it will bounce back.
    Don't lose hope because lawns are tough and a little work it will green up 
    after this picture i have scarified the lawn as that was supposed to remove the thatch and moss.. again what that wrong? scarifying makes the lawn look scary!
  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    edited April 2020
    Hi, 
    Its just a bit hard to tell from the photo 
    As you’ve racked it through the soil will be hopefully broken up as seeds will not grow very well on unprepared soil. Your are fortunate that it’s a small area so working the soil so it’s ready for seeding will not be too hard. I would sow your grass seed to the complete area and cover with some sieved top soil and water well so it’s does not dry out. Wait approximately 10 days and new green shoots should green up your lawn 

  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,622
    WillDB said:
    Is there any reason why you are using a roller on it?
    the reason for this was that it seemed to have some mounds on it, it wasnt level and internet told me that rolling might help level it out.... is that wrong? what would have been a better to achieve a level surface
    It's not a great idea, especially on clay, as it compacts the soil, reducing oxygen and water in the soil. The usual advice is to lift turf, remove soil underneath to correct a bump, then replace turf. A roller is more for *gently* firming newly laid turf so it connects with the soil.

    Anyway I wouldn't fret too much at this stage, I'm sure your lawn will start to recover. As I said, I've gone a bit mad with scarifying my lawn in the past (looking worse than yours!) and it recovered OK!

  • Hi, 
    Its just a bit hard to tell from the photo 
    As you’ve racked it through the soil will be hopefully broken up as seeds will not grow very well on unprepared soil. Your are fortunate that it’s a small area so working the soil so it’s ready for seeding will not be too hard. I would sow your grass seed to the complete area and cover with some sieved top soil and water well so it’s does not dry out. Wait approximately 10 days and new green shoots should green up your lawn 

    Thanks Steve, is it better to cover seeds with topsoil or compost (both sieved).

    would something like this do
    https://www.compostdirect.com/topsoil-lawn-dressing/p72

    or this

    https://www.compostdirect.com/black-gold/p2

    or this

    https://www.lawsons.co.uk/product/category/1090/screened-top-soil-bulk-bag/a25240005
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