Forum home Problem solving

Looking for advice on my grass....

Hi everyone,

Over the past year we have developed lots of issues with our grass at the front of the house. It's North facing so doesn't see much sun. A number of issues have developed one of which is weeds - see photos. Is it best to wait until the spring to address these or is there something I can do now?

Also we have a problem with something leaving mounds of soil on the grass a little bit like the curly mounds you see on the beach. Does anyone have any idea what this could be and how to get rid of them? Worms of some form?

Thanks for looking,



  • B3B3 Posts: 19,966
    Those are worm casts. You can brush them off when they're dry or some people collect them for sowing seeds.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,941
    edited 12 January
    That doesn't look bad to me, for a North-facing site in January.
    The worm casts are a good sign - it means the soil is healthy, and the worms will be doing a grand job of aerating it.
    You can dig out the weeds any time you can see them (as long as the ground isn't soaking wet and muddy, or frosted, in which case it's best not to walk in it) - a long narrow weeding knife or an old kitchen knife works well. If you want to use a weedkiller, you need to wait until the weeds are growing strongly, otherwise they won't absorb it. Choose something designed for lawns - regular weedkillers will kill grass as well so if you use something like glyphosate gel you'd need to paint it carefully onto just the weed leaves, keeping it off the grass.
    A lawn feed in spring would help, but if you choose a feed-and-weed product, be careful to apply it lightly and evenly according to the instructions or it'll turn the lawn black. Don't be tempted to add a bit extra.
    When the weather is fit to start mowing, start by setting the mower high and just taking the tips off, then gradually reduce the cut height over several weeks. Don't go too short, and try not to let it get too long between cuts - aim to cut little and often.
    And it'll look hugely better if you trim all the edges (I use one-handed shears - hands-and-knees job) rather than just mowing, but it does take a bit longer.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,664
    I agree with @JennyJ , not bad looking for this time of year, the shadier areas of my back garden lawn look very similar. 
    Try to avoid walking on the worm casts if you can when they are so damp, or you'll just end up with a load of muddy patches. At the moment l look as though l am playing hopscotch in certain areas.
    Weeding by hand is the best thing at the moment, and as for the moss, l leave that alone for now. I have seen birds taking it for nest building  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 42,385
    edited 12 January
    My north-ish facing front grass is mainly moss through winter.
    I'd avoid being on it as much as you can too, as @JennyJ and @AnniD say. Spring is the time to get busy with a product.
    If you decide to use them, do a feed only first, everything grows including the weeds, and then a weed and feed is more effective. You need to check the times for applying, so that you don't do them too close together. I do that, although I don't have to do it much nowadays as the grass has got a better hold, so I generally do one weed and feed, and then just spot weed anything pernicious now and again.

    Alternatively, if you don't want to use chemicals, you can dig out weeds, and use a seaweed feed or similar when it warms up. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you for your advice. If I dig out a larger weed will I need to sow seed to cover it in the spring?
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,664
    edited 12 January
    You'll probably be left with a bare patch, so you might decide to keep the green, as it were. To be honest, it's up to you decide whether you're happy to have bare patches or weeds  :)
    As soon as things start to warm up, you can start to plan your attack .
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 42,385
    If there's an obvious 'hole' you can fill it in with some soil/compost, and then let nature take it's course. You'll often find that the grass will spread and cover any gaps anyway, especially once you're cutting it again. Regular, correct mowing encourages sideways growth.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 319
    One way of keeping your lawn clear of worm casts is to turn a spring tine rake over so that the tines are facing upwards and use the back of the rake in a sweeping action across the lawn - it disperses the casts over your lawn and adds nutrients.  Try not to stand on any worm casts while you do this.  I do this regularly throughout autumn and winter. 
Sign In or Register to comment.