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Damaged lawn

Hoping for some help with my lawn, which has seen a fair bit of damage over the winter with the wet, and a dog that thinks it's Usain Bolt.

I've attached a picture - we are on clay, in the South East, and the lawn gets sun most of the day.

My plan so far is to even out the divots with topsoil,  aerate with a hollow tine once it's dried out a bit, then overseed (and feed later on) 

But I'm not sure what to do long term about the clay. I've put manure down on the bed for a couple of years and that seems to be working, but what do you do with a lawn on clay? Other than teach the dog to hover above it, of course... ;)


  • B3B3 Posts: 21,464
    How big is the area?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Kay177Kay177 Posts: 4
    About 7 x 3m. It's an oval lawn, and worse at the edges where the dog runs around
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,586
    Bumping this up in the hope that someone has experience and can advise :)
    Aeration is probably the best way to go is my guess, trouble with clay is it goes from one extreme to the other in a relatively short time.
    Fingers crossed that someone can help.
  • MrMowMrMow Posts: 68
    I would not waste my time or effort in coring the surface even at 2 inch centers you will only hit around 4% of the surface, even if you core to 6 inches deep what are you going to connect to gravel or just more clay. so will it drain any quicker I doubt it.

    Top dressing a lawn on clay how much sand would you need to add on 100 ton, you would need 30 ton of sand, just to make it a 70/30 root zone  and it still may not drain unless you connect it to something that drains lower down , and then use the wrong type of sand, angular sand will compact, rounded sand will not, and then you get in to the fines within sand ,and you could have a bigger headache than you first started with.

    Sometimes it is learning to manage what you have and learning when to get on the soil and when to keep off, Cricket and tennis is played on clay and around 35%clay content and these are rolled to death with 2 and 3 ton rollers, but they still grow grass and can look very good indeed, and a lot of the modern varieties are fine leaf. the other benefit of using Ryegrass is it will grow at colder conditions so you get a lot longer growing season, so early to wake up and last to go to bed.

    As for the dog damage much more walks needed o:)
    I never knew retirement would be so busy. :smile:

  • Kay177Kay177 Posts: 4
    Hah, I would if I could, but she's a very lazy greyhound - apart from those 2 minutes of zooming every couple of days!  :smiley:

    Might have a dig down and see what is under there. The borders are fine after a few years of manuring (the whole garden was previously lawn). 

    Failing that, we can fill it with sand and recreate a racing track for the dog! 

  • MrMowMrMow Posts: 68
    I was only being cheeky on the dog exercise, I have had dogs for over 40 years, the lawn can be patched up as long as the dogs are happy.

    If you are going to have a wee look under the bonnet you could dig a few holes at different depths and then use a set water volume on each hole and time it to see how long it takes to get rid of a set water amount,  does a deeper hole get rid of water quicker.

    a simple infiltration rate test.
    I never knew retirement would be so busy. :smile:

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