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New build turf

Hi, thanks in advance for any advice. 

I have a new build with new turf put down in October. It had a chance to grow a bit before winter but it’s now quite water logged. I know it needs to be able to drain but I’m concerned standing all over it will damage it a lot. If you step on it you are making a trough that doesn’t go away and makes surface water even worse. Any advice?
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,274
    Unfortunately, it's a common problem we hear about on the forum. New builds are notorious for having rubbish hidden, with compacted ground, which then gets a couple of inches of topsoil and turf stuck down on it. It looks ok for a while and then the problems appear. If the site hasn't been well prepped, it can be a pain to sort.  :/
    Drainage is the usual problem, although many lawns are a bit rubbish coming out of winter, so it may just be the normal sort of condition.
    Moss appearing can make the site spongy. Is there a lot of moss in it? Shadier sites tend to have that, as moss likes those conditions, and grass doesn't. 
    If it's only in one small area, you can do the usual thing of spiking and adding grit to the holes, but it depends how bad the problem is, and how much you'll use the grass.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,615
    I'm wondering if it's the old classic of builders laying turf over very little topsoil. 
    Have you tried sticking a fork in it to see if the water drains away ?
    If you could supply a little more information, such as whereabouts you are in the UK (roughly), also is it a sunny/ shady site, that would help, also a couple of photos if possible  :)
  • Fairygirl said:
    Unfortunately, it's a common problem we hear about on the forum. New builds are notorious for having rubbish hidden, with compacted ground, which then gets a couple of inches of topsoil and turf stuck down on it. It looks ok for a while and then the problems appear. If the site hasn't been well prepped, it can be a pain to sort.  :/
    Drainage is the usual problem, although many lawns are a bit rubbish coming out of winter, so it may just be the normal sort of condition.
    Moss appearing can make the site spongy. Is there a lot of moss in it? Shadier sites tend to have that, as moss likes those conditions, and grass doesn't. 
    If it's only in one small area, you can do the usual thing of spiking and adding grit to the holes, but it depends how bad the problem is, and how much you'll use the grass.
    There isn’t a lot of moss but it is north facing and is only now starting to get the sun. The problem I have now is I don’t even want to stand on it to spike it (I’ve done it a bit from the path) as I know I’ll make a mess of it just from bodyweight. Wait for a dry spell and give it a go?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,274
    North facing isn't great. My front grass is NWest facing, and over winter it's largely moss. It's picking up a bit now, as the grass starts to get going a little bit. 
    The only problem with waiting until it's drier is, the ground is harder to get a fork into. You'll need to time it well  :)
    A few photos would help if you can , as @AnniD says.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AnniD said:
    I'm wondering if it's the old classic of builders laying turf over very little topsoil. 
    Have you tried sticking a fork in it to see if the water drains away ?
    If you could supply a little more information, such as whereabouts you are in the UK (roughly), also is it a sunny/ shady site, that would help, also a couple of photos if possible  :)
    I think that’s exactly what it is. The builder throwing down turf with as little work as they can get away with. My concern is  going to wreck it trying to spike it even through my body weight. Some photos attached and you can see the footprints left in the last one where guys stepped on it to fit soffit lights.
  • Footprints still there from December!
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,615
    It does look bad. Am l right in thinking that other sections aren't so bad ?
    I think you have nothing to lose by lifting the turf (such as it is !), and seeing what's underneath. 
    Have you contacted the builder ?
    I think personally you have 2 options.  One is to cut your losses and maybe replace at least some of the lawn with paving , or either starting from scratch again and either doing it yourself or preferably getting the builder to put it right. Preparation is the key.

    Are you a keen gardener, or wanting to do more gardening? The reason l ask is that it might be worth considering designing the garden from scratch and fitting the location with more suitable materials. 
  • Meant to say I’m in SW Scotland
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,274
    Yes - that looks like the classic problems many folk have  :/
    If it's mainly that area in the pix, you can probably get it into better shape with aerating. Then you might need to reseed, which you can do later, with the addition of some lighter compost/gritty soil, to level out the dips.
    The alternatives are quite difficult, because it involves putting in drains or lifting it all and sorting the soil properly, which I'm sure you don't want to be doing.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,701
    Well, we've had lots of the wet stuff here this past few months but that's not unusual. I think AnniD's ideas are good ones and to be honest, I don't see what else you can do. 
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