New member seeks re-turfing advice.

Good Morning/Evening all, 


Apologies to make my first post a somewhat convoluted string of questions but a friend recommended this forum and said there would be people happy to help ,so here goes...


So last year due to time constraints, an impending child birth and a limited budget we laid turf in our back yard. The area we turfed was approx 7x4m so nothing to huge but all the same not massively cheap to do so I'd rather ask and get some advice than make a guess and possibly find myself in this situation again in 12 months time.

The grass bedded in nicely and looked great throughout summer last year but over winter it's struggled.  Due in part I suspect to the very clay like soil about a foot down, the sheer volume of water that's fallen over Autumn and Winter and also i again suspect down to not enough topsoil being laid down in advance of the turf?

I can and will post pictures if it'd be of use to anyone but I'll have to hang on until its light this morning to take a couple of pictures.

Essentially the turf isn't level and there is almost stripes running the length of the grass (perhaps where the turf joins were?) where the level is a clear 2 or 3 inches lower that the level of the grass. 

Now I'm pretty confident I've cut corners in at least a couple of ways at the time of laying last year but my main queries are as follows.

1.Is there a way to rescue the turf that's already down and fill in the significant patches where the grass has failed to grow along with the little pits where it appears the soil has washed away almost?

2. If it's not easily rescue-able then would the following approach work; Pull up the turf that's down, flip it over so the remaining grass is facing down, add more top soil and re-turf/seed on top of there once I've got it more level and given it a deeper layer of soil to bed into?


I'm pretty sure that I had another question but I'll leave it for now in the hope that my sleep deprived brain see's fit to remember once the baby has returned to sleep.

Thanks for now folks and sincere thanks in advance for any replies or advice you fine folks can suggest.




  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,054

    Hi Kinny and welcome and congratulations on new baby image

    I think that many people's lawns are suffering this winter so don't be too despondent - we'll all be working this spring to get them looking a bit better.

    I think we may be able to salvage your lawn before baby is big enough to be toddling all over it and enjoying your garden.  It is amazing what can be done with a mix of topsoil and grass seed and some tlc, but it will be helpful to have some photographs and something that will give us an idea of the scale of the problem and the size of the gaps etc and then we'll come up with some suggestions. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Awesome thanks, I'll take some in a minute or two. 

    If a combination of soil and seed will repair it then this would be brilliant.


    Thanks for the reply image 

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    As Dove said - no ones lawn is looking fantastic right now but the photographs would certainly help us form a plan of action for you and your family to get your grass green and lush for the summer!

  • image












  • There we go, apologies for the poor formatting but if you click to enlarge they should come out with the right orientation.


    The one at the bottom is what it looked like about 6 weeks after laying, and that picture thoroughly depresses me now haha!

  • Agree with Edd - it actually is not that bad. I have clay under my lawn and it is hard as nails most of the year. I fork over my lawn to aerate it, add in sand to the holes. Later I cut the crass and seed any patches. By end of summer your lawn should be fine Kenny999.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,054

    Absolutely agree with all the above - eminently salvageable - in fact, you ought to see my lawn at the moment image

    I agree, a cut will help - but adjust the cutter so that it cuts as high as possible for the first cut or two.  Then before too long a raking and spiking and top dressing will perk it up no end - you'll have a lawn to be proud of by the end of the summer. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Cheers all, I'll indeed grab another photo once I've managed to cut it although this may be a few days as today was only the second day this year we've seen proper sunlight past 7am. 

    I'll try to answer the questions asked as best I can.

    Is it too wet to cut and take another photo? At the minute yes but I'll do this asap.

    Also how thick is the clay layer? Very thick sadly, we live about 300 yards from a clay beach

    and is it one foot down all over. Tough to say but i'ts estimate that its between half a foot down where the soil has seen the most standing water and a foot towards the bottom end of the garden in the last picture.

    Will a fork penetrate through it? Yeah should do without too much problem.


    If its going to be salvageable then that would be great news for my wallet!!

    My only other thought would be that if i were to flip the current turf/grass over then add another layer of soil and re-turf in in Spring, would this be a better solution in the long term to counter the standing water issue and lift the new turf even further away from the thick clay layer while also giving it a bit more good soil to root into? 

    If that way is even advisable then I'd be very tempted to do this for the slight extra cost and less issues perhaps down the road???


    Sincere thanks again for all your replies and help/advice. 



  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Well it definitely looks better than I was expecting!  Remember that this year has been the wettest winter for quite some time so it will be looking much worse than you'd normally expect especially with the mild weather causing it to grow earlier than you'd expect. 

  • rosemummyrosemummy Posts: 2,010

    our lawn mush worse, plan to resow when weather a little better, our soil clay too, just wait til you have a paddling pool on it every day through summer, ii'm a newbie too, expecting hard work each spring to keep lawn reasonable but with little ones still think you want a lawn

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