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Lawn disaster

All ideas gratefully received!  My neighbour's front garden has a sumach tree and a conifer of some description, and a couple of years ago she "cleared" all the surrounding soil and had turf laid.

I said at the time that these two trees (together with a few random shrubs) would suck moisture out of the soil, and that unless the additional problem of rampant wild garlic was properly controlled ie killed with glysophate, there would be future problems.

I hate to say that I'm right - but I am! 

Around the conifer is a wide circle of dead ex-grass.

The sumach has sucked the life out of the soil.

The wild garlic is rampant.

So NOW I am asked for advice - and my temptation is to say "start again from scratch".  However, it is a rented property, and she is loath to embark on an expensive  solution that would involve a lot of hard work.

Is there an easy answer?  I don't think so.  The garden is south-facing, but is at the front of the property and partly shaded by a front wall. 

If I was going to lay a lawn, this is not where I would do it.  But . . .



  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,185

    Hi Verdun - many thanks for your suggestions.  It is roughly what I would have recommended, so I will try to see if I can make some headway with neighbour.

    A friend of mine suggested pre-germinating grass seed in damp, not wet, compost to deter birds etc,  I'll see if this also helps.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Would it not be better to offer no advice to your neighbour?  Whatever you say the neighbour will either ignore or resent whether you are right or wrong.

    Sumach is not a good plant as it puts up suckers.  And garlic should be kept well away from gardens, though it does die down quite early and can be mown off in a lawn.

  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,185

    Thanks Welshonion - tempting though it is to offer no advice - it's a bit difficult when I'm asked and pushed for an answer and/or an opinion.  Whether or not the advice is followed is another matter image

    Incidentally, after the wet, long winter, there are patches of my own lawn looking a bit sorry for themselves.  But I shall try the pre-germination of seed before I re-seed where necessary.  And may follow Verdun's advice, too, regarding the temporary covering with fleece.

  • red johnred john Posts: 25

    Pity it is rented I would have said do has I have done and get artificial grass mine after all the rain and my dog made it a right mess so I dug it up and put down artificial grass looks great

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,788

    But if it looks great, what do you grumble about ....... that's what lawns are for, to provide a focus for grumbling.  

    Whatever a lawn is doing, it's always doing something wrong image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • SeakaySeakay Posts: 1

    I'd encourage her to regard the wild garlic as a useful crop and plant alpine strawberries in the shady area where grass will not grow. the spread v rapidly and don't require much attention

  • SuziepoSuziepo Posts: 10

    Last few years, every summer I get mounds of ant hills appearing all over the lawn, they are tiny ants wih eggs beneath the surface. I've tried hosing out the eggs for the birds and ant killer but no real effect any ideas please?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,788

    There are some tips on this link from the RHS on managing ants in lawns - if the problem is severe there are nematodes which can be watered into the soil which will help to solve the problem. 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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