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Garden ruined

Hi everyone. I'm by no means an enthusiast when it comes to gardening, but I do enjoy getting some rays on me whilst trimming the lawn. 

I'm in a new build, 3-4 years old. We put some lawn down when we first moved in and the first year it was lovely. Second year still really nice. Last year there was a lot of weed picking and this year is horrendous. I've just cut it for the first time this year, not too short, and of course the weeds aren't as visible at the moment but certainly still there and will no doubt be visible again in a few days. 

Its also gone very patchy. I should have taken a photo before I cut it to show it at its worst. 

The frustrating thing is my neighbours lawn is fine, untouched by weeds. I don't know if this means anything but it always seem to have been very damp, very squelchy. Particularly at the top. But even today, hasn't really rained hard for a while and it was quite squelchy all over. 

I used some some lawn feed and weed killer last week. I did notice the weeds dying but obviously not at the roots, so they're still there. 

I can take pictures if necessary, but does anyone have suggestions as to what I can do? I've just dug out 2 of the largest weeds but if I do that everywhere it'll just leave muddy holes all over. 

Thanks for for your time!



  • lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 298

    Sounds to me as though it needs aerating first and foremost.  Normally, round about March you need to scarify to get rid of all the thatch, and aerate well.  You can buy machines/tools to do the job but good old fashioned prodding all over to a depth of 4-6 inches with a garden fork also works.  Weed and feed is just not enough, that comes after the basic treatment.  It sounds as though your neighbours are doing all these things and one of the best ways of finding out the problem would be to discuss with them exactly what they are doing.  I think that aerating now would still be a good idea but ask the neighbours!!  Gardeners are the one species who really do love to talk to one another!! 

  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,748

    Just a though as your neighbours lawn is so good but yours is waterlogged is their any chance that you have a broken water pipe nearby?

  • Thanks guys. I just tried replying, with a picture too, but hasn't seem to have worked....

    So when you say aerate, you're meaning just stabbing the whole garden with a fork? I can give that a go. Is that going to help with the weeds in any way though? Why are they there in the first place?

    I really haven't noticed my neighbours doing anything special, but I will ask.

    I've just had a walk on the lawn and it is definitely very damp right at the back, very squelchy. But there aren't many weeds there, but as you can hopefully see on the picture, it has gone yellow there and hadn't really grown at all unlike some of the other areas. You can also see in the picture just how terribly patchy it is.



  • Certainly no water pipe broken. Don't know what it could be.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    There is a broken water pipe beneath the verge outside our house, which we (grudgingly) strim and weed.  The weeds there are mainly docks, buttercup and cow parsley.  Meanwhile, on the pitch out the back, the weeds are mainly thistle, clover and dandelion (it is dry there).  You can figure out quite a bit about the problem from what the weed actually is. 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,619

    I would stab it with a fork and scatter a mix of sand, compost, lawn fertiliser and grass seed and sweep into the holes. The lawn should be fed and weedkilled every spring. Weeds always come, they fly in the air (like dandelion seeds) or they are dropped by birds - just a fact of life. If there is a lot of moss you will need mosskiller too and then you will have to rake out the dead moss. Once you've done all that it will look worse to start with but then it will start to look a lot better.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 298

    Standing on my head, I see you have large bare patches as well.  So, firstly scarify (drag a wire leaf rake or similar thoroughly through the grass) which will lift old 'thatch'.  Then aerate (you have a small lawn, so shouldn't take long but will work you hard!).  After that, follow Busy-Lizzie's advice...although with the really bare patches, personally I'd buy a ready-mixed "4-in-1" for this year.  As B-L said, it won't look pretty to start but keep at it over the summer (pulling any weeds and  taking care of those bald patches) and keeping it cut regularly (not too short).  Then in the autumn look for "Autumn Weed and Feed" so you treat it ready for winter.  By next summer, once you've done the full spring treatment again, you'll have a lawn that the neighbours will envy!  You will never get rid of weeds but you can control them to a degree; it just takes a certain amount of dedication. Like all living things, including we ladies, it just needs to be pampered regularly...

  • richhondacrichhondac Posts: 222

    Looks like building wast maybe plastic has been left in the ground and turfed over

  • Big thanks for the replies everyone. 

    This is the 4 in 1 I bought and used before

    So should I just use that as well as aerating? Or seeds? Or both? And am I best just digging the weeds out with a trowel? Even though it'll leave nasty holes?

    And I have a rake, but when I've used it before to collect cut grass before I got my new lawnmower, it was awful. Would just get stuck and rip the garden up. Was I using the wrong kind???

    Thanks again!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,088

    I'm spending a little while each evening on my hands and knees with a daisy grubber taking out dandelions from our lawn.  I've got millions more than you. 



     My dandelions ........ you see, I wasn't joking, it's much worse than yours - but within the next few weeks, a combination of Weed & Feed, and me and my daisygrubber getting the ones the treatment missed, I'll have a great lawn image

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

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