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New lawn problems

Hello all

During this spring I laid a turf lawn and now I have a problem which I cannot identify.

There was a gravelled area which had been there for 10 years and decided to turf it. I removed the gravel, dug the area over, laid some top soil to bring the level up, levelled it and laid turf. An area the size of a dustbin lid appeared to be struggling. Due to excellent weather, plenty of rain and sun the turf grew quickly. I decided to cut the grass (only topped it) and all was fine apart from this area which turned brown and died. I thought I had scalped it as the roots had not established. I removed the turf and re laid new. Within 2 days the same area died off. I removed the turf along with approx. 10 inches of the soil, replaced the soil with 'garden centre' approved top soil and re turfed. Although the shape of the area changed, it has died off again. I am left with an area which looks like an amateur crop circle.

The rest of the turf has established well but there are a couple of brown rings which have appeared. All I can deduct is there is something nasty deep within the soil which is coming through. Surely it should have evaporated or released during the 10 years the gravel was down. I don't suppose there is any use in trying to neutralise the soil if it is that powerful.

Any thoughts would be extremely useful, many thanks.

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,362

    It seems like you've done all the right prep for your lawn so it's certainly odd. Is the patch in an open spot or is it in  a shady area under a tree for instance? Alternatively, is it boggy where the patch is? An underlying broken drain, or a spring causing constant wet ground. Both those things could cause an issue with grass developing properly.

    If you can put some pix on it would help with other suggestions. Click on the tree icon at the right hand end in the toolbar and follow instructions. It doesn't work with some phones - better from a laptop or desktop computer. image

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


  • NostawcatNostawcat Posts: 12

    Thanks for the reply, I tried a photo but no joy, I will try again. The area is open and in full sun. When I dug it over the ground was not wet, boggy etc. and appeared no different to the rest. I dug out approx. 10 inches down to the natural earth and there were no wet spots or discolouring indicating any kind of chemical spillage etc.

  • NostawcatNostawcat Posts: 12

    The grass is growing fine around the main area, I cut it yesterday, I will try again to upload a photo but having no joy. Within this area, I say circle but since I exchanged the soil it is more like a mass of smaller areas, the grass has completely gone, just the base of the turf remaining. The smaller circles are brown and show no signs of recovery. Any tips on uploading a photo much appreciated. Many thanks again.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 65,492

    To upload a photo you need to click on the green tree icon on the toolbar above where you type your post, and follow the instructions.  Afraid it doesn't work for phones - yet!

    If that doesn't work let us know image

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







  • NostawcatNostawcat Posts: 12

    Thanks, yes I've tried several times, when I click upload the page goes to 'page cannot be displayed. Used picture from camera downloaded to computer.

  • NostawcatNostawcat Posts: 12

    image

     Finally got it to upload, spoke to garden centre staff yesterday and they were totally at a loss. As it's not covering the whole area a soil test was deemed pointless, too large an area for animal waste, and as soil was replaced down to a decent depth should be okay.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 65,492

    Don't suppose anyone ever parks a car there do they?  I've seen fuel leaks etc do that sort of damage - but I can't see any tyre tracks. image

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







  • NostawcatNostawcat Posts: 12

    A good call but unfortunately not, it is in my back garden with no access. Third lot of turf and it appears to be spreading.

  • NostawcatNostawcat Posts: 12

    Buddyboy

    Please ask away, I am grateful for any questions and that people are taking the time to help me out.

    I have pulled several areas of grass around the brown areas and it seems strong and fine. I have certainly watered it well and the good grass is thriving. The area is only about 5' x 5'.

    About 10 years ago we had the whole area landscaped with slabs and gravel so when I removed the gravel there was a certain amount of 'crush and run' which the landscaper had used for the slabs. I removed most of this along with any large stones, debris etc.and was down to the natural earth. As the level was a few inches below the slabs I added top soil which I dug in well, levelled and turfed. The area in question began to turn brown. Initially the grass laid flat then died, when I lifted the turf there were no visible roots in that area. I returfed with the same result. It was then I decided to dig out down to approx. 10' into the natural earth,(in the effected area) fill with garden centre lawn topsoil and returf again. The picture shows the result.

    There is a much larger area above the piece in the picture which was done at the same time and although has one brown area (not too big) has taken really well.

    Hope this makes sense and thanks again for your comments.  

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,362

    Re reading your initial post, it's certainly strange that the problem reappeared within a couple of days of replacing the soil and turf. image

    I'm at a loss as to what it could be - my only other suggestion would be someone putting weedkiller on it, but that seems unlikely when it's the same area all the time. You can see how well the rest is thriving with the prep you've done, so it's not likely to be anything you're doing wrong. Sorry - that's not much comfort I'm afraid. image

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


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