A few years ago I turfed my front garden by removing the weeds and digging all over until I got a fine tilth etc. The grass grew well for a few years, but since then it's had several large delivery sized bags of subsoil sitting on it, which have now been removed. Underneath, the grass is obviously dead, the ground is a little compacted, with a small layer of subsoil on top as some of it must have oozed through the bags when it rained. But the ground is weed free and perfectly level. So rather than dig over the whole area again, would it work to put a decent layer of compost and a bit of sand which I have, all over and lay the turf on top of that, obviously then doing the twice a day watering? A friend told me this would work, and so I went ahead and bought 5 x 60L bags of compost, so I'm praying it hasn't been a mistake. I've decided on turf rather than grass seed as I'll be putting my house on the market soon, so need an instant lawn. Many thanks.
Jill, stick a fork into it and see how deep the compaction goes first. It may not be too deep, in which case, lift the area's with the fork, you don't need to dig it and just loosen the soil. Then go ahead with your plan. If however it badly compacted you'll have no choice but to dig it. If you don't the grass will drown when it rains.
in the words of Roy Cropper on Corry, " if you fail to prepare: you should prepare to fail"
Any patching of turf is unlikely to match the existing surroundings in colour and texture.
We had a similar problem after our lawn had been under three builder's skips all summer. We raked the bare patches over and removed the weeds, lumps and bumps and sprinkled lawn seed over the bare patches and over the surrounding lawn.
Within a few weeks we had fine grass covering the bare patch, and within a few weeks more it was thick enough to mow - just a few more weeks and you could hardly see where the bare patch had been. Because we'd sprinkled seed over the whole lawn the patch of new grass was blended in.
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.
You will still have to remove a bit of the soil so the new turf is not sitting proud of the original lawn.