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Patchy lawn

 Last year I laid a lawn for my Mum and Dad, it's a small area , so  felt confident doing it ! However, it's went very patchy , very quickly, as if it hasn't rooted in some areas.  she has very clay soil and apart from Lawn sand, didn't put anything underneath the turf ? Could drainage be the problem ? Any tips on how I can salvage it ? 


  • Hi guys our front patch has bad patches tried seed with little change now the patches are getting worse image yesterday watered it then pinned down black plastic (thought I'd heard somewhere if it's bugs they would come to the top) haven't checked yet this morning . 

  • This lawn is about 8ft x 10ft !!! Lol so very important to my elderly mum and dad who need low maintenance gardening now !!!  I thought the lawn sand would help with drainage on a very clay base ???  It doesn't need watering in , as it has been laid since last May and quite damp in places !! I guess I'll just try lots of seed And see what happens through the summer ? thanks

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Hi Goodie Growmore, ooops sand and clay don't get so well together. I garden on clay, never add sand to clay. To help drainage add course horticultural grit (available from the garden center) and 'course' manure, that's manure with the straw still showing. 

    Fair enough to let it grow through the summer, I have to patch up the grass paths I have on clay every spring and do this by adding lawn seed with a sprinkling of seed compost to aid germination and hide the seeds from the birds.

    If though it doesn't improve, fortunately it isn't a large area to deal with, so you could just cut your loses and improve the underlying drainage. Dig it over throwing the current turf to the bottom (even that will add some organic material to the underlying clay which will help stop it adhering together and compacting). Break it all up adding grit and manure. Let it settle for a while, roll it lightly and turf again. I think it will give you the improvement you want.

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