Forum home Problem solving

Help me stop my new lawn from going patchy and brown


i laid a fresh and lovely looking lawn a year and a half ago after great effort digging up the old one and trying to prepare the soil. It's on quite a steep slope and so initial sprinkling took a long time to get everything nice and watered so the lawn would take.. 

The lawn looked amazing for this first season but ever since then it's just gotten worse and worse, with brown patches coming in in the centre of the lawn.. I rake it and they just get barer and barer. I use feed to try and bring back the green but this just seems to promote vigorous growth which looks green until it's cut and then it looks patchy and brown again.

Pics included hopefully show the state its starting to get into in places. The edges of the lawn I can appreciate as i didn't manage to lay the lawn that well in parts there and i presume the path isn't helping, or the exposed edges on other sides.. but the large strip in the centre just baffles me.



I presume the slope doesnt help and perhaps the ground underneath the brown bits isn't draining as well as other bits.. I am at a loss as to what to try next. I've got some feed and seed but I don't know whether the patches are bad enough to warrant that or whether it's a good idea.

Any tips would be really appreciated!





  • jimbobukjimbobuk Posts: 9

    Another pic of the sides browning


  • jimbobukjimbobuk Posts: 9

    does anyone have any suggestions? Sorry I'm just really stuck and was hoping for some advice given the lawn being in this sort of a state.

  • cairnsiecairnsie Posts: 388

    It looks like a line of brown perhaps where a path has been previously. Its almost perfectly straight. Are you sure there is not concrete or something under the soil where a path has been causing soil depth and drainage problems.

  • jimbobukjimbobuk Posts: 9
    I don't think there was a path there before but it is hard to be sure. The garden landscaping as is was done by a previous owner of the house. They're all very traditional gardens with original walls where the paths typically go up the edges.

    There was lawn there before but in a real state. I pulled it up and prepped the soil. There is possibilities that there is some old turf upside down under bits of it though I mostly used some of that in the beds and it did seem to make excellent compost a year later.

    I've been raking the dead looking grass out when I can, perhaps too vigorously as it obviously leaves it barer and barer when you pull out the brown dead stuff.

    Does this sort of symptom look like over or under watering or feeding? Should I rake further and then add some seeds to try and fill back in? Try to aerate the soil with a fork in the area to improve drainage?

    Thanks for your reply!
  • jimbobukjimbobuk Posts: 9
    Some of the feed that I've used seems to have gone off and clumped a little by getting damp over winter. Could clumped feeding cause this sort of thing by burning the grass perhaps?
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    If there was hard landscape underneath those patches, it could be that there was a concrete foundation. Concrete contains lime and leaving traces of it in the soil could be the cause of the yellowing. The only solution would be to remove completely the top 6 inches of soil and replace it with new soil.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,070

    I'd agree with the others about a path in the middle and the problems that might cause so it's worth investigating that area thoroughly.  Grass often looks a bit rough after the winter but if you've fed it and it's been watered in there shouldn't be a problem. The clumping would only be an issue if it didn't get enough water to dissolve it properly, but any patches will gradually be covered by existing grass spreading into them. All I would add is to say try not to cut the grass too short at this stage - cut more frequently and take a small amount off only, especially during dry spells. That will certainly help it grow more strongly.

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ginnie1ginnie1 Posts: 9

    looks like you've scalped it mate.what lenght are you cutting it too.

    A way of checking is to turn over the mower not running and properly isolated of course.lay a straight edge across the mowers bottom and measure the distance between the straight edge and the cutting tip of the blade.You should be cutting at about 25cms or the old fashioned one inch high.


  • jimbobukjimbobuk Posts: 9

    does anyone have any suggestions? Sorry I'm just really stuck and was hoping for some advice given the lawn being in this sort of a state.

  • jimbobukjimbobuk Posts: 9

    Apologies for the post above about any suggestions.. my browser reloaded the page and seemed to post this on there again...

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I really can't believe there was a path there along that strip... before i laid the lawn, i tried to level out what was there and turned over the soil etc. But who knows maybe there was one.

    I have my lawn mower on the highest setting it can go on, although actually i did notice halfway through cutting it before these pics were taken that the mower had changed its settings as i'd moved it out of the shed, so half was cut too short, the other half a lot longer.. I've often thought even on the longest setting that it cuts a little shorter than i'd have liked... I'll have a look at the blade distance as you described and see how it measures up.

    I'll hopefully get chance to take a look tomorrow.

    Thanks everyone for the help! 

Sign In or Register to comment.