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Help needed for lawn problems

Last year I paid for one of the local  lawn treatment franchises to help me improve my lawns. They visited several times and things seemed to improve. I didn't continue treatment this year. In the Spring the lawns looked great. Very lush and green. Now they're covered in thatch - most of the grass is dead and there are a few green shoots coming through. This is the worst state the lawns have been in 15 years. A bit upsetting really. Any ideas please?


  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    On, bad luck! Are you in the middle of a drought like me? If so, I would start with regular watering until it recovers as much as it is able to. If not, you may have leather jackets, which eat grass roots and can kill off a lawn in a season. In that case you may need to get a professional treatment because it is not possible to buy the chemicals you need. Once you know and have dealt with the cause of the problem, you can move into a regular routine of dethatching with a lawn rake, aerating with a fork or hollow time fork and feeding.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,175

    My lawn, which was quite good earlier in the summer, is now the colour of cardboard, it's not been cut for at least a month and hasn't grown except for some some long grass seedheads.  I know it's the drought that has done this, and it will recover in the autumn when we get some good heavy rains and lower temperatures.  Until then I am ignoring it - not even mowing it. 

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

  • Thanks Posy and Dovefromabove. That's very reassuring. Yes, we're in a drought situation here, but no worse than many previous years. This time, even areas of grass which are well shaded and normally stay green have suffered too. Is it possible that the kind of treatment I purchased, which very quickly made my lawns greener and thicker, has somehow 'forced' things along and somehow weakened the grass and thereby made it more susceptible to dry spells? I suspect I'm being a bit paranoid and it's all down to the weather. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,175
    Notgreenfingers3 wrote (see)

    ......... it's all down to the weather. 

    You've got it image

    It's a good excuse not to mow the lawn image

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

  • I'm always looking for valid* excuses.


    * By valid excuses I mean those that won't risk disturbing marital harmony.

  • A few weeks on and we've had some substantial rain. There's no improvement. I was happy to put it down to the weather, but our neighbours' lawns aren't suffering as badly as ours. They have the same soil conditions, rainfall, hours of sunlight, temperature etc etc. In previous dry years we've all had some problems but this is different. Our 3 lawns are all worse than they've been for the last 18 years - including one which is well shaded and has previously flourished even in dry conditions. The common factor of difference between us and our neighbours, and this year versus previous years, is that last year we had our lawns treated by one of the main franchise companies and the year ended with 3 lush verdant lawns. We didn't renew the contract for this year because we felt the hard work had been done (for which we paid of course) and that we could maintain the lawns ourselves. I don't believe in coincidences. I'm not suggesting that the company did anything wrong, but should we have been aware of any need to do things differently this year?

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    I think it is unlikely, but possible. Did they reseed the lawn with a finer quality grass? This could be more vulnerable to harsh conditions because the better the lawn the more care it needs. It could also be more vulnerable to disease. Conversely, is the green in your neighbours' lawns actually provided by low growing weeds that have been eradicated from your garden? I suggested leatherjackets because last year saw a veritable plague of them here. You might still find some if you dig up a few bits of grass but you would expect to be seeing a lot of daddylonglegs by now. Otherwise, it may be posting pictures for lawn experts to identify the cause. Good luck!

  • Thank you for your response. No, they didn't reseed. They did all the preparation - scarifying, aerating etc and then treated the lawns with weedkiller, moss inhibitor and fertiliser. They visited several more time to apply more fertiliser. The lawns ended up very green and better than they'd looked for ages. It all happened very quickly which is why I've been wondering about 'forcing'. We haven't got any of the dreaded (my wife hates them) daddylonglegs yet so I'm assuming we haven't got an infestation of leatherjackets. One thing I did earlier in the year was cut the grass after we'd been away for a while with a rotary mower with blunt blades and I was unaware of, and didn't follow, the 1/3 rule. So maybe it's all down to me and the dry weather. Thanks again for your valuable input.

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