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lawn improvement

I have a small lawn that lays in partial shade of a large oak tree, so it doesn't get its full quota of sunshine ( When we get it!) . I feed it regularly in the growing season, but it always struggles to thicken up. Would it help if I added daisies and clover to it.

Has anyone any thoughts on this ,Thanks.



  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Spring flowering plants are more likely to be successful beneath trees than plants such as clover (which flowers late in the year). Spring flowering plants can grow and flower before the leaf canopy shuts out the light.

    Lesser celandine, primroses, snowdrops, blubells and daffodils are Spring flowering will flower successfully beneath oaks. But the foilage on all of those will die down during the Summer.

    No harm in trying some clover.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Hi Chris, I removed my lawns several years ago as I honestly felt they took far too much work for such little return on my clay soil.  They were replaced with bark, underplanted with all sorts of things including early bulbs (eg snowdrops, fritillaries, aconites, lots of different miniature narcissi/daffodils), celendine, hardy geraniums, various hardy cyclamen.  No work needed at all now other than spreading a bit of fresh bark every couple of years or so.  Just something to consider, although I do understand those who actually like a bit of lawn, even though I don't miss it one iota!


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hilary PHilary P Posts: 4

    Small, shaded lawns can be hard work. I also think that you might consider taking the lawn up and turning it into a defined area, topped with gravel or bark. You could underplant as others suggest, or retain a border around the 'central area' and plant this up with an assortment of shade loving small shrubs and perennials, adding bulbs for spring interest.

  • Could someone please advise me? We moved house last year and laid turf at the front of the house. There wasn't much depth to the soil beneath the turf, as there is still a lot of builder's rubbish. After the extreme weather of this winter, the grass is mossy and looking pretty awful.Do you think it would be successful, if I raked-up the grass, put a layer go good soil down and then re-laid some new turf?

  • artychrisartychris Posts: 60

    Thankyou' Bobthegardener'.

    I think that is probably what I am going to do this year. I had thought that putting bark down would  be a good idea, but it was just good to hear it from someone else !

    Many Thanks!!

  • Thank you so much for that advice, Brumbull. Hubby is not going to like it, but if that's what it takes ..... That's what we'll do! At the last house we had a lovely well-established lawn, and I'm afraid I took it for granted. Thanks again!
  • Will do that now. Thanks!
  • David 25David 25 Posts: 82

    chainsawsal. I have the same problem as you. I moved into a newbuild house two years ago. I asked for them to put a lawn down as a sweetner(not all houses had a lawn). Now i wish i never had. Both my neighbours laid there own. They riddled out so many stones/bricks and rubbish and put quality top soil down before laying a lawn. There lawns grow so much better than mine. I have tried fertiliser, scarifying and all manner of things bar digging it up and starting again. Nothing has really worked as well as i'd like.

  • Well, I'm going to take Brumbull's advice. Now all I have to wait for is the snow to disappear, and then take a chance on NOT having frost in May!

    Hope we both manage to resolve the problems. Thanks for your input. It's great to know that there is 'someone out there' to help when needed.
  • briffsterbriffster Posts: 11

    Chainsawsal and David 25. I too am in the same boat. The lawn is so patchy and lumpy underfoot with brick etc it makes me think to either dig it all up and start again or just leave it. I have 2 very young daughters and would love them  to enjoy the garden but is it worth the expense and labour re-laying it? We have a fairly large trampoline waiting to get put up and that will put a section in the shade. I am considering  relaying most of it and putting bark down where the trampoline will go.

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