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lawn repairs or hollow tine aeration


We laid a new lawn last year after we dug up a neglected overgrown garden.

The soil was heavy clay and we added loam and a little horse manure for organic matter.

It is doing reasonably well but is quite lumpy.

We plan to give it a light mowing in the coming few weeks.

I think we need to use a hollow tine aerator and also do some lawn repairs to remove some of the lumps via an H-shaped cut.

Can anyone advise on whether we should do repairs first or hollow-tine aerate it first?

Any advice would be much appreciated



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    It won't make any difference which you do first esbee. Just get plenty of grit into the holes. Just don't be tempted to use a roller on it.

  • esbeeesbee Posts: 4

    Thank you- the roller is something my husband and I are debating.

    I assume it makes compaction worse?

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Precisely, you need as much grit in the soil as you can get. A thin top dressing of grit over several seasons will work its way into the soil and improve drainage overall. You can use a mix of MPC and grit to level out the soil as well. Over time and with regular mowing it'll improve the appearance.

  • Due to the mild weather, my lawn is so long and looks awful, can I mow it now( seems crazy to be thinking of this in February !

  • esbeeesbee Posts: 4

    Thank you Dave

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Esbee, use the hollow tine aerator first, you can hire one with a motor in most areas. Have some course sand and compost ready mixed then brush it into the hollows with a bass broom, some will stay on the lawn but no matter just leave it until the weather improves. Spring time dress with feed and weed then six weeks later do it again.

    we used to level the bowling greens by spreading a mix of compost and sand right across the laws then from a fixed point drag a long straight plank across the lawn. The compost mix filled the hollows, this was done when the season ended and was then left for the grass to grow through so Autumn is the time to level.

    lawns can be fussy or easy it depends on which you want, a bowling green or football pitch, you choose though grass is tough stuff it will grow back, a bare patch scrape it scuff it up a bit then cover with seed and compost mixed, oh and sow enough for the birds or cover with net.


  • esbeeesbee Posts: 4

    Thank you Frank- that's really helpful,


  • bulkerbbulkerb Posts: 258

    Hi Esbee the garden I work has a near professional croquet court I know you do not have this type of lawn but the princables will basically be the same.

    last September I scarified the court 3 different ways then I cut it to collect any loose debris

    then I solid tined the court 2 ways we hired a machine in we don't use a hollow tine because we have a membrane under the surface but be advised keep the speed down on you tine machine to minimise soil lift

    then I over seeded with Fescue and bent grass seed

    then I divided the court into equal sections so that when I spread the top dressing sand was spread evenly very important

    then I dragged a net over the court 2 ways to both level and fill in holes

    I cut the court last Friday to 10mm winter cutting height of course we also use lots of products to enhance root growth and green up hopefully some of what I do will be of help to you when you start to sort out your own lawn P.S. have never used a roller god bless Lester

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