New turf problems
Hi, I'm hoping someone could offer some advice as I'm a complete novice when it comes to gardening. Following the build of a rear extension our once lovely garden (the people we bought out house from were keen gardeners) looks, as expected, like a building site. We employed a firm to lay a new path and turf. Much of the old grass was dead or appeared to be dying. The firm came and laid a good 5 inches of top soil and about 1000 sq ft of turf and told me to water it every day to prevent it from dying. I did this and within a few days we had very heavy rain. The next day (about 4 days after it had been laid) I stepped on the turf and nearly fell over. I must of sunk 2 inches. Its appeared the turf was trying to eat my foot by wrapping up around it! I lifted the turf up and the top soil underneath was like mud, totally saturated. I contacted the company that laid it they said I should not walk on it yet and it will settle but we've had so much rain its not helping. Draining was never a problem before. The old grass never got like this no matter how wet it got, even though we are on a lot of clay, that's starts about 6 inches below the old grass level, prior to an extra 5 inches of top soil being put on.
I've been told the firm who put the turf down should have used a whacker on the top soil to compact it but I think they just used scaffold boards and jumped up and down to level it off. I also been told that to cure it, I need to stick a fork in every 6 inches and pour sharp sand down the holes. A long and back breaking process by the sounds of it that will leave my garden looking a mess until grass grows back over the holes that I've made.
Any advice muchly appreciated. I have small children who cant wait to get out and play in our new garden and its heartbreaking saying they cant!
I'd leave it alone for another week.
They didn't leave time before putting the topsoil down and laying turf. They should have let it settle for 2 weeks before turfing. If the soil under the topsoil was compacted after the building work then that should have been broken up first. If there is compaction you'll have a permanent barrier under the new topsoil.
I'd be patient for a while in that case Mark. It won't be too long before we're begging for rain. Let it drain and keep off it. I wouldn't put any sand down. See of the worms can open up the soil below. You're better off waiting for now. It will settle.