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New lawn - should I be worried?

We've just had a new lawn laid but I'm a bit concerned about how it's been done.  When the gardener came to quote me for the work I had said that we wanted the old lawn removed and replaced, but it's now been laid and I've realised that the new turf has been put directly on the old turf.  I don't think there has been any kind of prep and doesn't appear to be any top soil, just directly onto the old lumpy, stony, weedy lawn.  I've no experience with these things but I am now worried that I've got a new lawn that has no chance of survival.

Am I right to be worried?  I'm not too concerned about the lumps or weeds but are there any tips for helping it to survive?


  • Was it a company who did this? If so, I would get onto trading standards.

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    I would be worried. Have you paid? If not, don't, if you have, get on to your local trading standards.

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087

    That's is totally out of order and give good honest jobbing gardeners a bad name. Hope you have not paid for the work. As stated before, contact your local TS and report them asap 

  • Haven't paid yet, it's a local independent gardener.  It's not a big lawn so if all it took was to roll out the turf I would have happily done it myself but I got in a gardener as I am pretty sure that a lot of prep is meant to be done and I'm not physically up to doing that.  The lawn underneath was healthy, just weedy and very lumpy.  Now it's covered in lovely fresh turf but it's obviously still just as lumpy as before and I would think the weeds would just come through, and if the new turf has to compete with the old for nutrients then I suspect I am going to end up with a dead lumpy weedy lawn whereas before it was at least alive.

  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 260

    What they've done is appalling. Normally you would expect someone to kill off the weeds/grass, dig over and level the bed to prep it (and perhaps add a soil amender/conditioner), kill off new weeds, then finally lay the turf. Laying the turf is the easy bit!

    Here's a reputable link with more detail to help you make a case that their work is far below standard:

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,112

    You say that  " I had said that we wanted the old lawn removed and replaced"  ... those were his instructions and I think I'm right in saying they form the basis of a verbal contract ... he is in breach of that contract ... he did not carry out the work as instructed ... do not pay him and contact Trading Standards. 

    I would also take dated photographs and get someone (another gardening professional would be good - perhaps someone from a GC) to look at what he's done and be prepared to speak up on your behalf.

    If he wants paying he'll have to prove in a Small Claims Court that he's done what you engaged him to do in a professional manner ... he won't be able to do that. I don't think he'll bother.  He sounds a lazy so and so.  

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

  • I wasn't expecting it to be a perfect job, but if I had been doing it myself I would have at least put a good thick layer of topsoil over the old lawn to smother it and fill in all the divots.  Without any topsoil I don't see how the new turf can actually take root, it would have to get through the original grass and trapped air and then deep enough to actually get any nutrition.

    Do you think if I kept it wet enough I might be able to roll it up again, put down some top soil myself and re-lay it?  Or is it a lost cause and I should just lift it before the original lawn dies underneath?

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,457

    I thought you got this person in "because" you couldn't manage it Flossie?

    I'd suggest that the contractor lifts it immediately (take pictures and put it in writing) and (s)he takes it back before it dies so that (s)he can get their money back because they haven't done what you asked them to do and you will be geting someone else!  

    Don't pay them whatever you do and keep lots of evidence.

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,476

    Don't pay a penny until the job is done to your satisfaction.  Even if you pay part it's likely you'll never see him again.

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087

    Hi Floseie

    Good practice, in a nutshell, is to remove the existing turf, prepare the top soil by consolidating the soil and removing all large stones and laying new turf In staggered joints.

    He is not a gardener just a no good chancer trying to take advantage. They should not be allowed to be in a garden of any sorts.

    I hope he gets what's coming to him because he will by trying to rip good people off 

    Rant over 

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