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Help my grass has turned to mud

I had my garden turfed 2 years ago (was previously flagged) and both 2 winters the grass has just turned to mud. Could this have something to do with worm casts? Back in the Autumn there were loads on the lawn.

Can anyone tell me why my lawn may have gone like this and what I can do to get it back in shape?


  • Is the ground boggy or is there just a surface slime?
    If it's boggy, it could be that the ground was not prepared properly. The soil would have been compacted under the slabs and would need to be thoroughly dug over and organic matter or grit dug in to improve drainage. Even then, there could be a 'pan' of hard soil underneath what was dug over that's helping the ground to be muddy.
    Are you on clay soil?
    To remedy the situation, you can spike as deeply as possible all over with a garden fork in late spring when the ground's less muddy.
    Better still, get a hollow tine aerator which looks like a garden fork but takes long plugs of soil out. Then brush horticultural grit or similar into the holes to keep the drainage clear. It's hard work - sorry.
  • I had my garden turfed 2 years ago (was previously flagged) and both 2 winters the grass has just turned to mud. Could this have something to do with worm casts? Back in the Autumn there were loads on the lawn.

    Can anyone tell me why my lawn may have gone like this and what I can do to get it back in shape?

    Did your lawn recover between winters? Worm casts should be dispersed with a brush before mowing or you will get a very muddy lawn when the mower flattens them! Worms are good for soil structure and is a good sign but if you're getting excessive casts then a top dressing of coarse sand will help discourage them! NB Autumn is very common for casts due to wetter conditions!
    The type of grass seed used to grow your turf may be an issue - try sowing some rye grass mix to make it more robust. Do you have shading issues? This often causes lawns to 'disappear' during late autum/winter months! Always remember to remove fallen leaves - which will also often give you a muddy lawn!
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  • mrs_baggins
    mrs_baggins Posts: 1,290 Forumite
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    depends on what type of soil you have underneath! My garden is clay and although i prepared the ground beforehand that was years ago so its back to normal now. Normal for my garden at the moment is really squelchy when you walk on it with little puddles on the edges. It happened really bad last year and i never thought it would ever dry up but it did. Like mine if its really boggy through clay soil its best not to walk on it or if you really have to then put planks down to spread the load so to speak
  • Sounds like compacted soil. You need to do as penny farthing says and aerate the lawn. if you have clay beneath, this will have to be done every other year most likely. And always rake before mowing, so teh worm castings get spread out as Lord Gardener points out.
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  • MrsTinks
    MrsTinks Posts: 15,241 Forumite
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    We have a freshly laid lawn too and huge bits of it has died (again!) because then it was relaid by our delightul shoddy builders (new house) they completely ignored me when I said that relaying it on the clay wouldn't fix the problem! So I have big patches that never took to the soil underneath again grrrr Not helped by the fact that we have clay and building rubble as "soil"...
    Alas I have given up on them listening to me and fixing it again and will be poking holes in it myself and pouring sand in to improve drainage and then sowing grass where the other stuff has died
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  • Jnelhams
    Jnelhams Posts: 1,363 Forumite
    I think New House is the clue here, you could find that the builders have used Builders sand under the turf, this is full of Salt and your grass will of course die. Best thing to do is to remove all the turf, dig soil over with a fork, level, and use seed, it takes longer but you can choose the best seed for your situation, ie shade, play area, high traffic etc. As for excess worms a little washing up water thrown on the lawn early one morning will delight the birds.
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  • joey_2
    joey_2 Posts: 240 Forumite
    This has happened to our garden too and unfortunately we've found it's infested with chafer grubs. It might be an idea to check if you have anything like these - I hope you don't!
  • heatherw_01
    heatherw_01 Posts: 6,554 Ambassador
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    Min has done this too, but it usually recovers in spring/summer. You could try overseeding it if the grass does not grow back properly.
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  • Plum_Pie
    Plum_Pie Posts: 1,285 Forumite
    Bump! I'm having lawn issues too.

    My new London flat is on clay soil and has a garden of 53ft, triangular, mostly 'lawn'. When I went to look at the place in September, the grass was v thick and looked great, just in need of mowing. Now I'm about to move in and it's just some tufty patches of half-flattened grass and mostly mud.

    I assume from the above advice I should start again...aerate, add sand..then what - choose a suitable grass seed? How long does it take to grow?
  • Help...just come across this thread and am pulling my hair out over my lawn and need some advice! I laid new turf last April onto a heavy clay soil. I prepared the ground by digging in sharp sand and laid new top soil before the turf went down. It was fine over the summer but over the winter it has turned to mud. It looks as if the rain has not had anywhere to drain so it has just forced the top soil to the top and covered and killed the grass. Has anyone got any suggestions? I was thinking of preparing it again better than before and laying new turf. One solution I'm sure would be to install a drainage system but I'm guessing that will be expensive. Help!!!!!
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