Help! Patchy grass

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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RelievedSheffRelievedSheff Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
We moved into a new build six months ago. The turf was put down a week or so after we moved in and we have been religiously watering and mowing it all spring and summer. It has been lush and a really dark green.

Then autumn set in along with the rain and the grass grew really quickly and long but we couldn't get a long enough period to dry it out enough for us to cut it.

We had to admit defeat and get a local gardening company in to cut it for us, they did it yesterday morning. It is now short, shorter than we normally cut it, but it is looking very patchy. Some is dark green, some is light green and some is well yellow.

Will this recover given time?

Is there anything we can do to help it. It really looks a bit of a mess right now.
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  • Ebe_ScroogeEbe_Scrooge Forumite
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    Will this recover given time?

    In all likelihood, yes. Grass is remarkably resiliant (assuming you're not after a bowling green), and will recover from most abuse that you can throw at it.

    A couple of points to note, though. Yellow patches - can be caused by many things, but one of the most common causes is dog urine. Do you have any local doggies that are surreptitiously weeing on your lawn ? If this is the case, then the grass will soon recover if you can get rid of the source of the problem.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that in a newbuild house, the soil all around the garden is invariably rubbish. The builders often remove the topsoil and sell it off if it's any good. Then they replace it with rubble and all sorts of building waste, topped off with a relatively thin layer of - usually not top quality - soil. None of this is harmful, but it doesn't make for the best start in a plant's life. Thankfully, for a lawn, the solution is not too difficult. A couple of seasons of regular mowing, with any kind of general-purpose weed & feed added at intervals through the year, should get it sorted. That's assuming the drainage is basically OK - if the soil is solid clay and the drainage is virtually non-existant then that takes rather more effort to sort out. But unless you've noticed a swimming-pool forming on your lawn, you're likely to be OK in that regard.

    There's loads of advice available online for lawn care. Here's just one, but if you Google for "Lawn Care" you'll get dozens of sites popping up : https://www.rhs.org.uk/Search?query=lawn%20care

    Hope this helps.
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  • RelievedSheffRelievedSheff Forumite
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    I have attached a picture to show the problem grass.

    20191107-120824.jpg

    The yellowing isn't dog urine. It only occurred when it was cut yesterday.

    The garden is quite free draining and the sub soil is predominantly sand based although there are some pockets of clay in areas. We did see the garden prior to the top soil and turf being laid and it wasn't full of rubble it was just the existing sub soil.
  • Paula_SmithPaula_Smith Forumite
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    Long grass is better for wildlife - let it grow a bit longer than normal or leave areas of long grass. Insect life will benefit and the local wildlife will benefit.
  • edited 8 November 2019 at 1:28PM
    andrewf75andrewf75 Forumite
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    edited 8 November 2019 at 1:28PM
    The grass itself looks OK to me.

    Getting some structure in would be my first concern over and above how patchy the grass looks. Surely you're going to plant something else other than lawn? Trees, shrubs, climbers on that wall?
  • RelievedSheffRelievedSheff Forumite
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    andrewf75 wrote: »
    The grass itself looks OK to me.

    Getting some structure in would be my first concern over and above how patchy the grass looks. Surely you're going to plant something else other than lawn? Trees, shrubs, climbers on that wall?

    We are not sure what we are going to do with it yet. We have been more concerned with getting the interior of the house in order first. Next year we will do more in the garden. The patio needs extending before we do anything else so that we actually have somewhere to sit out there. At present it is far too small.

    We need something to screen off the garden boxes but other than that we have not given much though about planting in the back (well side really) garden. We want to keep it as low maintenance as is possible as neither of us are what you would call keen gardeners.

    The front garden is more straight forward. It has a hedge planted around two sides and the rest is to grass. We will keep the hedge which is evergreen so will proved some winter colour and the grass to the side and front of the house.

    We are thinking that the long stretch in front of the boundary wall we will dig the grass up and plant some shrubs. Lavender features heavily in the landscaping that the developers have done so we will use that as well as plenty of other plants for the bees and butterflies.

    20191015-161532.jpg
  • andrewf75andrewf75 Forumite
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    Plan for the front sounds good. Appreciate the low maintenance requirement for a non-gardener, but I would at the very least plant a couple of trees - something like silver birch or rowan that grow straight up and don't take up much space horizontally. While you're thinking about the rest at least they can be growing...it will take 5 years before they get to a decent size anyway so best to start them off asap.
  • RelievedSheffRelievedSheff Forumite
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    andrewf75 wrote: »
    Plan for the front sounds good. Appreciate the low maintenance requirement for a non-gardener, but I would at the very least plant a couple of trees - something like silver birch or rowan that grow straight up and don't take up much space horizontally. While you're thinking about the rest at least they can be growing...it will take 5 years before they get to a decent size anyway so best to start them off asap.

    We don't want to plant any trees near that wall until the NHBC warranty is expired.

    Can't really see that the garden is big enough to warrant trees either. They will take up already limited space.

    In the summer it is a real sun trap in the morning and into the afternoon losing the sun at about 6pm so we will probably just plant some sun loving plants in containers.
  • edited 8 November 2019 at 3:43PM
    andrewf75andrewf75 Forumite
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    edited 8 November 2019 at 3:43PM
    We don't want to plant any trees near that wall until the NHBC warranty is expired.

    Can't really see that the garden is big enough to warrant trees either. They will take up already limited space.

    In the summer it is a real sun trap in the morning and into the afternoon losing the sun at about 6pm so we will probably just plant some sun loving plants in containers.

    Every garden has room for at least one tree. Yours certainly does. If you look at a silver birch tree, it takes up very little ground space. Can even make the space seem bigger. That space has a lot of potential.

    Or if you really want to avoid even small trees, consider a clump of bamboo or something to add height.

    If you want low maintenance the plants would be much better off in the ground, because you won’t need to water them. Plants in containers are a pain to look after.
  • RelievedSheffRelievedSheff Forumite
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    Silver birch are a pretty tree but I dont think it would be right for our garden. It is too small for what is potentially a large tree.

    Plus we dont want the seeds everywhere in the house. We have enough of that on the boat which is moored near to birch trees. They are a pain to clean up!

    It does need something to break up the expanse of yellow wall though. What you cant see from the picture is that the majority of the other boundary is the yellow brick wall of the garage with just a bit of fence and a gate between the garage and the house. Low maintenance but a bit stark right now.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    The grass is normal. The yellowing effect is because it was over- long and some bits saw little light, so couldn't photosynthesise properly.


    It is quite coarse grass and fast-growing, because that's what a builder would specify to overlay the compacted carp normally left around new-builds. Finer grasses wouldn't tolerate that.
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