lawn recovery advice - make my lawn green again!!

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Ben UK, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. Ben UK

    Ben UK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Help please!! (questions at the end of text)

    The story goes like this....

    I laid good quality turf 4 yrs ago but my patch of lawn seems to be getting more patchy and white each year - i am desperate to nurse it back to health but need some qualified advice.

    The soil i laid the turf on was quite sandy but i put a thin 'top dressing' on it at the time. In yrs 2 3 4 i put a standard granular 'weed and feed' on it. It greens up very quickly but despite my care seems to be quite patchy so i go over the poor patches again. I think this has meant that i have over fertilised it and 'burnt' the grass? I am sure this is true for the big dead patch at the front. I don't cut the grass to less than an inch and usually it is 2" - it looks greener like this !!! I have had moss grow over about a third - since killed with the weed and feed. In yr 2 the lawn was covered in worm casts one fall but these have not returned

    I water the grass overnight once a week during dry summer spells (not many of these in the UK) but have to admit to not always being consistent in this each yr. Some areas of lawn are completely dead, about 2' sq. On the whole the grass has a lot of white grass that looks dead - like grass gets in hot summers with no water. Across the lawn it looks very patchy - some good green colour then this washed out dead looking grass. Plus the patches.

    So i did some research; 10 days ago i used a scarifier and got out all the dead thatch (how much!!!). This resulted in the kids telling me i had killed the grass for good. It did look quite savage. The worst areas are where the dead moss got pulled up. The grass has started to recover so i gave it a light cut but still i have the white grass all over. And the dead patches.

    What should i do now? how do i get this white looking lawn to go green?

    How do i reverse the effects of over fertilising?

    The grass is a little uneven to walk on - i think this is due to settling from the soil i rotovated before laying. When should i roll it? Can't help thinking this uneveness doesn't help the cutting process.


  2. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    I don't know if anyone here will be able to help you with you living in the UK.
    What type of grass do you have?
    Can you post a pic of the "white looking" grass.
    Also,don't water overnight.You're asking for fungus problems.Water in the early morning and allow the natural evaporation process to take place.
    Also,I've never seen "moss" grow in the lawn unless it was on a rock.Can you post pics of that also,so we can gain a clearer idea of what you're talking about?
  3. Ben UK

    Ben UK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    i will find out the grass mix - has some fescue plus 2 other varieties - i think. Moss - very common over here due to the damp conditions.

    thanks for replying - maybe the UK bit has scared all those viewers from replyng. Maybe it's a 4th July thing! I'll get some pics tomorrow. have a good holiday.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  4. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Fescue does better when cut at 3-3.5"
    Like nick said ,water in the early morning. The soil should be moist enough to easily push a screwdriver in the graound up to the handle
    How much fert are you putting on? 3-4 pounds of N per 1000 sq-ft per seaason is a good rule but not all at once. Use slow release fert in 4 to 6 apps per season to get this.
    to bring it back,
    Core aerate now and overseed then do it again in the early fall. you won't get a great stand now but it can't hurt.
    If it's damp enough to get moss and you were watering at noght then a good fungiside might be needed also.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Ben UK

    Ben UK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Some pics - had a 'mare trying to get the images small enough- ignore the watermark in the middle. Pen is shown to give an idea of scale.
  6. Ben UK

    Ben UK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    ignore my last message - just found a whole new world - digital imaging. Bit late, but have been trying to figure out the technology. Pics coming. Any ideas on how i can revive my lawn (and this is after scarifying and lots of water)

    This from the turf supplier:

    25% Aberimp (Perennial Ryegrass)
    20% Raisa (Chewings Fescue)
    35% Smirna (Slender Creeping Red Fescue)
    20% Conni (Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass)

  7. Ben UK

    Ben UK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Picture 2 - here you get an idea of the patchiness. we have had a lot o rain in the past week but you can see that there is large patches of 'white' grass

  8. Ben UK

    Ben UK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Last pic - showing a 2ft x 2ft patch of nothing. Will this grow back? - i think some tufts are beginning to show through. This patch got progressively worse over the last 2 years so i gave it a fair amount of fertiliser - in the vain hope of re-vitalising it. I think i may have burnt it?

    Should i rip and replace, water and wait or rake it over and seed?

    Thanks Ben

  9. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    The grass mix you have is more for shady areas. Is your lawn shaded? If you over sed use a turf type tall feccue mix. This is a hardier grass then what you have. different thatn the chewings and creeeping red. Looks like you might have decieas in there so rake out as much of the dead stuff as you can before over seeding and maybe use a previntative fungicide.
  10. Ben UK

    Ben UK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for responding Paul,

    Not really shaded - the house casts a shadow over about 6ft strip for about 1/3 of the day. I am guessing that the mix is like that because of the temperate climate in the UK. (i.e year round rain, mild wind and temps)

    do you know anything more about decieas? and which fungicide would you recommend for treatment?

    The scarifying seems to have helped but i will probably leave the over seeding until September - in case we have a hot August when i am away.



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