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Fixing badly laid turf

Morning everone,

Hoping you can all help.

Visited a new customer last week, in November they had landscapers in to re do half the garden. This was turfed on previously barren ground, heavy clay. Turf has taken in places, is full of gaps between turfs from shrinkage, all over very patchy.

Some areas you can literally lift the turf up where it hasnt taken whatsoever. Ideally I'd like to overseed the entire lawned area, problem is getting the seed to take as would imagine any 'manual' work to open the lawn up and allow the seed to take would destroy the newish turf and being heavy clay under creates problems with drainage. This is a typical woodland shaded cottage garden. Previous gardener was still scalping the lawn bi weekly throughout winter until they ultimately got fired.

On a side note, exisiting lawn is full of moss and crows have torn up sections , 1ft square to use in their nests, any suggestions on how to keep them away?



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    Hollow tine aerating shouldn't damage any of the well established turf and then you could maybe topdress with a mix of topsoil, sand and good quality, shade tolerant grass seed.  The topdressing will level up gaps between the turves and the grass seed will help to thicken the sward.  I'd be a bit wary of scarifying relatively new turf, but you could certainly put that on your "to do" list for the autumn.  In the meantime, keep it nicely watered, don't cut it too short and consider applying a seaweed based foliar treatment as well as your usual spring summer fertiliser.  Good luck!

    PS. If you are a Facebook user, you might like to join the Premier Lawns Community Page ..... brilliant resource for any lawn care related questions.

    • Thanks for the info much appreciated, this is going to be a bit of a headache!

  • Not sure if this a persistent problem or not. If you need help on turfing just let me know.

    If you're still having problems with crows, this page will hopefully help - https://www.georgedaviesturf.co.uk/blog/how-do-i-keep-birds-from-ea...

    How Do I keep Birds from Eating My Grass Seed? | George Davies Turf
    There are many ways to deter birds from eating your grass seed without causing any harm to them. Let's explore some tried and tested methods.
  • Agree with MGD...you could also use a lime soil conditioner to help breakdown the clay a little, but the ground is still too cold for overseeding and won’t germinate for a few more weeks yet (depending where you are) and the crows and other cheeky birds will have a free lunch if you don't spend big on proper deterrents. I have a client in a similar situation who had some cowboys lay a lawn on heavily acidic soil which looks an absolute mess now and alkaline agents will be too slow acting so it’s a full-on fix unfortunately. 

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