Trouble with newly laid lawn

 Laid a new lawn for somebody about 4 months ago and it's really struggling to be honest and I don't know why as this has never happened before.

We lifted the old lawn and then rotavated the ground,there was plenty of what appeared to be good top soil in situ so brought in rolls of quality turf from a trusted local supplier. I gave the client instructions to give it plenty of water and to only start mowing it lightly once it had become established. A few weeks later they sent me images of the lawn looking dry,brown and worse for wear. From what the client explained to me I realized he'd hit it hard with the mower so I advised them to ease right off with the mowing and to keep it watered regularly as it was a dry spring.

I didn't hear anything until a couple of days ago when they sent me some more pictures of the lawn looking in even worse shape. Please see images below. They have assured me the lawn has been watered regularly and I have no reason to not believe this is the case but I've never had an issue like this before. I can't help feeling the lawn hasn't recovered since being stressed out after being butchered down in it's infancy? What else might it be? Disease perhaps?

Can this be rectified do you think ?


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  • PRO

    OK - Thanks for the replies so far.I've told the client I suspect it's down to cutting too short and lack of water. I'll probably take a closer look at the weekend to see what the real extent of the damage is .

  • PRO

    100% lack of water, the shrinking of turf and colour I would say there either only watering for 5 min just dampening the top and i would think watering at the wrong time of day with the really hot spells we have had in evenings as well.

    if it was down to any bad laying then there would on average be at least 1 section of the lawn which would take ok and be lush but this is just over cut under watered and might need to be pulled up and new turf laid.

    tell them to leave there sprinkler on over night and turn off in the morning for 5 days and you will know if you need to re do the job after that (if you have rain due then cut that to night on night night off, just looked at my met app and there is a little rain due for a change where we are)

    • PRO

      I Agree Neil total lack of water. New turf needs loads of watering in especially in this climate if your down south.. It's going to take time to recover but get the watering started and give it a feed too.

      • PRO

        Thanks - Customer has confirmed today that it's only had around 10 mins with the hose pipe each day so there we go.

        • usual excuse is we are on a water meter

          you might get away with putting some seed down as long as they water properly  

  • PRO

    Lack of water but as a note turf should be laid in stretcher bond not with 4 corners touching as this does not bind as well.

  • PRO
    Very much lack of water. Every Garden sprinkler is different and also variations in water pressure, so we always advise clients to put a small container under the spray on the first water and time how long it takes to fill a couple of inches. This give a good indication of how long they need to leave the sprinkler on.
    The turf may look wet after only a few minutes. But if you were to roll a Turf back it would be bone dry.
    The dryer areas around the perimeter may be due to driveway haunch below the surface (giving reduced Soil depth) . Drying winds are also a factor affecting the edges .
    The turf should always be laid in a stretcher bond, which minimises the visual effect of shrinkage and mitigates a potential weak lines in the established turf.
    Grass species store water in the leaf blade and so new lawns should always be cut on the highest settings for the first few cuts and gradually brought down to a mowing height no lower that the turf grade specification. In times of drought the cutting height should be increased, and the golden rule is try not to mow more than 1/3 of the blade height in one cut.
    It looks like a replacement job is required, the liability of that would be dictated by your terms and conditions. Good luck.
  • PRO

    Hi Yes it definitely looks as though it has not been watered enough, and has been cut far too early and too low.  At Bawdens we always include a clause in our quotations that watering becomes the responsibility of the customer unless an hourly rate for watering has been requested.  Secondly we always state that it is virtually impossible to over water a new lawn.  It is surprising what some customers think is watering showing the new lawn a hosepipe or watering can is not enough!

    Regarding the cutting we always state in our quotes for seeding and turf works that we will return and complete the first cut, that way we can make sure it is not cut too early or too low and it means we can show the customer the the right height once cut.

    The picture clearly shows shrinkage but also that the turf has not been laid in a stretcher bond pattern so that there is overlap, the same as bricklayers do, this provides a much stronger knit together of the turf as it gets established.

    My thoughts for this lawn are that it is taken up and start again, the grass is dead over most of it so all that will grown now is weed.  A long shot would be to top dress and seed but the quick option would be to relay with new turf.

    Bawden Managed Landscapes for turfing and general landscaping enquiries.


    Bawden Managed Landscapes | Grounds Maintenance | Garden Service
    Bawden Managed Landscapes provide a full range of grounds maintenance and professional landscape services, including: grass cutting, sports pitch mai…
  • PRO
    Heat stress, scalping, have to lift and check roots. We have had the hottest summer since 76! So if they have not watered well speaks for itself. However if the roots don't have enough root zone and have not established lawn will not regenerate. Treat with organics seaweed only then an amino booster but only amino when watered in when we have cool periods. Other issue may have been if you used total herbicides also if you have compaction lower down or any stones previous bases such as concrete that are reflecting heat back baking the roots.
  • PRO

    I forgot to mention if considering the seeding option we have some great grass seed at great prices at our online shop at our sister business Fencing Essentials please have a look and see if we can help.

    Thanks again.

    Landscape Gardening Materials | Fencing Essentials | Grass Seed
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