2021 Lawn thread

2021 Lawn thread

Author
Discussion

r44flyer

357 posts

185 months

Sunday 21st February
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I did some test hollow tining this afternoon. Didn't go very well! Having plunged it in a few times expecting the tines to be full of cores, I poked them out and found 1 inch of soil in each. This happened over and over, so I've effectively solid-tined a couple of square metres of the lawn, and probably added to the problem.

I've filled a very large glass jar with cores, water and a dash of washing up liquid...skaken, stirred and left to settle over night for a less than scientific experiment on what the soil is made of! I'm guessing lots more clay than I first thought.


r44flyer

357 posts

185 months

Monday 22nd February
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I did the old mason jar composition test yesterday and as it has fully settled today it has surprised me. There appears to be very little clay in the sample I took, maybe a 5mm layer in the 140mm in the jar. The rest is uniform, with no other obvious layers. It seems to be mostly very fine sand and silt. I was sure I would fine more clay! The lawn is rock solid when it's hot and dry, but maybe the mixture we have behaves the same way.

I wish I had done a better job of rotavating it when I laid this lawn a few years ago, but I'll have to make do with amending it now as it won't be ripped up again.

Maybe a mixture of sand and organic matter is the way to go, but it has to be bone dry or it will mever flow into the holes. Anyone know where to get some?

abzmike

4,285 posts

75 months

Monday 22nd February
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So whilst the garden has been under a foot of snow, my subterranean friends have been continuing their excavations undaunted:



bds...

RichB

45,733 posts

253 months

Monday 22nd February
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abzmike said:
So whilst the garden has been under a foot of snow, my subterranean friends have been continuing their excavations undaunted:
You've got them bad, you need to use some mole traps...

abzmike

4,285 posts

75 months

Monday 22nd February
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RichB said:
ou've got them bad, you need to use some mole traps...
Yes - I had them last year. Put in a trap which didn't trap anything, but maybe gave the impression they'd been sussed, so they went away. Feel a trip to B@Q coming on.

CB07

478 posts

202 months

Tuesday 23rd February
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In a bit of a pickle here as there two photos demonstrate.

An infestation of our dear friend the leather jacket has seen off my turf laid last spring.

I am now quite sure it is what killed the old lot off as well, and my neighbours.

I would like a solution that is going to last as I’m not in for re turfing, battling against pests etc. Would like to spend the summer sat enjoying the garden!

So do I take the easy (and cheaper) route and skim off the old turf and re-turf now, apply many nematode treatments as soon as it’s warm enough. Hope for the best that the turf takes before the leather jackets get to it.

Do as my neighbour has done and opt into a life of no maintenance plastic fantastic fake grass, seems expensive but I would be doing the work myself to save costs.

Two young kids, both sporty, one newly arrived black Labrador.
Garden is north east facing so a triangle of it doesn’t really see sun, this area currently has a playhouse on it but I would take that out if I faked it.

What it looks like today.


What it looked like on a random day towards the end of summer
[url]
|https://thumbsnap.com/vqHhpEJE[/url]

Thoughts please good people of PH!



r44flyer

357 posts

185 months

Tuesday 23rd February
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I've used nematodes for chafers and had good results, so I would rate them.

Are you 100% sure it's leatherjackets?
What's your drainage and shade like?

r44flyer

357 posts

185 months

Tuesday 23rd February
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In my own battle, I dug a drainage hole today which has shown the drainage to be quite poor. An 8 inch hole has drained by half in over an hour. Everything is saturated and clay content lower down must be causing problems.

I took a slice of the soil profile and it looks very tight. Need to try and amend from the top down as I can't dig out and replace 20 tonnes of soil.

CB07

478 posts

202 months

Tuesday 23rd February
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Yep, 100 percent sure. They have even started to infest the grout on my patio, one night I went out to find quite a few hiding under the pots and seemingly attracted up to the patio by lights on the walls.

Have been over the lawn and dug many samples, laid back polythene etc and tried to get them up, but they are still there in their droves.

Drainage is good, the turf was laid on 4t topsoil last year.l and had no issues with either drought or waterlogging.

Cheers

fastbikes76

2,325 posts

91 months

Wednesday 24th February
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I seem to have managed surviving the winter without the grass thinning out to absolute nothing. It still needs work and a good overseed required, what’s a good hardy grass seed to spread over existing lawn ?






Ntv

3,075 posts

92 months

Wednesday 24th February
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wjwren said:
Side of my lawn is boggy and sees little sun. I rotivated it all up last year and put decent soil in but still wet. Anyone here put in a french drain or similar. Could I get a 3m length of the large brown sewerage pipe. Put holes in. Wrap it in landscape fabric then direct it towards a drain under my decking? Thoughts please.
Yep. Done it.

It should work assuming there is a fall Recommended min 1/100. You need obviously a perforated pipe. Pea shingle/gravel, and then permeable fabric/membrane as you say. I put a load of sharp sand on top of the shingle and then compost and top soil. Grass grows fine on top of it all.

Draining the water away as you're suggesting is the best option.

If not possible, one alternative is to use an augur and put a number of 1m ish deep plugs in the affected area, filling them with organic matter and sharp sand. This method can work well in clay.

Ntv

3,075 posts

92 months

Wednesday 24th February
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snowman99 said:
I have a lawn on clay. It will need some smoothing out as walking on it in winter as made some indentations and bare patches.

Would it be best to spike and brush in compost or cans or a mix of both? There was a patch I filled in mostly with compost and it was very green last summer - the problem is the clay dries out hard and the grass struggles. Without digging it up I want to improve the soil a bit - my theory was to brush 1cm or 2cm worth of compost in plus spiking.

Some Googling suggests compost may be better than a little sand. Plus maybe some gypsum?

Edited by snowman99 on Tuesday 16th February 22:59
Highly recommend hollow tining. Manually if you fancy the boredom.

You can just leave the holes, just leave them but put in seed, or put in some seed and organic matter. But obviously the purpose is to de-compact the soil, so you don't want to go compacting in new soil to them.

Should work better than spiking which doesn't actually remove material, and if you think about it probably further compacts the soil it has displaced around the spikes.

Stedman

6,772 posts

161 months

Wednesday 24th February
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This may sound silly but could someone recommended a (manual) hollow tine aerator? Reviews vary massively online and I hate buying twice.

Ntv

3,075 posts

92 months

Wednesday 24th February
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Stedman said:
This may sound silly but could someone recommended a (manual) hollow tine aerator? Reviews vary massively online and I hate buying twice.
I have the Draper one. Very well made.

The only thing to be aware of is that depending on the type / moisture content of the soil, you may not simply be able to
shove it in the ground with the plugs of soil in the aerator, and expect the previous ones to pop out the top, if that makes sense. My method is to use a cane to force them out (I have clay) and then put them all in a garden refuse sack. Also, no way could i use that in mid summer on clay. Far too hard. Spring yes.

I can say though it really does work as a method of improving lawn and decompacting soil down to a shallow depth. Helps with drainage a bit too.

Rtype

356 posts

74 months

Thursday 25th February
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fastbikes76 said:
I seem to have managed surviving the winter without the grass thinning out to absolute nothing. It still needs work and a good overseed required, what’s a good hardy grass seed to spread over existing lawn ?





After the same recommendation...

Muncher

12,105 posts

218 months

Thursday 25th February
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I want go kill off and level my lawn as it has settled unevenly with lots of patches of meddle grass. I’m planning to kill it with glyphosate, level and reseed. The question is timing, I want to allow enough time for it to die off and rot, but watch to get it growing quickly as soon as the weather warms to give the kids a chance to use it. Should I start killing it now or give it a little more time to warm up?

8-P

2,670 posts

229 months

Thursday 25th February
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Managed to mow yesterday it’s really warming up.

I will scarify in about a month I think.

8-P

2,670 posts

229 months

Thursday 25th February
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And here are my Iris


spikeyhead

13,146 posts

166 months

Thursday 25th February
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I mowed this morning, will kill off moss and then scarify feed and seed in a few weeks.

How long between moss killing and scarifying?

Howard-

4,559 posts

171 months

Thursday 25th February
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Can anyone recommend a lawn weedkiller, feed, and seed that A) work and B) won't kill my dog?