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Any advice on what to do with struggling lawn


 
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gttc16
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:57 am    Post subject: Any advice on what to do with struggling lawn Reply with quote

For some of the background info.
I have a front garden of around 1500 sq meter. Throughout the years with the garden compacting and the road outside being resurfaced part of my garden eventually was under the level of the road.
This caused a wet spot obviously during the rainy season, at worst being up to the top of my wellies, around 1-1.5ft. It managed to kill part of my grisselina hedging and was doing wreck with the grass in the area.
To fix my problem I decided to raise my garden, about 1ft all around.
I did this by pulling back the top soil, filling with dirty soil etc, and pulling back over the top soil again.

Unfortunately for me my landscaper decided to come in the wettest part of last year and was working in muck. As it was hard to move around etc he added 20 tonnes of sharp sand around parts of the garden to make the earth more manageable.
The levelling was done to the best possible in the circumstances, it was fertilised and grass seed set and I was told to leave well alone til the spring when he'd be back to finish.
The grass came on in places, top section and bottom section well, but the middle section is pretty poor. I was reassured that this would all be sorted in time.
I am now at the stage where the middle section has very sparse grass, pretty yellow in color, and plenty weeds growing though it, lots of bare
Spots.
When the topsoil was "levelled" by minidigger it was never rotovated, nothing done with the stones etc, all because it was too wet. Also, some of the sand is now bunched in patches and not mixed through the soil, so the grass if finding it difficult to grow. There is lots of weeds, lots of bare patches (I could only describe it as like the ground on wasteland on a building site), etc etc.
The grass in the "good" areas seems very wirey or tough grass, not the usual soft grass that you'd be used to.

Also, seeing as the gardener left it so late to come back (almost a year) the ground is hard and when he rolled it the other day it made very little difference. Driving the ride on over it would knock your teeth out.!
They dressed some of the larger holes with topsoil and seed, but many of the smaller ones are as they were. Basically I think it is all the footprints from day one when they were sinking in to it and have now hardened in.
I wanted this garden so my kids would have plenty space to run around in safety. If you ran through this now you'd break your ankle.!

I have had it up to here with the landscaper at this stage, and he reckons all is dandy and his job is done. I will probably eventually have to redo this again myself as I don't have the money to go paying another guy to come out to fix the first fellas work.
I will add pictures later this evening of what's done.

Any advice on what I need to do.?
Should I harrow or whatever(not sure of the correct terms) the whole lot, add more top soil and start again.?
Would I need to spray everything off first when I go down this route.?
What quantity of seed would you need for 1500sq meters.?
I am not afraid of the work myself, the only reason for getting a so called "professional" to do it was to do it right. I am sickened to say the least with him.
Any advice.?
Any tool hire shops around Cork that would hire out the necessary equipment.?
Thanks
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verge
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Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 598
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without pictures what it looks like is you will have to bring in a power harrow or rotovater to deep till the soil thus removing the hardness and leaving it open to reseeding. You will need to spray the whole lot off again before cultivating it as there is a lot of weeds and tough grass. for this you will need to use a systemic herbicide like Roundup weedkiller




On the seed issue, from an article by James the admin here How to sow a lawn from grass seed in Ireland-Lawn Hints/Tips.
You will need to spread approx 45 grammes of seed per square metre, which can be broadcast by hand or use a wheeled spreader.
A 25kg bag of lawn seed covers approx 550 sq metres at a rate of 45g to the square metre.

A recent thread on lawn sowing that may also be of interest to you gttc16 Cost of weedkilling construction site lawn.

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gttc16
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we go









As you can see I have plenty weeds, the sand hasn't mixed through the soil in many places, lots of bare patches etc etc.
Have a 2 liter bottle of round up and somegallop 360 for the kill off.
I just think it would be so much hastle to try and get this sorted without re-doing it at this stage.
Every foot/boot print from the original seeding is now a hole that needs filled, and with the grass not being great it's probably best to start again.
My buddy reckons to kill it off early spring, wait til its good and dry and then power harrow it and set it again.
Possibly add a few loads of topsoil and manure over the top before harrowing..??
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gttc16 wrote:
and with the grass not being great it's probably best to start again.
My buddy reckons to kill it off early spring, wait til its good and dry and then power harrow it and set it again.
Possibly add a few loads of topsoil and manure over the top before harrowing..??


I'd agree with your buddy.

Sand is a disaster for a lawn. Easy to level but grass will always be weak in it. Get a good few loads of manure and topsoil and get a tractor in to harrow it.

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Foxylock
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then get a shotgun for that landscaper !!
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redgrass
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sand is a disaster for lawns then why do a lot of people use to address problems on lawn ...Sand is perfect for drainage problems if used right ..think before you write stuff please
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

redgrass wrote:
Sand is a disaster for lawns then why do a lot of people use to address problems on lawn ...Sand is perfect for drainage problems if used right ..think before you write stuff please


I did think.

I've seen sand used on a neighbour's lawn. Grass is not as green on the sandy bits. A fine tilth topsoil is miles better from what I can see.

I had a lawn for over 30 years and I always filled depressions with good finely particled soil not sand. (Just going by what I've seen around me.)

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