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patchy lawn


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teach nua
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: patchy lawn Reply with quote

I sowed a new lawn in Apr 2012 and I've been disappointed with it ever since Sad Its approx 1/2 acre in size around a newly built house. The site is part of what was originally a field for grazing. We imported good quality topsoil to help with levelling the lawn and to put topsoil back where it had been excavated from during construction. A no. 2 lawn seed was used as far as I can remember.

The lawn is forever patchy, growing taller and stronger in parts and staying low and not growing nearly as much in others and these differences can
be seen right next to each other. Around the perimeter of the lawn, next to a hedge, growth is generally good. I've attached some photos taken a few days ago. I applied 50Kg of 18-6-12 about 3 weeks ago. This seems to have brought on the good patches but the poorer patches are still not as good. There are weeds present as well, There were thistles which I spot sprayed about 4-5 weeks ago and now that these have died and there are now gaps where they were. We do get rabbits in the lawn, quite a good few this year but I dont think they are accounting for grass pattern as there was alot less rabbits last year and the patchiness was the same.

I have a raised percolation bed which is part of the lawn and was sown much earlier than my 'patchy' lawn and is doing great. This was sown with hayseed and since 2012 I wish i had used hayseed for the rest of the lawn. I know it means more frequent grass cutting but anything is better than looking at a patchy lawn.

Is the patchy/weediness curable? should I be looking at spreading some hayseed through the lawn?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.



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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the pictures show , Meadow buttercup, speedwell, and scutch grasses,
I think the fertiliser could be a bit strong and burnt the grasses where it was put on unevenly. I would leave it for a while and see what happens over the next few weeks. If it was a new lawn it could be poor topsoil which will not help the grasses, i would give it a month and lets us know how it goes.
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teach nua
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage, the same patchiness pattern was there before I applied the fertiliser.
I suppose the fertiliser could be maintaining the pattern
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have a female dog?
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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teach nua
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no dog or no visiting dogs
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unequal topsoil quality is my guess.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was think about this again and agree with the above if it was a new build and topsoil from the site used for the lawn if it was stacked more than 1metre high it would be inert no life whatsoever in it so this could be the problem, it is very hard to diagnose the problem without actually being on site, can you take a pic from high up over looking the whole lawn.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@greengage, I have been involved in many large groundworks jobs over the years and the advice we always followed from a succession of consultants was that topsoil should not be stored any more than 2m high otherwise the process you described occurs. Checked my civil engineering handbook, it's in there too.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was working off my head so I was out a metre but we agree on the consequence of stacking it too high
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do indeed. Great minds think alike.
Actually greengage you were 100% out, very unlike you!!!

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we are both nearly right i looked up Spons landscape Handbook the bible for contract work and it recommends 150mm for stacking it. Laughing
You may be interested in having a look here as the book costs a small fortune to buy. http://books.google.ie/books?id=pdTZXgxxV4AC&pg=PA284&lpg=PA284&dq=how+high+should+i+stack+topsoil&source=bl&ots=11beT82ZHd&sig=NemRg0RTbbieEuC7cwJTezLRosc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=EblrU6P1Ju7d7QaGmoDQDw&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=how%20high%20should%20i%20stack%20topsoil&f=false
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have read that wrongly. 150mm? I did not see 1500mm mentioned anywhere in Spons but it does say 'the height and size of stockpiles should be advised by the soil analyst.' It does say that it should be spread in 150mm layers alright.
It was beaten into me at Uni, every single civils groundworks job that I was ever on, every single consultant that ever advised me and every book that I have all say 2m high. I read through the first 6 pages of Spons then got bored and speed read the rest, so I may be open to correction.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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teach nua
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm afraid it would not be possible to take an aerial type photo as i'm on the flat.

as regard top soil stockpile heights, any topsoil stockpiles i've ever seen are as high as the machine that stock piled them were capable of going:)

assuming poor pattern of topsoil quality is accounting for patchy growth, what are my options?
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if it was mine and i was living in the countryside I would cover the whole lawn with manure in the Autumn and let it rot in as the old farmers used to do before we got all this fancy machinery, then again we could be wrong, you could aerate the lawn and use a slitter to add sand to improve drainage then overseed in Autumn.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

teach nua wrote:
as regard top soil stockpile heights, any topsoil stockpiles i've ever seen are as high as the machine that stock piled them were capable of going:)


Then you were looking at amateurs or possibly space was limited. It wouldn't be let go that high on my watch.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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