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Hi all, I moved into a new build property and they seeded the garden in September 2011. It never looked great, and now it looks pretty bad in places and I'm not sure what to do to fix it! I have put up some photos here:

(dead patches are dog urine, please ignore!)
As you can see, it's patchy. Some parts are dark green and grow very quickly, whereas the rest is light green (and has what looks like dead grass /straw everywhere) and just doesn't seem to grow at all! I haven't cut parts of it in 6 weeks!!

I've tried feeding, I've tried raking it to remove a lot of the dead compacted grass but it doens't seem to have helped much. I even got rid of the Flymo for a half-decent Bosch mower.  Soil is generally loamy/clay but not too heavy and drains well. Very few weeds as I removed them all.

Can someone please advise where to start?  Not really sure what to do...

try tomato fertiliser. it'll encourage the grass to thicken up. mow at the highest setting on your mower. don't lose heart - it'll probably be ok by this time next year even if you ignore it


I think it needs feeding. It seems to be greener round the dog urine bare patches so the urine has acted as fertiliser. Perhaps you have rather poor soil. Lawns need feeding every spring and again with a lower dose early autumn.


Do you water your lawn?  

The areas where growth is poor?   There may well be little depth of soil there....tried spiking it to see how far you can push fork in?

Its too early for leatherjacket or chafer grub damage yet so it's water and feed.

If mine, I would water very well.  Then feed with a HIGH NITROGEN food.  Liquid or granules but generously.  If granules water in immediately 

The straw coloured grass is prob previously damaged urine damage, I think.  Or did you rake excessively hard?  Don't rake it at this time of the year.  High setting on the mower, regular mowing, Generous feeding and thorough watering.  Let us know  how it goes

Rainwater Fanatic

Hi Spunko,

I agree that feeding is probably the first step. If you are reasonably weed free I would stear clear of any of the combined weed & feed products. If you are a bit sloppy with the application it is all too easy to end up with even more brown patches than you started with. I speak from bitter experience.

It is probably also worth top dressing the lawn. This is a great way to encourage new root growth.



New properties often have tonnes of rubble, brick, planks etc left in the garden with topsoil just dumped on top. Did you make sure you had a really good depth of soil before seeding? If not you may have to start again and dig out all the rubbish.

Hi all

Thanks for your reply... to update, I top-dressed the lawn and then overseeded it per the advice. This was 6 weeks ago, it already looks a LOT better with very few bare patches left. Luckily, I have my neighbour to compare with as his looks pretty awful still ...

Next month I will aerate / scarify it as I bought a Bosch Tiner machine.

The only remaining issue is the dark green patches. It could indeed be previous dog wetting areas, I never thought of that, so will feed it with  tomato feed  this weekend. Will avoid feed and weed. How often would you recommend I feed it with feed, just twice per year or more often?

I don't know if it looks better due to being watered more or due to topdress but I will keep watering it.

As far as the rubble goes, there isn't actually a great deal but if it doesn't improve by next year I will dig it all up.

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