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Old 03-06-2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Help with a lawn which won't grow, 2nd time round!

Hello

I have a lawn which just won't thrive, here's the facts:

- Live on the sea front, it's the rear garden, 18m2, west facing.
- A new promenade was being built 4 years ago and the rubble and soil from existing ground was removed and dumped in a mini car park opposite me I was doing the garden at the same time so thought it was too good to be true not to pinch the soil and use for my lawn. Did this, filled the area to a depth of 4" and sewed seeds. At first the grass looked amazing, but after a few weeks started getting patchy, very yellow/strawy and eventually areas died back. I tried adding more seed, plenty of water, no luck.
- It got to the point where I called a gardener who (for 140) took a look at it and said they'd add some top soil and fertilizer, more seed and refertilize in a few weeks. They did that and it looked better, but eventually right back to square 1, but buy this time the gardener was uncontactable! Just can't get hold of him, typical!
- Since then, we moved out to restore our home and the grass was left in a bad state, never cut (although only a few areas actually grew long enough to even warrant cutting!), but I thought I'd address it when we moved back in. That time is now and I cut it initially to clean it up and see what it's do, but no change.
- Had a skip this w/e for removing tarmac, and with some space left, I decided to dig up the lawn, and also removed a fair amount of soil (thinking maybe it's contaminated?... although it served a good enough purpose when it was used in its existing location!)
- I've dug down 2-3" and intend to buy some unscreened topsoil and turf it, but I'm worried after a few weeks or months the same thing will happen when the roots bed in?
- I did notice that after heavy rain, puddles appeared/it gets waterlogged the soil is 4" over shail, could this be a factor? I also noticed dark (almost black soil when digging it up which I think coincided with a pond smell not sure if this is the soil the gardener added of if it's bad soil? And I also noticed quite a few (every other shovel load) of inch and half long caterpillar type creatures but no legs ie. like a large maggot, some were brown, some crimson red, red ones were like a cocoon!

That's all the info I can say guys, included all I know with the hope of some guidance/advice. Any ideas???

Thanks

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:28 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Default Help with a lawn which won't grow, 2nd time round!

deansplit wrote:
Hello

I have a lawn which just won't thrive, here's the facts:

- Live on the sea front, it's the rear garden, 18m2, west facing.
- A new promenade was being built 4 years ago and the rubble and soil
from existing ground was removed and dumped in a mini car park
opposite me I was doing the garden at the same time so thought it
was too good to be true not to pinch the soil and use for my lawn.
Did this, filled the area to a depth of 4" and sewed seeds. At first
the grass looked amazing, but after a few weeks started getting
patchy, very yellow/strawy and eventually areas died back. I tried
adding more seed, plenty of water, no luck.
- It got to the point where I called a gardener who (for 140) took a
look at it and said they'd add some top soil and fertilizer, more seed
and refertilize in a few weeks. They did that and it looked better,
but eventually right back to square 1, but buy this time the gardener
was uncontactable! Just can't get hold of him, typical!
- Since then, we moved out to restore our home and the grass was left
in a bad state, never cut (although only a few areas actually grew
long enough to even warrant cutting!), but I thought I'd address it
when we moved back in. That time is now and I cut it initially to
clean it up and see what it's do, but no change.
- Had a skip this w/e for removing tarmac, and with some space left, I
decided to dig up the lawn, and also removed a fair amount of soil
(thinking maybe it's contaminated?... although it served a good enough
purpose when it was used in its existing location!)
- I've dug down 2-3" and intend to buy some unscreened topsoil and
turf it, but I'm worried after a few weeks or months the same thing
will happen when the roots bed in?
- I did notice that after heavy rain, puddles appeared/it gets
waterlogged the soil is 4" over shail, could this be a factor? I
also noticed dark (almost black soil when digging it up which I think
coincided with a pond smell not sure if this is the soil the
gardener added of if it's bad soil? And I also noticed quite a few
(every other shovel load) of inch and half long caterpillar type
creatures but no legs ie. like a large maggot, some were brown, some
crimson red, red ones were like a cocoon!

That's all the info I can say guys, included all I know with the hope
of some guidance/advice. Any ideas???


To keep growing well, lawns require occasional food. Each time you fertilize it
(properly) and keep it properly watered, you should see new growth within a few
weeks. If you never feed it, or you let it dry out too much, it isn't going to
do as well. This does not mean to over water or over feed it.


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Old 04-06-2013, 05:31 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Mar 2011
Posts: 232
Default Help with a lawn which won't grow, 2nd time round!

On Jun 3, 7:29*am, deansplit
wrote:
Hello

I have a lawn which just won't thrive, here's the facts:

- Live on the sea front, it's the rear garden, 18m2, west facing.
- A new promenade was being built 4 years ago and the rubble and soil
from existing ground was removed and dumped in a mini car park opposite
me I was doing the garden at the same time so thought it was too good
to be true not to pinch the soil and use for my lawn.


rubble? soil? what exactly was it that you used? was it topsoil that
stuff
was growing on or just crap? you're near the sea, was this soil
contaminated with salt?
any reason to think it's contaminated with something else?





Did this, filled
the area to a depth of 4" and sewed seeds. At first the grass looked
amazing, but after a few weeks started getting patchy, very
yellow/strawy and eventually areas died back. I tried adding more seed,
plenty of water, no luck.


Assuming the soil is at least halfway decent, did you test the PH?
It's not unusual for the PH for topsoil that is brought in to be way
off.
I would take a sample of the soil and have it tested by an
agricultural lab
to tell you what it has or is lacking.




- It got to the point where I called a gardener who (for 140) took a
look at it and said they'd add some top soil and fertilizer, more seed
and refertilize in a few weeks. They did that and it looked better, but
eventually right back to square 1, but buy this time the gardener was
uncontactable! Just can't get hold of him, typical!
- Since then, we moved out to restore our home and the grass was left in
a bad state, never cut (although only a few areas actually grew long
enough to even warrant cutting!), but I thought I'd address it when we
moved back in. That time is now and I cut it initially to clean it up
and see what it's do, but no change.
- Had a skip this w/e for removing tarmac, and with some space left, I
decided to dig up the lawn, and also removed a fair amount of soil
(thinking maybe it's contaminated?... although it served a good enough
purpose when it was used in its existing location!)
- I've dug down 2-3" and intend to buy some unscreened topsoil


You want SCREENED topsoil.


and turf
it, but I'm worried after a few weeks or months the same thing will
happen when the roots bed in?


It's such a small area, why are you only taking out 2"? If the soil
is suspect and you're going to replace it, I'd take out 6" or at least
as much as you previously put in.


- I did notice that after heavy rain, puddles appeared/it gets
waterlogged the soil is 4" over shail, could this be a factor?


Depends on how fast it then drains. Puddles are not a good
sign though.


I also
noticed dark (almost black soil when digging it up which I think
coincided with a pond smell not sure if this is the soil the gardener
added of if it's bad soil? And I also noticed quite a few (every other
shovel load) of inch and half long caterpillar type creatures but no
legs ie. like a large maggot, some were brown, some crimson red, red
ones were like a cocoon!


i don't know what a pond smell is. I'd say you need someone
knowledgable
about gardening or turf care in the area to take a look.



That's all the info I can say guys, included all I know with the hope of
some guidance/advice. Any ideas???

Thanks

--
deansplit


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Old 06-06-2013, 03:24 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,776
Default Help with a lawn which won't grow, 2nd time round!

deansplit wrote:
....
- I did notice that after heavy rain, puddles appeared/it gets
waterlogged – the soil is 4" over shail, could this be a factor? I also
noticed dark (almost black soil when digging it up which I think
coincided with a pond smell – not sure if this is the soil the gardener
added of if it's bad soil? And I also noticed quite a few (every other
shovel load) of inch and half long caterpillar type creatures but no
legs ie. like a large maggot, some were brown, some crimson red, red
ones were like a cocoon!


4" over shale on a west facing slope is probably
not quite enough, especially if you are getting
winds from the coast.

you might need more topsoil, your drainage
situation doesn't sound great either, but i
dunno what you want to do about breaking through
or trenching something like shale. that sounds
like a major expense. the more topsoil you
bring in the better the soil will be at holding
moisture and distributing it if you get a heavy
rain. but overall, even after adding another
several inches of topsoil i don't think you gain
as much as you might need. also depends upon
the amount of clay and organic material in the
topsoil as to what it will hold for moisture and
what it will support for plant growth.

bugs are a good sign your soil supports life.
if you don't notice bare patches appearing in
the middle of otherwise healthy grass i would
not worry.

the swamp smell should not be at the surface
or within a few inches of the grass roots. down
deeper it would be normal in waterlogged soils
with some organic matter. a sign that better
drainage is needed...

in the old days, people would scrape out the
bottom of ditches and ponds to use that black
muck in gardens. it's good soil additive for
gardens, but has to be done a few weeks before
planting.


songbird


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