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Advice on grass
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Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #1
19-07-2008 08:03 PM

There that got you looking. Nothing to do with the certain 'factories' springing up but our lawns.

They are dreadful. The grass dies, and is being taken over by moss. I suppose it is a case of laying a load of topsoil due to the poor drainage of the clay below, and reseeding. The existing top soil is thin, and you quickly go down to the yellow clay that once would have been used to make bricks.

Any super strains of grass? Or otherways to improve our lawns. I will not water them (unless reseeding). (yes I've heard of certain Dutch web sites that sell other seeds, before it is suggested, ho ho)

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Posts: 73
Joined: May 2008
Post: #2
20-07-2008 09:13 AM

Different types of grass seed are sold at Shannons- I bought the multipurpose by Evergreen which has done well in our very shady garden with poor soil (the garden has a lot of heavy clay sub-soil brought up to the surface when these flats were built). You'll need to break up any impacted top soil with a fork before sowing, and we also used a little compost to improe it. Fortunately (well, for the lawn) it has been a wet summer. You'll need to water at times if it gets dry - water butts and recycling bath/shower water.

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Posts: 73
Joined: May 2008
Post: #3
20-07-2008 09:15 AM

I mean you'll need to water at times when re-seeding. The new grass seems Ok through dry spells, but hard to judge, as the dry spells have been few and far between this year.

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Posts: 294
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #4
20-07-2008 10:22 PM

I recently had good success digging over a mossy patch and re-seeding with EverGreen Multi-Purpose (rye grass mix). This was standard south london clay. They also have a mix for shady spots.

Best practice seems to be regular feeding, spiking for drainage and raking to pull out moss.

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Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #5
20-07-2008 11:24 PM

Advice I got for my shady, damp North-East facing lawn was against logic. I was told to actually go for drought tolerant grass (the 'shady' seed I'd tried failed) on the basis that it doesn't actually mind getting wet and is really robust stuff.

Bought some, haven't sown it yet.

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Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #6
22-07-2008 10:44 PM

Raked the moss away, but it comes back even bigger time. Would love to see how the last piece of advice goes, but looks like we will be doing this in tandem.
Spose I could carry out an experiment and try various rows.
Problem is the weight of clay, and where to dispose it. Perhaps all fired up would like it.

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Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #7
23-07-2008 08:57 AM

The best time to rake moss is in autum. Best advice I can give is to go to Shannons (or any good garden center or Amazon etc) and by a copy of the Lawn book from the gardner range. Tells you when to do what and what grasses to use in what conditions. I have found it very usefull in the past.

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Posts: 1,360
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
23-07-2008 01:22 PM

You could try adding a layer of sharp sand to assist drainage.

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Posts: 133
Joined: May 2007
Post: #9
23-07-2008 02:42 PM

My experience suggests that you can spend an awful lot of time (and money) in trying to achieve a good lawn. But the fact is that unless you are prepared to do the basics every year, (scarify, spike, weed, feed, water etc) then the problems just keep coming back.

There are some modified types of grass seed available, (I guess GM) which are often advertised in mail order catalogues. They are supposed to be tolerant of poor soils and both drought and flood resistant. They do seem to work, but compared to products like Evergreen, they are noticably coarser and if you re-seed a bare patch, you can see the difference.

As ever, a lawn usually reflects the amount of time (and inclination) that an individual is willing to spend on it and if like a lot of people you don't have much of either then the seed I've mentioned above (with the initial preparation) will probably do the trick.

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