UPDATE: August 2016
Its been a few months now since I posted the picture at the bottom of this blog post of my somewhat sad looking lawn. Over the summer I’ve been watering it religiously as well as cutting it and dethatching (raking out dead grass). Its still not perfect but its a darn sight better than it was in June! This is grass seed only – no turf, and a few months of patience has saved well over £100 in buying turf. The lawn today:
If you’re like me at one time or another you’ve needed to completly redo your lawn. Maybe it was concrete when you started (yup) and you had to pull all of that up, level it out, put a ton or so of new topsoil on top and then lay some new lovely turf. Then, water that turf regulary until it decides it wants to live on the little patch of dirt you so lovingly prepared for it.
Maybe that process all went well for you…maybe it didn’t. In our case it went very well for the first year but then we made a crucial mistake. It was a busy autumn, the leaves from the tree fell, covering our lawn, then it rained (as it tends to here in the UK) and then it rained a lot more. It seems for most of the winter it rained.
Did you spot our mistake?
We never raked up those leaves in the autumn. I knew it needed to be done but sometimes life gets on top of you and your gardening falls to the bottom of the to do list until, before you know it, its springtime. You go outside to see what the situation is and – your previously lush lawn has now reverted to dirt weeds and quite a lot of decomposing leavs from the previous Autumn. Sigh.
Not wanting to lash out another few hundred pounds on turf I decided instead to rake up all the leaves, pull up the weeds and put down grass seed instead. Guess what I found during the raking? The turf that we had laid the previous year had been held together with green plastic netting, that DID NOT decompose! I had to rake out miles of this stuff! I couldn’t believe that a turf manufacturer would use non biodegradeable plastics in their turf, it was awful. It took ages to level out the dirt and get it looking right again. Thankfully the turf that we stock here on the Cotswold Garden website is not like that and is held together with environmentally safe biodegradeable mesh.
After the ground was finally prepared and I was back to where I started last year I spread a lot of grass seed over the dirt. And waited. And waited. After what seems like a month or so grass finally started poking its head up from the dirt. But due to the rains (again) the seeds had moved around a bit so now I have some fairly lush areas of young grass and…some rather bare bits. I’m going to spread some more seed on the bare bits and continue watering it. Hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll have a nice lawn again, and this time I’ll make sure to rake up the leaves in the Autumn!
One day I’ll have a lawn again, one day….
Moral of the story: Use high quality turf and remember to do your fall garden clearup!
The garden today: