With many of us being out and about in the garden a lot more than usual due to lockdown, any issues with the current appearance of your lawn will most likely stick out like a sore thumb - prompting the question: 'What's wrong with my lawn?'There are more than a few factors which can impact the regrowth, establishment and longevity of grass and they may leave you scratching your head wondering how to fix them. Below we will focus on some of the most common issues UK lawns face and how to resolve them.
Yellowing grassThe first sign that something is amiss with your lawn is yellowing grass. Typically this means a lack of nutrients / nitrogen and that the lawn needs to be fed with a fertiliser, but it can also hint at a few other issues. Following a very wet winter, some lawns will have suffered from poor drainage (more on that below!) and if grass has been submerged in water for a long time it will drown and die, if this is the case - the dead grass will need to be removed and reseeded. Other causes of yellowing grass include Red Thread and Leatherjackets.
Poor drainagePoor drainage is a very common problem in UK lawns. It’s often one that can be hard to spot (unless you notice frequent flooding) and in some cases - can be expensive to fix. In extreme situations (the whole lawn floods) the only way to deal with poor drainage is to dig up a lawn and construct drains to allow water to flow more freely beneath the surface. In less obvious cases, poor drainage can occur if:
- You have clay soils
- Your lawn gets a lot of use and you aren't aerating the soil, this causes it to become compacted and drain poorly
- Your lawn is not level and water lingers in certain areas
- Clay soils will always be clay soils - it doesn't matter how much top soil you add, the foundation of your soil will be clay and succumb to the conditions typical of clay soil such as poor drainage. By sowing a mix that contains species designed to deal with these conditions, you'll notice your grass lasting much longer and holding its own.
- If your lawn gets a lot of use (kids / dogs playing) you should try to aerate it as the surface will become compacted causing poor drainage and slower regrowth. You will know your soil surface is compacted if it's hard and cannot be easily raked. You can read more about aeration here.
- If your lawn isn't completely level, rainwater will gather in its dips causing patchiness, regrowth failure and as Mary Berry likes to call it - a 'soggy bottom' affecting the overall look of your lawn. The best way to fix this is to add top soil to level out these areas. If your lawn experiences peaks and troughs throughout its foundation, you may need to call in a landscaper to help level the entire area out.