We relaid our lawn in April. It's hopelessly overshadowed by tall conifers
(we're going to get them cut back this autumn but didn't manage it last
autumn), but at least it had as good a soil as possible - large amount of
composted manure dug in, and a full dose of organic fertilizer pellets
(balanced). I'd have said that that ought to last it for months before it
needed feeding again. It was somebody else's idea to deg it with chemical
lawn fertilizer last week (some stuff called Aftercut, I forget the details
but pretty strong). Well, it wasn't done evenly enough, and killed off
several patches of the lawn. What's the best way to proceed?
How often do you really need to feed lawns, anyway? Before it was relaid we
hardly ever used to get round to feeding ours, and the sunnier part thrived
for several years until it got very compacted.
Before the fertilizer incident, the new lawn was growing fine. But it did
keep getting these squishy, flattened brown patches about six inches across,
for all the world as if somebody had ground it in with their foot. Never
come across those before. Can anyone explain?
My e-mail address is zen177395 at zendotcodotuk.
What kind of conifers? You do know that they don't grow like deciduous trees,
right? You can't prune them the same way. Other than cutting out the deadwood,
they don't really need pruning. If you "top" them, they'll look like a shrub
forever. Where you remove limbs, they won't grow back.
Please explain what a "full dose" is, as well as the specific "organic
It's not strong at all. It's 3-1-3 + 2% iron
It's basically a waste of money. You get an immediate greenup from the iron, but
the 3-1-3 is crap.
I doubt that's what killed off the several patches of lawn. You can put that
crap out by hand. You'd have to have one helluva pile sit in one spot for quite
a while for it to do any damage.
Totally depends on what kind of grass, as well as your location.
LOL So, instead of dealing with the compaction by aerifying and top-dressing,
you replaced the lawn? When your car gets dirty, do you just go buy a new one?
Not without more information, and perhaps some photos posted online and linked
Agree with all of the above. Especially the part about the Aftercut
product most likely not being responsible. From the web, it's only
3-1-3, which you'd have to put down at one hell of a rate to get
enough nitrogen to burn the lawn. Are you sure that's what was used
and the only thing used?
It's also amazing how folks continue to ask for advice without stating
what kind of grass or where they are located.
Didn't say. Very cheap but growing well at the time. I did wonder whether
it would last - the soil it was growing on was appalling, half clay half
I know all that, yeah. We're getting it done professionally. (They seemed
to think it was possible.)
Lakeland General-Purpose Organic Plant Food, 8-8-8. (Didn't have the box
handy last time I posted.) I used 75g/sqm which is the maximum dose as
specified on the box. The point is that it was supposed to last it longer
Well, the grass died off the day after the fertilizer went on, in exactly
the places where there was most fertilizer. Might have been a coincidence,
but it's a pretty good one. Maybe it was the iron. Didn't use anything
else at all.
OK, OK, we should have spiked it more often. (Not that it ever seemed to
make much difference). But we didn't, and one side of it was slowly dying
off anyway from too much shade. This year it had got to the point where
there was hardly anything left, so it seemed easier to cut our losses and
Can't help you there, I'm afraid. The above describes them exactly, and I
can't take any pictures now because they were covered up by the other thing.
They appeared any time, any weather, as far as I could tell.
As regards location: Lancashire. Wet, basically.
My e-mail address is zen177395 at zendotcodotuk.
"Professionally" can simply mean "they get paid for it". Are they certified
arborists? And, of course they think it's possible. They want your money. ;)
Lakeland also makes a lawn food (which would have more appropriate NPK ratio for
sod). Is there a reason you went with a balanced fertilizer? And, at those
rates, I don't suspect it to be the culpret in the spots you have.
Apparently, the product is in time-release pellets, which are supposed to last 2
2% iron wouldn't burn the grass, either. OTOH, if the manure wasn't composted
properly/completely, it sure would.
"Spiking" is *NOT* aerifying. Unless those "spikes" were hollow, and pulled up a
plug of sod/soil each time they plunged in. =)
Was the side that was "slowly dying off" close to the (as yet, not identified)
Have you had your soil tested? Before putting anything else down (organic or
otherwize), that would be the first thing you should do.
-Buy one for the price of two and get the second one free!
Another factor. Don;t know how things work over there, but here in
the northeast USA, all the sod I've been involved with has been grown
for sunny locations or at least locations that get a reasonable amount
of sun each day. It's typically blue grass/tall fescue. That will
not do well in shade. For shade, I've always used a true shade
blend that has varieties like creeping fescue and gone with seed.
Agree with the spiking is not aerifying too. A real core aerator
takes out plugs that are about 1/2" in diameter. That really opens
the soil up, as opposed to spikes that just compress it more in the
location next to the spike.
that and unless you're getting decent sod it's thin
and most people do not really prepare the underlayer
enough, so after a short period of time it is depleted
and starts getting patchy and weedy.
if you're going to sod, make sure to put the money
into what the sod is going on top of too to a suitable
on top of that if there is nothing but clay
and pebbles and they are not putting any organic matter down
in those holes afterwards it's not accomplishing much other
than perhaps drying the hard/compacted soil out further.
after spiking they'd need to get some slow rotting organics
raked in. or at least that is what i would make sure to do
if i cared about growing grass.
but then again, i wouldn't... i find grass to be the worst
kind of weed. :)
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