Pat, Trader4, Lannerman & BobF - Thank you all for such helpful and
mostly very consistent advice. Apologies for a delayed response, I have
been waiting to report progress as either 'no improvement' or 'the lawn
is recovering', which it is - recovering!!
A week ago it looked doubtful, it would recover properly. I had visions
of having to virtually start again as I watched it die! In just the last
few days though it is showing a great improvement. I cut it on the
highest mower setting, about 2.5" - see photos attached..
You all confirmed my own thoughts and regrets. The lawn was left to fend
for itself too early and too long; at a very tender stage and age.
Despite the rain while I was away, it didn't receive enough water, it
was then cut back too harshly. Silly of me having prepared the site so
carefully and bought quality turf (sod). After a drawn out landscaping
project my timing was wrong. I wanted to lay a lawn before the UK summer
was too far gone, will be autumn (Fall) in 3-4wks time. It was a risk
and it didn't really pay off as now I have to give it extra care &
treatment, But I feel it is now off the critical list! When I left for
holiday it looked so lush, strong and healthy, but I did have a nagging
thought the whole time that I was risking it and should have waited and
laid it immediately after holiday when I could have watched and tended
it daily all the way through. Enough said, water under the bridge (not
on the lawn!) and all that, ........what's done is done, I have learnt
for next time.
Your advice is good and welcomed but please also consider that most of
you guys are in the US, presumably with much warmer summers than in the
UK? This summer is bad, mostly 18C/65F to 21C/70F, many days as low as
16c/60f, very cloudy but equally not a lot of rain. We also mostly have
a very fine blade grass, whereas in my limited travels of the US,
California and Arizona; I saw mostly a very coarse bladed grass. Much
hardier I would think?
Back to my lawn. I thought it was dead or dying fast on me. The worst
photo, No#3, the one you Trader said looked like it had some fungus may
be true. But I think it was also misleading because the closeup photo
was blurred/out of focus, giving the appearance of a web/mist. I hadn't
helped by perhaps over-watering it in my panic to rescue the lawn, also
at the wrong time of day. I think it had become a bit waterlogged and
may have suffered some of the rot that you spoke of. But, a few weeks of
holding back on the watering and a high cut mowing twice a week with
water every 2nd day at 6am as soon as I get up - this has given a great
Photos - I have included new photos as follows:-
#3 late July - from previous photos, the worst it got to.
#4 10-Aug - a week ago, days before giving it a light cut.
#5 16-Aug - just after a light cut at 2.5"
#6 16-Aug - detail photos of worst areas, greatly improved but still
thin at ground level.
I am cautiously optimistic and would say that it is definitely not
getting any worse.
With some dead grass at ground level, and a general loss of density - it
was very thick and green, it is now back to mostly green but still a
little sparse If I were to cut it really short, I'm sure it would look
Your advice on the following please:-
The lawn looks good and green at about 2" to 2.5" high, but when cut any
lower it looks sparse/thin. My fear is that with a sparser covering the
weeds will get a hold.
1) Treatment - do I use a fungicide, which one?
I want to avoid any fungus and weed taking over. I also want to get it
back to a thicker denser, multi-bladed, healthy grass.
I want to put a fungicide on as you suggest Trader4, but I have trawled
the UK sites for one and it may be just terminology differences, but I
can't find a UK site that has fungicide specifically. There are lots of
lawn feed-and-weed or weed and moss killer treatments, but most
treatments are fertilizer and 'steroids' for lawns. Can you please try
"lawn fungicide UK" in Google and see if there is a link to the product
I should buy here, I can't see anything that fits that description even
though there are a lot of links, they just lead to moss & weed killer
or is that what I should use?
2) Will the grass thicken up or is the dead bit dead?
Is the dead part of the lawn at ground level actually completely dead in
the roots, or will new grass push through to thicken it up again.
3) How do I keep weeds at bay? - where the grass is thin, do I need to
top dress (seed/soilo/compost/sand) and when?
4) Approaching autumn/Fall - do I have to remove the dead grass? Should
I put a treatment on it to feed it through the winter? Rowlawn recommend
an Autumn Lawn Food to put the lawn to bed for winter, see link.....
'Autumn Lawn Food from Rolawn'
5) What height should I mow at? - I have raised the mower to a 2.5"
cut. It won't go higher. What height should I be working towards as
'normal' and by when? Remember this is supposed to be a fine blade
'show' lawn - if I can recover it!
I won't defend what I have done, except to say that the UK 'experts' on
supply and care of quality turf (sod) are Rowlawn and they have given me
some conflicting advice. You all give similar advice and so does the
Rowlawn website - see links. However, when I called their Customer
Advice line, despite pushing for contact with a more mature
green-fingered old fox, I got the sales girlies. They may know their
product, but they won't have the experience of doing and fixing it when
things go wrong. Their advice when I said I had cut the lawn from 6" to
3" was that the light needed to get in and I should cut it right down to
maxm 1.5". That clearly made it worse and is shown in photo #3 from my
earlier posting where it looked scalped, bald and dead.
Hopefully on the way to recovering this lawn instead of a remake next
spring as I had feared! Thanks again for all your help.
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