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my lawn

what would you do???

leogirl  Female  Essex 24-Jun-2019 18:15 Message #4742686
Like all gardens and lawns, mine suffered from the draught of 2018 and showed lots of stubborn weeds, moss and bare patches.
I employed a " lawndoctor" who for a standing order, monthly sum gave me the impression that a lush green lawn was within my reach.
I had the lawn plucked of thatch , plugs of the hardend earth taken out and 6 to 8 weeks interval weed killer and fertiliser applied.
The lawn looked terrible with even bigger bare patches and even more feathery green weed .
On the bare patches grass seeds were spread with a flourish! Most of it was eaten by the pigeons, and half the flower border received a good load of grass seeds. ! so far I have spend a fair amount of money already with very negative results. I was told to water the lawn and have it mowed at regular intervals. I do as much as I can.
But how can you mow vast areas that had a reseeding? And watering the lawn seem to make the weeds grow even faster?
Should I end my contract with the green fingered company and go to the £ shop and get some cheap grass feeder/weedkiller and have a go myself in creating a green lawn?

My dogs do there wee on the lawn first thing in the morning. Should I try to water the burn-patch strait away to dilute or leave it?
Is there anything that would I could put in the watering can to neutralise the burning effect of the dogwee?
Not keen on those stones that one has to put in the drinking water of dogs,

Serious answers appreciated , but very funny ones also welcome as I despair!


Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 24-Jun-2019 18:28 Message #4742687
I would say the recent weather has been almost perfect for grass seed growth and establishment - it is vital to keep the grass seed moist and never let it dry out.
As long as you do that and the weather is warm, the seed should germinate in a few days. Once it does, it will spread quickly.
I used to mix the grass seed with some compost and broadcast it quite thickly, then keep it moist like I said...
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 24-Jun-2019 18:38 Message #4742691
I would ditch the lawn company they don't seem to be doing anything except lining thier pockets. I think its lady dog wee that burns lawns rather than male dog wee? You could try sending a question into Gardeners World, they're asking for people to send in their garden problems and they will come round to some and film them sorting it. I'm not a big lawn person but it does sound as though you might be better off returfing than using grass seed, although you maybe better off leaving until later in the year as its supposed to get very hot later this week and next week.
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PrincessFruitBat  Female  Essex 24-Jun-2019 18:39 Message #4742693
Hi leogirl, I’m wondering if the lawn doctor is worth the money.
A friend of mine has had a similar lack of results with his efforts.
She decided to go it alone.
SQL  Male  Devon 24-Jun-2019 22:06 Message #4742705
Hello Leogirl.

Male or female dog pee are equally damaging to a lawn, it's just that the males tend to spread it around a lot more. Best solution is to water the area after the dogs have been out to dilute the effect.

Lawn doctors are good at keeping a good lawn looking good but fairly useless in cases like yours. I have had a similar problem with my lawn (without any dogs) and it's just starting to improve but still looks patchy. I have been spreading 'chicken compost' pellets fairly generously over the whole lawn and it's starting to give results. I use rolls of wire netting to protect grass seed in the bare patches from the attention of birds. I expect it to take another year or two at least before the lawn looks presentable again.

Sea  Female  Essex 24-Jun-2019 22:39 Message #4742711
Hi Leogirl,
I would just ditch the lawn doctor and the weedkiller and just leave everything to grow naturally. If I had weed killer on my lawn there would be nothing of the lawn left. At the moment it is extremely lush and green, and looked very meadow like and long after being away for over three weeks. Everything just grew. And actually my lawn looking like a meadow did look quite nice. Full of buttercups and daisies and clover and many oher different flowers as well. I just feel that I am doing my bit to help wild flowers to thrive and the bee population seemed to agree. And when I did mow my lawn I did leave a patch of the daisies and also some interesting wild orange flowers. If I had used weedkiller then presumably they would have all disappeared, as classed as weeds? At least whatever is cut is lush and green underneath and it does not bother me that it is not all technically grass. Green clover leaves can look nice too.
terry  Male  West Yorkshire 24-Jun-2019 22:50 Message #4742717
I'd agree Sea Urchin, my friend now only cuts half of his lawn and leaves the other half to grow wild. The increase in wildlife and colour has made a big difference to his quality of life plus as you say, it's doing some good for the environment.

As for a suggestion about your lawn leogirl...every lawn I've had has been reduced to bare patches and weeds within weeks of me doing anything so you'd be better avoiding what I did.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 25-Jun-2019 09:34 Message #4742747
I think that if you want a bowling green lawn with two dogs, you might be a wee bit hopeful. ;-)
Dogs are armageddon to lawns, unless you have a 5 acre meadow for them to romp around. Especially when it has rained; their claws just tear up the surface and damage the roots.
You can get some hard wearing lawn grass seeds for children's play areas, and kids are probably almost as tough on lawns as dogs.
Even without the dogs, having a beautiful lawn needs to be an ongoing obsession. They take an awful lot of care. My best suggestion would be to forget the idea of having a beautiful lawn and find some other kind of hard wearing surface. I think you are fighting a losing battle and you are wasting your money on the lawn maintenance guys. Any good they do will be reversed as soon as the dogs go out for a run around in the rain and it rains a lot in the British Isles.
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 25-Jun-2019 09:54 Message #4742752
"You can get some hard wearing lawn grass seeds"

That's a good point - I would suggest doing some homework on various mixes of grass seed. I would avoid B &Q or similar generic seeds, and look at professional grass seed suppliers. It will be a bit more expensive but you can buy a seed mix that is more appropriate for the application you need.
I bought a fantastic hard wearing grass seed mix from a professional seed supplier for about £90 for a 25kg bag - that seeded a massive area of about 280 square metres. The result was superb, even if I say so myself...
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PrincessFruitBat  Female  Essex 25-Jun-2019 10:40 Message #4742755
Have you considered joining your nearest horticultural society, leogirl? You would probably be able to get some free advice from them. There’s one in Danbury that costs £3 a year to join. I’m not sure if you have one any closer to home.

I used to belong to my local one many years ago and I did buy grass seed from them.
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 25-Jun-2019 12:28 Message #4742763
Oh leogirl ! The situation you describe has elements of deja vu (cast your minds back to my cooch grass thread back end of 2018).
. . . and I've not got dogs to contribute to the problem.

From experience this year, re-seeding (involving the discouraging of pigeons etc.) requires a fair measure of diligence.
My new neighbours, with their refurbishment nearing completion, opted for turf and it's looking good - but they haven't moved in yet and I anticipate that their dog will not help the appearance of their lawn.
Worth consideration though, but area (and hence cost) of turf is something you'll surely have in mind.

Water permeable alternatives include gravel (not too thick) over a 'weed' suppressing membrane which you can plant through with selected specimens.

As indicated, allowing the existing 'lawn' area to revert to nature is also an option - see what comes up - mowing just a couple of times a year is attractive to some folk.

But whatever, the evidence of your own experience seems to suggest that sacking the 'lawn doctor' is surely your first step.

I'd wish you luck, but am sure that you'd be better off with your own (developing ?) skills.
leogirl  Female  Essex 25-Jun-2019 23:49 Message #4742807
thank you all so much for your suggestions. I shall have to endure one more treatment of the green fingered guy and than arrange for the contract to end there and than.
The mild rain we had the last couple of days made a difference and now I am de -weeding patches of the stubborn weed that spreads it`s strong roots sideways . the roots are some 10 to 15 cm long.
I shall re-seed with a tougher kind of grass and cover the seeds with a thin layer of sand and topsoil as suggested and avoid mowing that area . Perhaps a little chicken manure to encourage growth as suggested, but knowing little Bella, she will probably eat the pellets!
The horticultural club in Danbury sounds a great help and will make inquiries. Danbury is on top of the Alps of Essex , not far away,
When all goes well , perhaps in August there will be a green lawn and a lovely border .
I better start ordering a few crates of vino and some burgers, sausages , chps and chicken for the BBQ and invite all you lovely people to admire my green lawn

terry  Male  West Yorkshire 26-Jun-2019 22:31 Message #4742854
Forget the chicken, and I'll bring me own Theakstons best bitter if you don't mind. I might even bring my computer so we can listen to a bit of John Cooper Clarke and Louden Wainwright III
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire 10-Jul-2019 06:39 Message #4744340
I'll bring me own Theakstons best bitter

An excellent answer for any question asked north of Watford Gap.

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