bromsgrove61
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Bromsgrove

Spongy lawn

Hi fellow gardeners.

This is my first post so please be kind :)

I laid a small new lawn using turf over a jumbo bag of lawnmix compost in April this year.

It has taken beautifully and is really REALLY thick (like a carpet almost), although I have had to keep the weeds at bay using 4-in-1 complete as it was weed infested already when I unrolled the turf to lay it.

My problem is I think I may have applied too much lawnmix prior to laying the turf as the lawn is far too spongy. I had hoped its spongyness would firm up as I mowed the lawn several times but after mowing twice a week for 6 months I think it is getting worse.

I cannot stand on the lawn for more than a few seconds as I start to sink.

It does however, spring back up eventually.

Should I a) Add Lawn Sand b) Roller it c) both d) something else?

Many thanks in anticipation of your responses.

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I'm not a lawn person. But when one comes by, I expect they can give you a lot better help if you tell us where you are (bromsgrove is in England, right?), what the climate is like there, re sunshine, rainfall, temps... and what you have been doing to your lawn besides mowing twice a week (like how/ how much you water, have you been fertilizing, etc).

I would guess the spongy is that your "lawn mix" holds too much water, especially if you have been getting a lot of rain and/or watering a lot. Another possibility for the sinking would be if you have lots of gophers or moles or other kinds of burrowers making tunnels under your lawn, but I think you would probably know that. Do you sink everywhere or just certain spots?

It's hard for me to imagine that even a "jumbo" bag of compost makes all that much difference spread out over a lawn. Give us an idea of how small is small (are we talking 2 meters by 3, 10 m by 10 or what).

We always try to be kind :) I'm just trying to help you get help that is really useful, not just generalities. Glad you found us!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

bromsgrove61
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Bromsgrove

Thanks Rainbow.

Here's a bit more info if anyone can provide any advice :)

It's a 10 FEET circular lawn (unsure, think that's about 3.5 metres?)
I'm smack bang in the middle of England UK and although its been a lousy summer, it has been very dry - just not very warm.
I'm on a housing estate well away from any critters such as moles etc.
I watered the lawn frequently immediately after laying the turf back in April and continued to use sprinkler on it through July/August as it has been one of the driest summers I can recall even if it has been cold.
I have had to use Evergreen complete 4 in 1 as the weeds were really bad after the first 4 months - this really did some damage but it recovered well enough after 4/5 weeks.
My lawn mower does not have a grass collection box so I tend to mow over the cuttings and leave the tiny pieces as lawn feed.
I have scarified it with spindly lawn style rake - There didn't seem much to collect though so I would cross out thatch as being the cause of the problem.
Even now we are in October there still hasn't been an overly significant amount of rainfall and I haven't watered the lawn for about 8 weeks+.
Temperatures this month are well above average for the time of the year, in fact just last week temps peaked here at 28c.

On a further inspection today the soil seems extremely rich where I have been edging the lawn. The ground is getting softer and softer by the day and what was once a perfectly flat lawn is starting to look more like a piece of corrigate. :cry: and the weeds are starting to come back along with a dose of mushrooms :cry:

Sincere thanks to anyone who can provide advice - especially if it means I don't have to tear the lawn up and start again as I don't have much energy. :lol:

bromsgrove61
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Bromsgrove

Here's a photo - Sorry for lack of plants/flowers, landscaped this year, plant next :)

[img]https://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee451/bromsgrove61/Image450.jpg[/img]

bromsgrove61
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Bromsgrove

Anybody? Somebody?


:idea: :?: :idea:

btrowe1
Senior Member
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: South Glens Falls Ny,Zone 4B

Thats a pretty lawn, Spongy at my house in the us is usually grubs eating the lawn.. nasty little buggers, youd need to dig up a spot and see if you have any white bugs under the grass..

bromsgrove61
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Bromsgrove

Now why didn't I think of that? Thank you.

Last summer it was so thick the mower struggled. It really was the thickest lawn I had ever seen - like an expensive carpet. Then I used a 4 in 1 evergreen product and it crashed a fair bit.

This week I have top dressed with lawn soil to fill in the craters and over-seeded and fertilized with miracle grow lawn feed 36-6-6. Cannot see any weeds appearing so hopefully I won't have to use a weed killer on it this year.

Will dig up a slice tomorrow and take a look to see if I can spot anything.

Thanks again

bromsgrove61
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Bromsgrove

[img]https://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee451/bromsgrove61/100_2916.jpg[/img][/img]


Thanks to all who have replied so far, I appreciate all help.

UPDATE

Ok, the lawn is getting thinner and thinner. The over-seeding I did hasn't worked - The grass seed just isn't germinating - I have now over-seeded twice with Evergreen lawn seed, to no avail. However, it has been a very wet April in Central England. However, there are NO weeds growing either - and that worries me even more :O

I leveled the lawn by stamping down on boards - sure it's helped slightly, but it still sinks.

I have dug out a small 30cm square to have a look underneath.

* The initial 1" of soil still contains plenty of compost and seems fine
* The soil 1" below the lawn seems muddy with little structure.
* There are lots of worms
* The grass roots are very shallow, less than 1" deep.
* Please look at the image above. I have destroyed hundreds of these on the patio in the last few weeks. It seems they are also in the soil below my lawn too. Can anyone identify it? Could they be eating the grass roots?

Many thanks

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