Alaska, I can't be sure exactly what you did, but I can be certain that if the seeds you selected stated "shade tolerance" then it is. So I doubt switching to something different will help. The only thing on that note is you want to be sure it is shade tolerant and not just that it tolerates "moderate shade" or "sun and shade." You need a deep shade species.
Yes, it could be the soil and I always recommend a soil test to determine nutrients, pH balance, and soil structure. A good lawn begins with good soil, so ask your nearest garden center where you can get soil testing done there in the UK. Ordinarily, the garden center will try to sell you a test kit, but those are usually inaccurate, unreliable, and they don't test for all that you need to know. Tell them you want a professional lab to do it for you. The lab will send you their own test kit with sampling instructions, and you will send it back to them. The cost is minimal. Here in the US, they cost $15-25.
Normally, I might ask a poster to please describe more in depth so I can have a good idea of what they did and how often they did it. Instead, I'm just going to provide the proper way to irrigate and mow your lawn. I do pick up a couple clues though. One is that watering daily is necessary to get it established but after that, frequent watering is very damaging. Another is I don't know what "strimming" means LOL. I'm in the US, and we don't have such a term. However, mowing it back short is exactly what your new grass needed. After it establishes to about 2.5-3 inches, cutting back to 1.5 or 2 inches stimulates growth. Also whatever tool or machinery is used to do the strimming would need to have a very sharp blade. Dull blades, and that includes mower blades, is also damaging.
Watering, mowing, and fertilizing the grass are cultural practices that are most important in lawn care. Dull blades, improper watering, improper mowing, and fertilizing at the wrong times (or too much fertilizer) all cause stress to the grass plants. A stressful state is a weakened state and renders the grass unable to grow well and also makes it vulnerable to disease.
Following are the proper ways to irrigate, mow, and fertilize your lawn........
Your lawn needs one inch of water per week (including rainfall) and should be applied all at one time. This is what is referred to as deep but infrequent irrigation. Using tuna cans placed in various places, run the sprinkler to obtain one inch of water in the tuna cans and time it. Run the sprinklers each week for that amount of time in every section to achieve one inch of irrigation all over. One inch will moisten the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches. This encourages the roots to grow deeply. The soil will pull the water downward. The roots will grow down looking for water and nutrients. Each week, be sure to take rainfall into consideration.
Irrigation should be modified during the hot periods of summer, particularly during heat waves. To relieve heat stress and prevent drought stress, water the lawn more frequently. Divide the weekly irrigation schedule in half to provide water twice a week for half the amount o f time. If it normally takes one hour to provide an inch of water, then irrigate twice a week for half an hour during the hot weeks of summer. Divide irrigation schedule into thirds during heat waves. Again, if it normally takes one hour to provide one inch of moisture, irrigate three times a week for 20 minutes.
Always mow high at 3 inches or higher on a regular basis. Mowing high permits proper photosynthesis. That means the grass needs sunlight to grow. The shorter the blades of grass, the more you impede the photosynthesis process. Photosynthesis takes place at just about the middle of the grass blade. Ever notice the grass is yellowish closest to the soil? The reason is that as the grass utilizes sunlight to manufacture its own food, chlorophyll is produced to give the grass its green color. It is very important to remember you should never remove more than one third of the grass blade at a time or you shut down the food factory, which causes stress. You may wish to mow once a week or 2-3 times a week, depending on how fast the grass grows. Either is fine just so long as no more than one third is cut off at once.
Infrequent deep watering and frequently mowing high are the two crucial points of lawn care. Anything else you do is secondary to these cultural practices. Proper watering and proper mowing are what encourage a healthy growing environment for a lush green lawn that is able to crowd out weeds.
Your shady grass needs about 2 pounds (I know you need to translate that) of nitrogen per year divided into 3-4 separate applications of roughly half a pound each.
Fertilize in mid-Mid.
Do not fertilize in summer at all (no matter what the product packages say) unless it is with an organic source. If you do not use organic fertilizers, then don't fertilize in summer no matter who/what tells you to do it.
You can fertilize 2-3 times in the fall - September, October, and/or November. Applications are 3-4 week intervals. If you choose to fertilize 2 times in fall, then skip the October application.
Fall is the most important time for fertilizing, and the very last one of the year should be timed such that you get the most bang for your money.
Last edited by Bestlawn
on Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.