muddy garden

Discussion in 'Gardening Advice' started by jenny armour, Jan 29, 2017.


  1. jenny armour

    jenny armour PetForums VIP

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    can anyone advise?
    my garden gets very wet especially during the winter, but now I have my dogs it obviously gets turfed up badly. last year once the winter had gone, I tried seeding the grass and altho some places did well and other parts just stayed bald and patchy. now the winter is here again it is worse than last winter. can anyone recommend a good tough grass seed that will help grow back at least after the winter?
     
  2. MollySmith

    MollySmith PetForums VIP

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  3. jenny armour

    jenny armour PetForums VIP

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    had a quick look at this mollysmith, but do you think they will withstand two mad rough collies, pounding up and down the garden. I will have a better look later of course
    my garden doesn't help because it is about half its size, due to my cat pen taking up the rest. have you tried any of these grass seeds before, or should I say not grass seed
     
  4. PetsBestBuddy

    PetsBestBuddy PetForums Member

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    Hi @jenny armour . It sounds like the ground in your garden could be compacted, so rainwater can only drain away very slowly. That's a typical cause of a very wet, muddy garden.
    Before you try again with grass seed, you need to aerate the soil underneath your lawn. Grass will struggle to grow in compacted soil as there isn't enough air in the soil structure to allow the roots to grow. A strong, healthy root system is needed to grow strong, healthy grass that won't wear quickly when walked on. You can buy grass seed specifically for areas where children and dogs play and run around on.
    The easiest way to aerate the ground is to use a garden fork, although you can buy tools specifically for doing this. You need to go around the whole area, pushing the fork straight down into the ground by around 10 inches deep, then wiggle the fork backwards then forwards before pulling it out. Repeat this every few inches until you have aerated the whole area. Brushing sharp sand into the holes a) fills the holes so that they don't just close back up when walked on, b) helps to improve the soil structure, and c) helps with drainage.

    This website gives lots of useful information on improving and maintaining grass - https://lawnuk.com/
     
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  5. jenny armour

    jenny armour PetForums VIP

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    thank you for the info PetsBestBuddy, I do have some sharp sand but could get some more. My garden at top end is clay so I know that isn't helping the situation. I assume once I do this I can try a tested area for grass seed? Also there is something which they use on public car parks. Not sure what it is called, but you bang it into the ground and the grass can grow through it. A friend has suggested it as an alternative, but I will try this as well
     
  6. PetsBestBuddy

    PetsBestBuddy PetForums Member

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    Having clay soil, you'll probably need to aerate the ground regularly to get the best result. Do it this time whenever you can and brush sharp sand into the holes, then do it again in the autumn before the ground gets too wet. It might take a year or two to make a big difference though. I would scarify the ground too. Use a rake, preferably a spring tined grass rake, to rake firmly over the surface of your garden. That will remove any thatch (old dead grass) from the base of your grass. but it also loosens the surface of the soil slightly so when you do sow grass seed, it has good contact with the soil and should germinate and grow better.
    You will need a tough grass seed mix as that is designed to be hard wearing, as it is made up of stronger grass types rather than the short, fine grass you see on bowling greens, the greens on a golf course, etc.
    The best time to sow grass seed is between March and October, with late Spring and Autumn being best times, as the soil is warm enough for the seed to germinate and there's enough moisture in the ground to stop the seed from drying out and dying. Don't sow your grass seed if heavy rain is forecast as the seed will get washed out into patches where there's too much seed with bare patches in between. Sowing in hot, dry weather isn't ideal either, unless you are around for long enough to thoroughly water the grass once or twice every day until it has established. You also need to stay off a newly sown lawn for around 6 weeks because walking on newly germinated grass seed will crush the young shoots.
    It might be better to aerate, scarify then sow seed on half of your garden at a time, so that you/your dogs can still use the old half until the new grass has established. Fence off the new grass if you can so that the dog's can't get onto it. Then switch sides so that you are using the new, 6+ week old grass while the old half is aerated, scarified then oversown (oversown is when you sow seed on top of the existing grass, rather than starting a completely new lawn from scratch). :)
     
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  7. cows573

    cows573 PetForums Member

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    Calcium lime is also very good for helping with drainage and aeration in heavy clay soils....
     
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  8. jenny armour

    jenny armour PetForums VIP

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    somebody else recommended lime too. at the moment I am trying to seed areas and have fenced it off. Its taking time but i'll get there. thank you for the tip tho
     
  9. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Digging in organic matter and grit also help the structure of clay soils, but is very hard work.
    My garden was run through with a variety of pernicious weeds when I bought the house - the original garden had been bulldozed so it was bare ground with weeds. I had 2 dogs at the time and artificial grass seemed like the best solution. I now have 4 and it's done the job very well. They can run and play on it, I do some agility training, I can dump the wet washing on the ground before pegging it out without a mark on it. It's not cheap but if you haven't got a vast area to do, it can be a one-off expense then no future work or worry.
     
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  10. steveshanks

    steveshanks PetForums VIP

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    We had the same issue and in the end gave up and laid fake grass........best thing we ever did.
     
  11. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I'm not a fan of artificial lawn per se but for a small area that is badly drained, then it could be the sensible option.

    Improving drainage would still be advisable though, so maybe fork deeply over the area first and fill the holes with grit, then a bed of course sand to lay the lawn on, otherwise that too will eventually be plagued by the wet conditions and the mud will puddle up to the surface.

    Given it will be a bit of a wildlife desert, I would try to have some flowerbeds or large pots too so there was something there for the beasties and birds though ;)
     
  12. jenny armour

    jenny armour PetForums VIP

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    I have thought about artificial grass, but my garden is approx. 80 feet by 40 and I have a cat pen which is 48 feet by 8 and I could nt put artificial grass in that, unless the cats can pee on it and it wont harm it. I got a quote for the grass alone and it was £13.95 per metre
     
  13. steveshanks

    steveshanks PetForums VIP

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    The cost is the main catch, i got some high quality stuff very cheap but had to lay it with a lot of joints so it doesn't look as good as a pro job but it still looks better than the old muddy lawn. What i did was cut the lawn, put lots of sand down then a weed barrier then the grass. we get a puddle at the bottom of the lawn (slopes) but elsewhere it dries very quick. On the terrace part we have the very cheap grass which isn't as nice (or look as nice) to walk on in bare feet or socks but its fine and its a low traffic area.
    No problem with smells but it does rain often here.
     
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  14. jenny armour

    jenny armour PetForums VIP

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    Maybe one day, but for the moment its on with the grass seed. thanks for the info