Updated/Fact-Chacked on August 5, 2020 by John
If you have a lawn with large areas of patchy growth you need to decide if the problem can be resolved. If the lawn has been planted over rubble or under trees, or has dense shade on it for much of the day, you may not be able to create the kind of perfect lawn you wish for. However, if you have only some patches poor or damaged turf it is worth while trying to repair them before investing in a new lawn.
To replace a damaged area of lawn grass:
1.Dig out the damaged part by cutting around it with a half moon edging iron and lifting the damaged turf. If the damage is caused by weeds or moss, this piece must be discarded, however if the damage is of another kind, you can place the damaged turf in the hole left by its replacement section, sprinkle a little grass seed on it and give it a chance to regenerate
2.Lightly fork over the soil in the space you have made, then level it and firm lightly using a tamper – if you don’t own one, the head of a sledgehammer used without adding any weight to the process is a good tamping too. You may be tempted to add compost to improve the soil but this is a bad idea as it will change the growing conditions in that area
3.Cut a new piece of turf to fill the area (see 6)
4.Lay the new turf in the hole, it needs to be level with the rest of the lawn so alter the soil level if necessary
5.Sprinkle a little lawn dressing around the edges to encourage good knitting of the joins
6.To match the lawn, try to cut a piece of turf from a less prominent part of the lawn from which it can be spared, and where you can sow grass seed to fill that gap or use the removed part to plug the hole it has left.
John Green is a 46-year-old graphic designer living in Durham. John is RHS level 3 certified and owns an allotment in Durham.