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Hi all, my lawn is prone to waterlogging and becoming very spongy/boggy in the winter months (uk). Add to this the fact my children have been playing ball on it over Christmas and areas of it are near on destroyed. I’ll keep them off it for a while now, but does anyone have any strategies to recover it and perhaps prevent future episodes? I believe the lawn sits on a clay base but could be wrong. It’s hard to tell given it’s so boggy. Thanks in advance



Well no lawn will stand heavy use when it is wet and especially when the weather is cold. The best answer is one that you'll probably not like but basically it looks as though you have a fairly heavy soil. The only remedy to that apart from putting in land drains is to remove all the grass and incorporate lots of grit and/or sharp sand (not builders sand). Let it settle over the winter and in april rake and level it, firm is gently and resow with a grass seed recommended for heavy family use (yes there is such a thing!)Then you will need to keep the children off it for several months to give it a change to establish. Do not let the play on it when its wet or it will wear out again quickly.
If you can't wait this long you could buy new turf, which will settle more quickly, but in any case keep off it in wet weather.
OR, If the damage isn't as bad as this you can spike it all over and add some coarse sand, and brush it into the holes, just repairing the really worn places with grass seed. But in any case keep off it when the ground is wet or it will happen again.

28 Dec, 2020


Thanks very much for your advice, much appreciated. I’ll give it a go 👍

28 Dec, 2020


have you spiked it? you don't say how big it is. it may just be compacted over the years of children playing on it.

before spending lots of money why not using a garden fork work over it by spiking the turf every foot or so to about 6" deep.

This is the RHS advice

we did buy the tool for taking cores out but we didn't find it very good and now just use fork.

29 Dec, 2020


Also find out what the local topography is like. Sand and aerating isn't going to do much good if you are at the bottom of the local swale. Land drains and/or a fishpond at the bottom of your property will do more good there.

29 Dec, 2020


Yes I agree, it sounds like the lawn is on heavy clay, and through long periods of wet weather this will take forever to drain away, what’s the lay of the land like, are you affected by neighbours gardens, you could put a drainage system in and a soak away towards the end of the garden.

29 Dec, 2020


Compost and limestone will also help open up clay soils so they drain better, but that is a slow process.
When redirecting drainage, also think about the folks downstream: nothing raises a kerfuffle like contributing to the flooding of your neighbors house!

30 Dec, 2020

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