Repairing Damaged Lawns


Areas of lawn that become damaged can usually be repaired quite easily by removing the affected part and replacing with new turf, or by seeding. This can also be applied to areas that become patchy, perhaps due to uneven wear; however, if the problem occurs repeatedly, you may need to consider replacing the lawn in this area with a harder wearing surface, such as paving or gravel.

How to Level a Hollow or Hump

  1. Cut a cross through the turf with an edger or spade, making sure that the cuts reach beyond the affected area.
  2. Fold back the sections of turf carefully, making sure that the flaps do not crack or break.
  3. To level a hump, remove the excess mound of soil beneath the turf until the ground is level, using a spade or trowel. To fill a hollow, add some top soil or compost to the area, spreading this with your hands until it reaches the same level as the lawn around it.
  4. Firm the area well with your feet and hands to exclude air.
  5. Gently replace each flap of turf, firming them lightly to ensure that you have achieved the right level.
  6. Tamp the area down with the back of a rake before applying top-dressing into the cuts and watering well.

How to Repair a Damaged Patch

  1. Place the plank along the edge of a damaged patch, then use a -moon edger or spade to cut a rectangle in the lawn around the damaged spot.
  2. Undercut the turf with a spade and remove it.
  3. Fork over the exposed soil to loosen the surface, apply fertiliser or organic manure and then lightly firm the soil.
  4. Lay a new turf to fit the gap, cutting it to fit with the edger or a sharp knife.
  5. Ensure that the new patch is level with the lawn by adding or removing top soil.
  6. Tamp the area down well with the back of a rake or your hands.
  7. Top-dress and water well. Make sure you continue watering this area - especially in dry spells.

When replacing turf or re-seeding, always use the same type as the rest of the lawn, otherwise the results will look patchy. If you don't know what type of turf you have, you could always use a piece from a less obvious position (such as under a tree) to repair the affected area.

How to Repair a Damaged Edge

  1. Mark out a small, straight sided section of turf containing the damaged part, using strings and cane.
  2. Cut out the damaged area with a half moon edger and a straight edge, such as a short plank of wood.
  3. Carefully slice under the section of turf with a spade, then push the whole section forward, until the damaged area is beyond the edge of the lawn.
  4. Align a plank with the lawn edge and then trim off the damaged part, so that the turf is now in line with the lawn edge.
  5. There will now be a gap in the lawn; fork over this soil gently and add a granular or liquid fertilizer.
  6. Cut a new piece of turf to fit the resulting gap and ease it into the hole, or reseed with an appropriate grass mixture.
  7. Make sure the repair is level by adding or removing soil from underneath the new piece of turf.
  8. Tamp the turf firmly with a medium-weight roller or the back of a rake.
  9. Apply sandy top dressing over the repaired area, particularly into the join.
  10. Water thoroughly.

An alternative method would be to cut out the section containing the damaged part, and then turn it around 180 degrees so that the damaged part is within the lawn itself. Add some sandy loam to ensure that the damaged area is level with the rest of the lawn, and then re-seed.

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