My Grass Won’t Grow

My Grass Won’t Grow!

If you haven’t fed the lawn yet go to the bottom of the page, order and apply the appropriate fertiliser between April and November and if it still doesn’t grow read on. 

So you’ve put some fertiliser on the lawn and ….. nothing! There are quite a few possibilities here. 

Have you Given the Fertiliser Enough Time to Work?

Liquid fertiliser takes 1-3 days to work in good growing conditions. Granular lawn feed takes 7-10 days as a rule. 

Is it Warm Enough?

You need a ground temperature that will make the grass start growing so 8 degrees as a minimum and 12 degrees is when good growth starts. 

It’s an old lawn!

If your lawn is over 20 years old and well used then the soil will have compacted and hold fewer and smaller air spaces. Air spaces are what fill up when it rains so now you soil is not holding air or water essential for grass growth. Adding fertiliser is pointless as it won’t work and may do more harm than good.

If your lawn is even older, whether used or not it will have settled and suffer from the same problems. 

How to tell if the Lawn is Compacted

A crude method is to probe the lawn with a 15cm (6”) screwdriver. Do this when conditions are normal, not bone dry or wet. The screwdriver should penetrate relatively easily to it’s full length indicating it is not overly compacted. The harder it is to penetrate and the less it will penetrate indicates roughly how compact the lawn is.

Do you have a Problem with Weeds and Moss?

Both will grow better than grass if the lawn soil is compacted. 

Solving Compaction Problems in the Lawn

If you have an old lawn and it has had minimal aeration in its lifetime then you have 2 options:

Option 1: Spend more time and money on it than normal with increased feeding, weed killing, watering, aerating and scarifying and still remain disappointed OR

Option 2: Dig it up and start again. You will then find it very easy and satisfying to maintain and over 3 years this will cost you far less in time and money.

Because there is a large upfront effort (not cost) in option 2 most people elect for option 1. A few years later they realise how daft they were and dig it up! 

A young lawn can still have compaction issues, but these will normally be localised around heavily used or trodden areas. To resolve them read Aeration & Equipment 

The Lawn is too Dry

If there is no moisture to take the fertiliser to the roots and to also enable the grass to grow then the response from lawn feed will be minimal.

Read Watering the Lawn 

The Lawn is too Wet

Unusual but too much rain prevents the lawn from being able to assimilate the fertiliser properly or it may wash the fertiliser deeper into the soil away from the roots. 

Lawn Soil pH

A rare problem that the pH would be too low or too high but worth testing for if the other reasons above don’t apply.

See Soil, pH and Fertiliser

If none of that works call for help!

Take some still images. They need to be in perfect focus and show 3 distances:

  • Very close up showing plant leaves
  • Medium distance showing the localised problem
  • General picture of the lawn so we get a feel for the setting

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