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We've recently bought our first home and I'm slowly getting in to the garden. I have a lot to learn, so starting small - amongst some basic composting and herb growing I'm also trying to fix our lawn.

I'd love a nice healthy lawn, but it currently looks like this:

enter image description here

enter image description here

The first photo is the sunny part of the lawn, and the second photo is the shady part. Obviously, the sunny part is looking a lot nicer, but does still have some bare patches.

We live in Melbourne, Australia - fairly unpredictable weather but generally cool apart from summer when we do get some hot days. So far, I've been watering the entire lawn regularly, and bought some PatchMagic (https://www.scottsaustralia.com.au/lawn-builder/patch-magic/) because it looked pretty difficult to get wrong.

The part where I used it to test is along the bottom of the second photo. It hasn't helped much but there have been some some tiny patches growing here and there. There have also been some new patches growing up along the left of the second photo.

I've been mowing - mainly in the sunny part - every few weeks or so, whenever the lawn starts to look a bit longer.

So I guess there's a few questions here:

  • How long should I be waiting to see results, before deciding that what I'm doing isn't working?
  • Should I even be trying in the shady area? Should I instead be looking into alternative uses of this part of the lawn and/or getting rid of the tree that's causing the shade?
  • Is there a better product I could be using rather than something that markets that it grows on concrete?
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For the shaded areas try a blend which has high portion of fescue grasses and consider trimming a few branches to reduce the shade.

IMHO patch packs are a waste of money. They typically have less than 10% seed, that too fast growing but unimpressive ones and the rest is mulching material. Here in the US, we can buy grass seed packs which contain more than 80+% seed. Put down the seed and cover it with a very thin layer of compost, 1cm will do. Water daily for two weeks and you will have a lush green lawn.

  • Thanks v much Dinakar. I had a feeling that might be the case with the patch pack. I will try with seed instead, and check out fescue grasses as well. Appreciate your help! – Tim Malone Apr 17 '16 at 23:23
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    Forgot to add, if you are reseeding, do so across the whole lawn. Otherwise you will have different types of grasses in different portions of the lawn. – Dinakar Jayarajan Apr 19 '16 at 1:48
  • Oh ok, thanks @Dinakar. Should I be removing the current lawn first? – Tim Malone Apr 19 '16 at 1:49
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    Not necessary....each grass type has a different type of blade and color. Over time your new seed type grass will cover your entire lawn. If you put down seed only in the bare spots, then you will find different grass species on your lawn, rather than a uniform green that you want. – Dinakar Jayarajan Apr 19 '16 at 16:16
  • Post some pics of the result...Good luck – Dinakar Jayarajan Apr 19 '16 at 23:38
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I am having a similar issue with my lawn but at a smaller scale compared to yours. In my case I suspect the ground has gotten hard and preventing the grass from spreading there. I loosened up the soil and mixed it with compost. Am watering it daily and hoping the grass will spread to the affected areas. If that does not work I am planning to put seeds.

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    If you seed or remove plugs from healthy areas and put it in the patch, it will speed up the process. – Dinakar Jayarajan Apr 18 '16 at 21:27

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