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We've recently purchased a house and I'd really like to get the garden in a better shape before the summer if there's anything I can start doing now in preparation.

There are some patches in the grass that I've no idea how to fill in. This is a general spotty patch that occurs multiple times.

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This below one is located next to a patio.

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There's also a larger area, where presumably the previous owners had placed a shed or something.

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Any tips on what I can do now to help improve the situation before the summmer?

We live in a climate where the summer months are warm/hot and humid with very little rain especially between July-August, winter months can be cold and wet with some snow. Spring and autumn are mild. The garden gets pretty much direct sunlight from midday onwards.

Thanks!

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  • Without giving enough information to stalk you (street address or even town definitely not needed), can you narrow this down to a specific part of the planet?
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 28, 2023 at 13:11
  • :-D Istanbul, Turkey
    – Mert
    Mar 28, 2023 at 14:54
  • What's your goal for these areas? Walking on it? Kids playing on it? Just being able to look at it? Mar 29, 2023 at 12:58
  • Just to have a clean, even lawn with no gaps in it... my kid will be playing in the garden, running around and what have you as well.
    – Mert
    Mar 29, 2023 at 14:44

4 Answers 4

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Step one is usually a soil test, generally available through your nearest agricultural college/university.

If you don't know what your soil is, and what it lacks, you can't know what it needs to do a better job growing grass.

However, one thing that you can do before you have those results is to core-aerate the lawn. Another is to make sure that your mower is set no lower than 3"/7.5cm, so your grass can develop reasonable roots

The large area seems quite shady, which is not favorable to grass, though other short green things that can be mown can tolerate that, if you can tolerate other short green things as "lawn, but not grass." Some folks evidently can't, and they would need to remove shade there; or else remove that area from being lawn.

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  • Thank you! I shall try to find a soil test here, might be a challenge due to my location (Turkey) but if not I'll order abroad from Amazon. Edit: Would something like this shorturl.at/ijDQR from Amazon be sufficient? It's in Turkish but the packaging has the details in English.
    – Mert
    Mar 29, 2023 at 5:51
  • No, that sort of meter thing is of very limited use. Perhaps this, if you can't find a government run laboratory soil testing service for farming and gardening (organized through the agriculture ministry or the like, usually) sgs.com.tr/en/agriculture-food/seed-and-crop/…
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 29, 2023 at 13:51
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Did the previous owners have dogs? Some of the bald spots look like pee-burns. They may resolve somewhat as time passes.

I would start by cleaning up the shrubbery, trimming back on shade, and raking up all the cuttings.

Then loosen the compacted areas of soil with a digging fork and remove any weeds. You might choose to mix in some light fertiliser here, or to help level any low/high spots.

Lay some new grass seed according to whatever instructions are on the pack - you can get some blends that are for "shaded areas" or go for a general-purpose Fescue mix.

Once the grass seed is sown, irrigate morning and night. You don't want it to dry out but you also don't want so much water that the seed moves. During this period, you can mow the old grass but do not pass over new grass areas. Its okay to do a really high cut, as high as your mower will go, and to have a "fringe" around the new grass regions. Again, the new seed must not be moved whether its by water or air currents off the mower blade.

In perfect conditions the seed will sprout in 7-10 days. Let it grow while continuing the watering schedule.

When it reaches 50-100mm tall then do a light top-cut to take the tips off. This encourages the grass to sprout extra leafs.


Option 2 Green paint. There are special grass-masking paints that realtors sometimes use to tart-up lawns on houses that are for sale. Water based, they don't hurt living grass and will wash off after a couple of nights or the first rain. Obviously, this is a short term solution.

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    Many thanks for the advice! I'm unsure if the previous owners had dogs. I don't think so but can't be sure. The house was empty for 8 or so months. But I have noticed that the local cats seem to like hanging about in the garden, most likely because it was empt for a while.
    – Mert
    Mar 29, 2023 at 5:46
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Why would You care?! Simply follow the standard soil management practices and hope to be alright.

And those seem to be:

  • deep fertilization - every autumn (or - at worst - spring) after soil has unfreezed. And what that means is "take a shovel and spend a weekend on it".
  • optimism - You can replant stuff over the dead areas or hire someone to do so but I do believe in 5 months they are going to be be covered in plants
  • all the other answers: there's obviously a problem; identifying it costs the least pain
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I do see how this is a real chore and still, dig out two sections perhaps a foot and at leat six inches wide, right across the area in question, and swap them over.

After at least on season, consider in great detail what difference that made?

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