Alan Titchmarsh shares how to ‘perk’ up lawns by repairing ‘unsightly’ brown & bald areas


Many people’s lawns may have suffered over the winter months, especially if it has been walked on during frosty spells. This could have led to bald or brown patches which can be annoying and unsightly. In a video for Waitrose & Partners in 2014, gardening pro Alan Titchmarsh shared top tips on how gardeners can “perk” up their garden lawns.

He said: “The lawn is the centrepiece of the garden. If it looks good, then everything else looks good.”

Grass begins to turn brown when its roots are no longer absorbing the necessary nutrients from the soil, or it could be through drought and heat.

Luckily, it tends to be part of the grass’ natural life cycle, so it isn’t often anything to be concerned about.

Alan explained: “Gardeners love straight lines around their borders but sometimes the borders get a bit over-exuberant in their growth and before you know it, flopped over plants have killed off the edge of your grass.

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“Either that, or somebody slipped it off and kicked it off. If they’re broken down like this one, they’re really unsightly.

“Get a half-moon iron or a spade if you want and cut around it, taking out a square of turf. Use your spade to get underneath it, and then turn it around.

“Make sure it’s firmly down and then fill in this gap here with soil, bringing this up to the final level of the lawn.

“We’ve now got a good clean edge and the gap is on the inside. We then need a handful of grass seed over the surface.”

It is then important to water over the grass seed to help it to grow, and it shouldn’t take too long to begin to grow either.

However, birds such as pigeons love bird seed so if the lawn can be covered, it should be to ensure all of your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

Bare patches may also appear on the lawn, especially if it is walked over often or it doesn’t get enough sunlight.

Alan said: “You can of course prick it over with a fork and reseed it but in the middle of summer, the grass may take a while to grow.

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“It’s much easier to replace it with a piece of turf but how do you do it so the turf fits perfectly? There’s a rather neat answer to that.

“Take a piece that’s larger than the area that you want to cover, lay it over it and then cut a shape in the middle which you know is going to be larger than that bare patch underneath.

“Cut right through the turf and through the grass below.” This job shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.

Next, remove the remaining pieces of grass below before placing the fresh turf over the bald patch.

The gardening pro noted: “The way to get it to absolutely match is to take a piece from elsewhere in the lawn if you can spare it.

“If you’re making another border, that’s great for patching because it’s exactly the same turf.”

Make sure to finish it off with some watering, especially when the weather is getting warm to help it stay hydrated.

When the lawn becomes established, gardeners can feed their grass with the appropriate fertiliser to help it stay lush and green.



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