A fence shades one side of my garden. It’s also heavy, clay soil, so doesn’t drain very easily.
The grass grows well but it’s hard to cut because it’s so wet. It wears out easily too, when my daughter was living here her collie dog ran a deep track around the garden which took a long time to grow over.
Clay soil particles are like microscopic sheets of paper. They easily pack and stack themselves into tight soils with little pore spaces, creating heavy soils that don’t drain.
You can improve these areas with core aeration and topdress with compost. Aerators can be rented or hire a lawn care service at equipment rental stores.
Run the aerator over the problem spots several times – poking a lot of holes that will be filled in with compost. Topdressing with compost is easy, dump small piles and use a leaf rake to spread it.
Help the thin and bare areas fill in by overseeding after you aerate and topdress.
This process will need to be repeated several times – you might want to aerate and topdress twice a year – in the spring and fall – until these areas improve.
Finally, make sure you are watering properly.