We've been meaning to fix this lawn from last year but delayed due to many other factors. Since spring is around the corner, this project is back on our radar. I'm looking for expert opinion on if this garden can be salvaged at all or should we just start ripping it apart and lay a new turf ?
From looks of it , it's buffalo grass but in some places there are mix varieties as well (not sure though). The garden is small (7x6) and is on a slight slope towards the house. Can we just do a top dressing and recover or if there's anything else we can do without spending too much. thanks in advance !
I suspect the biggest issue your lawns facing is that it's become compacted. Aerating the grass helps your soil to breathe, which improves nutrient absorption. Sink the prongs of an aerator or garden fork into the soil about 5cm deep and work across the whole lawn. You could also use spiked aerator sandals and walk across your lawn in rows about 15 to 20cm apart.
Topdressing is a quick and natural way to give your lawn a surge of nutrients and fresh medium to help overcome this compaction issue. Trim your lawn with a mower, but adjust a bit higher to avoid cutting your grass too short and exposing the soil. Then, spread about 1cm of top dressing over the lawn, leaving the tips of the grass exposed.
I'd also suggest you oversow the area with grass seed to fill in the gaps that exist. We have a wide selection of types to choose from, or you might like to just use lawn repair seed. This lawn repair is a mix of quick-growing grasses designed to infill quickly.
As mentioned previously, this all can be fixed on a budget. However, there's nothing like the instant transformation from laying turf. Here's a guide you should find useful: How to lay turf.