Carefully plan your lawn before starting, as this will limit wastage and will help you to be accurate when ordering the materials you need. However, it is best to order 5% extra turf, to allow for cutting and shaping.
Like most plants, turf relies on the water and nutrients that are taken up from the soil, so purchasing excellent quality turf is not necessarily enough to ensure a healthy lawn. In order to give your lawn the best start, it is essential that you have thoroughly prepared your soil.
Adding a lawn establishment fertiliser and water to your soil prior to laying the turf will help to encourage rooting and establishment. If you are concerned about the quality of your soil, then a high quality and certified turf and lawn seeding topsoil is the perfect base on which to lay turf. Alternatively, you can use a soil improver to enhance your existing soil.
Whilst turf can be laid all year round, it’s best to avoid frosty or very warm conditions, as these will require extra care and attention.
Ensure your preparation is completed prior to your turf arriving as it must be unrolled on arrival in Spring and Summer and within 24hrs in Autumn and Winter.
Do it right
Be sure to carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions when applying lawn establishment fertiliser, soil improver, or turf and lawn seeding topsoil.
Newly laid lawns will need additional watering, so be water wise and install butts to collect rainwater for use during dry periods.
Wear safety goggles, protective gloves, ear defenders and boots when operating a turf cutter, rotavator or mower.
Wear protective gloves when raking, removing debris, applying fertiliser and laying or cutting the turf.
Rolls of turf can be heavy so ask for a helping hand when moving them into position.
Watering is the most important step to ensuring a healthy lawn and should begin as soon as the turf has been laid. Ensure the lawn is never short of water by lifting the corners to check the soil below. Water regularly until the lawn is well established.
Mowing will encourage your lawn to establish but can’t be done until the turf has begun to root. However, allowing a lawn to grow too long before mowing can damage the lawn by ‘scalping’ it. In ideal weather conditions your new lawn may need mowing as soon as 2-3 days after it has been laid, but in colder weather it is not unusual for it to take a few weeks.
If you are using a rotary mower then you will need to ensure the turf is well rooted before mowing, as the updraft can cause the turf to lift. If you are using a cylinder mower then you should mow your new lawn as soon as you see it starting to grow. Try and mow your lawn whenever it is over 30mm long.
To avoid damaging the turf, ensure the mower’s blades have been sharpened within 12 months and are set high, to ensure that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade length is removed.
In order to be healthy, a lawn needs a good balance of nutrients, water, light and air, so it’s a good idea to develop a treatment programme that will help to keep your lawn looking its best all year round.