Turf Laying Tips

The following information is taken mainly from the Turf Growers Association "Step-by-step guide to turfing your new lawn".

Ground Preparation

Proper ground preparation is essential for the establishment and future well-being of your new lawn.  Inadequately-prepared ground will never produce the best results.

Existing turf should be removed by slicing beneath the grass with a spade.  for larger areas, consider hiring in a purpose-designed turf cutter. 

The soil needs to be turned to a depth of 15cm using a spade or powered cultivator.  Clear the area of stones, weeds, old turf and any other debris

Raking

The ground should be raked to produce a smooth, level surface.  Lightly roll or tread the surface by foot to reveal any soft patches which can then be raked level.  This process should continue until the whole area is evenly firm and level.  The surface should be firm but not compacted.  You are now ready to lay the turf.

Ordering

Measure the proposed lawn area accurately in square meters.  Our turf is supplied in compact rolls for easy handling and laying.  To ensure that your turf is available for collection or delivered at a time convenient to you we recommend that you give us as much notice as possible of the required date.

Turf must be laid as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of delivery.  In hot weather, keep turf in the shade.  It is advisable to prepare the ground in advance of the turf arriving to avoid hold-ups for any reason.

Laying the turf

Never walk directly on the prepared soil or newly-laid turf.  Use boards or planks to work from and walk on.

Start by unrolling one strip of turf around the perimeter of the lawn.  Avoid using small pieces at the edges as these can dry out and perish.  Ensure that the underside of the new turf has full contact with the soil below.  

Lay the next strip across the longest straight run and continue to work across the lawn, strip by strip, producing a pattern similar to brickwork.  Butt adjoining edges and ends against each other, but avoid stretching the turf.  Overlapping pieces and end of rows should be cut off with a sharp knife or half-moon lawn edger.

Watering

Between March and October, newly laid turf should be watered thoroughly within half and hour of installation.  This watering should be repeated at least once a day until the roots are established.  As a guide, at least two hours per day of constant watering is essential across the complete lawn area.  The hotter, drier and windier the weather, the more water will be needed.  Water immediately and profusely on any sight of the turf drying out e.g. gaps, lifting, browning or curling.

Feeding

As a rule of thumb, a balanced fertiliser containing similar levels of Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P) and Potash (K) should be applied every four to six weeks during the growing season. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations with regard to the quantity, timing and method of applications.  A policy of "little but often" will help maintain your lawn in peak condition.

Mowing

Resist the temptation to make the initial cut until your new lawn has rooted.  This can be checked easily by lifting a corner to see if the roots are attached to the soil below.

For the first mowings, set the lawn mower to its highest setting to avoid stressing the grass.  Mow regularly, each time removing no more than one-third of the grass height.  When the lawn is fully established, the height of cut can be reduced gradually to an optimum height of between 15mm and 35mm.  Take care to avoid scalping.