4 Aug 2011

How To Lay Turf

Posted by bcsands

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to lay a new lawn for beautiful results!

Preparing for your new turf

First of all, make sure to get rid of any existing weeds or grass. The simplest way to do this is to spray herbicide such as Zero or Round Up directly on to the weeds and unwanted grass. Wait at least a week after spraying before you lay your new turf.

Next you need to loosen your existing soil – turf likes to be laid on a loose surface. Using a rotary hoe will make this easier if you are turfing a large area. After you’ve had a good dig, rake and level the area, removing sticks, stones and other debris as you go.

If your soil is a clay type, use your digging as an opportunity to mix Gypsum into it. The gypsum breaks down clays ‘clod’ structure in to a finer texture. Use 1kg for every m2, or twice as much if the clay is heavy.

To create a good base for your turf, spread 50mm of lawn builder over your soil – it will give your turf all the nutrients it needs while it is taking root. For extra nutrients, you could add a granular lawn fertiliser.

When you’ve finished this preparation, give the area a good soaking so that you are laying your turf on to damp ground – it’s a more efficient way of keeping your new turf moist.

Laying new turf

Lay turf around the edges of your area first – taking advantage of straight lines such as fences, paths, walls. Unroll the turf, always laying it in one direction. Once you have completed the edges, fill in the remainder of the area, still laying the turf in one direction. Fit the joins between rolls snugly, with no overlapping or space between the strips. Stagger the ends, in the same way that bricks are laid, as this will help to establish the roots. Use a sharp knife or shovel to shape the turf around obstacles such as trees.

As you are laying the turf, make sure the sod is in contact with the ground.

Looking after new turf

Your turf supplier should let you know about any special maintenance your new lawn will need, however, all new lawns should be watered daily during the first week. (Do check local watering restrictions with your council – most allow watering of new turf, but always check first.)

Don’t be in a rush to mow your new lawn – it will need some time to get established. Allow your new turf to grow to a height of five to six centimetres before you mow for the first time, and at that first mowing only reduce the height to three to four centimetres. You should never cut off more than 40% of your lawn’s leaf in any one cut.

Four weeks after laying the turf, fertilise it with a complete fertiliser. Water the fertiliser in well so it won’t burn your lawn.

Now you should have a beautiful new lawn – sit back, relax and enjoy!

Turf laying tips

If you have sloping site, laying turf across the slope will help to prevent erosion.
If you want to get rid of any bumps or lumps, you can use a lawn leveller, sometimes called a landscaper’s rake, but this is not essential.

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