We all know it has to be done, and I can hear you exhaling just at the thought, but in laying turf preparation is key!
Follow us on our simple step by step guide to laying turf and look forward to a wonderful new lawn:
Removing the old turf and digging over the soil bed
- The most important but also most time consuming step in layting turf, but every ounce of effort here will pay you back ten fold in a glorious lawn later.
- Strip off your old grass by digging an inch or two below it, then shake the soil off the roots, retaining as much as you can and discard any weeds along the way.
- With just the bare soil left, dig this over to a few inches deep, breaking up clumps of soil as you go, which will encourage air into the soil and improve both root esablishment and drainage.
If you have a large area to cover you could hire a rotivator but a spade will do the job just as well.
It gets easier from here on - honest!
Raking and compacting the soil
- Now you can walk over the soil bed with your heals together and compact the soil, the bigger your feet the better!
- Rake it over several times in different directions, roughly levelling it off.
- Pick out any stones or roots which pop to the surface.
- Repeat the compacting and raking stages until you have a firm and level surface. The flat side of the rake is perfect for smoothing out the soil surface.
Here comes the easy bit!
Now you have a nice smooth soil bed you can take a well earned rest while you wait for your turf to be delivered!
If you are intending to apply any fertilisers now is the time.
- You don't want to be walking over your newly laid turf to lay the next row, so start at the furthest point away from you.
- Taking a roll of turf, unroll it along a straight edge of the garden and butt the next roll against the end of the first roll, and roll that one out too. Repeat until you have turfed the full length of the garden and then start the next row, staggering the joints and keeping the edges really tight to each other, enabling them to fuse quickly.
- Always use walking boards if you have to walk over the turf and rake over the soil bed where you have walked too if necessary.
- Using the back smooth edge of the rake, pack the turf down along the joints. This will help the roots make contact with the soil.
- Repeat the whole process until you have covered the area you are turfing and then you can cut and shape the turf where necessary (an old kitchen knife comes in really handy here). You can use the off cuts to fill in any gaps.
- Now you have finished .... the turf should be watered thoroughly.
- Obviously natural rainfull is by far the best form of watering, but a soaking with a hose pipe will be fine too.
- For the first 7-10 days and in drier weather, turf should be watered daily, but avoid full sun as this will scorch the lawn. NB Overwatering can be as damaging as underwatering as this causes water-logging and soil shrinkage.
- In spring and summer the grass should establish quick enough for a light mowing after 7-10 days. Check this easily by lifting a corner; the roots should be attached to the soil below.
- Just take off the tip of the grass, to avoid 'stressing' the turf, and mow regularly, each time removing no more than one third of the grass height.
Once established new lawns may be used lightly, but remember to take extra care for the first year, feeding little and often.
- Over application of any chemical treatment can cause the turf to die.
- Simplicity is key... grass needs nitrogen rich fertilizer during spring and summer months and in late autumn it need phosphorous to encourage root growth.
Now stand back and admire your efforts .... beautiful!
If all of this is still too much we are pleased to offer a turf laying service in and around the Liverpool and Southport areas.
Please feel free to give us a ring for a no obligation quote: 07738 234 555