How to lay a new lawn

Preparation is key, when laying your new premium lawn.

Complete all site preparation before ordering your turf.

Preparing the site

Clear the proposed area of perennial weed by applying a weed killer, such as roundup.  Wait for approximately 2 to 3 weeks for it to be effective.  The weed killer will kill the plant from the roots up so it will remain green initially.  Once the lawn has died back remove the dead grasses with a spade by hand, or use a turf cutter for larger areas.

Dig or Rotovate the area to a depth of approx. 20-25cm (8-10inches)

Well- rotted organic matter can be added.  This will be particularly beneficial for sandy soils where it will help to retain moisture.  Do not use un-rotted organic matter as this will cause uneven shrinkage when the matter decays.

Ideally allow several days for the freshly dug over soil to settle or longer, 6 weeks plus, if a large volume of topsoil has been imported.

Hand weed out any newly germinated weed at this stage.

A level base is critical for a quality lawn.  To create a level base lightly tread over the area several times in different directions.  The ground should be firm but not compacted.

For best results add a layer of root-zone 50/50 sand/soil mix, this will help to take out slight undulations in the soil, creating a perfect base for laying the turf onto. Rake over the root-zone in different directions several times until satisfied you have the desired levels..

Once you have prepared your site, apply a pre fertilizer.  There are many good quality products available on the market.  We recommend Caviar, this is molasses based product that will aid moisture and nutrient retention. Caviar is beneficial for all new lawns it is particularly beneficial if applied to partially shaded areas.

You will see best results, if the fertiliser is applied before the turf is laid, although it can be applied after.

When your turf arrives

When your turf arrives aim to lay it immediately.

Placing the turf in a dry shady place will help to keep it pristine in warm weather.

Do not cover the turf as this will encourage it to sweat and the turf will go off quickly.  Ideally time your turf to arrive when the weather conditions are cooler or when rain is forecast.

If you are laying a large quantity it is a good idea to take the top layer off each pallet, this will take the weight off the bottom rolls reducing potential for heat stress.

Ready to go?

Pre water the site if dry but do not apply too much water so the area becomes wet and muddy to work on.

Begin on one side of the lawn and work across it.  Use Laying boards to avoid indentations from foot prints, wear soft soles if walking on the area is unavoidable.

Lay the turf as if building a brick wall with staggered joints and closely butt each turve together making sure there are no gaps.

Set up your sprinkler and water the turf as you are laying.

Lightly roll the turf using a garden roller, this will help the turves to knit together and will help the turf to establish quickly.  (You can use a board attached to a broom handle at 90 degrees if you do not have a garden roller)

For a really flat level surface apply a top dressing (sandy/soil mix) into the joints and address any minor hollows by adding or removing soil as necessary.

Watering tips

When completed, water the new lawn every day for the first 2 weeks paying particular attention to the joints as these areas will dry out quickly and gaps will appear giving weed an opportunity to grow through.

As a guideline use a sprinkler to water an area for approximately 5 to 10 minutes twice a day, gradually reduce this so as to encourage the roots to look for a water source from below the surface which will aid with developing a strong root system quickly.

Depending on the weather reduce the watering to 2 to 4 times per week for the next few weeks.  Once you get into the sixth week you can water weekly bearing in mind if the weather becomes very dry you should increase the watering again, for a period of up to 6 months.

*Avoid laying turf in extreme heat*

It is essential not to over water your freshly laid turf as this can cause shallow rooting.  Check that water has drained away and is not sitting on the surface underneath the turf as this may also cause the roots to rot so the turf will not establish.

Overwatering also encourages weed grasses such as annual meadow grass.

Mowing your new lawn

Once the turf has established, in approximately 10 to 14 days depending on the season you can mow the new lawn.

First check the turf has rooted by lifting a corner, if it shows resistance it is ready to mow.  Set the blades at a high setting and be careful not to remove more than 1/3rd of the grass during the initial 2 to 3 weeks, little and often is best.

If the grass is allowed to grow too long before cutting,  it is essential that the height is brought down gradually, if it is mowed off to low the shallow roots will not cope and the turf will thin out and weed will grow in the gaps.

Good luck and enjoy your new lawn.