Order turf to arrive after the site has been thoroughly prepared, as it arrives in rolls and deteriorates quickly if not laid immediately. On delivery, stack the rolls in a cool position out of the sun, then sprinkle with water and cover with a sheet of polythene to prevent the turf drying out. It’s usual for turf to turn pale and yellow within the rolls, but it soon returns to green once light gets to it.
Preparing the soil: After digging over the site to mix in some compost and condition the soil, use a tined cultivator to break down lumps. Make sure the area is free from weeds, stones and any debris.
It’s important for turf to be laid on an even surface, so consolidate the soil by walking up and down heavily on the heel of your shoe, then again from side to side, covering the entire area. Use a wide rake to produce a fine surface to the to the soil. Check that the surface is even across the whole site, with no bumps or hollows. Use a plank of wood to check this.
To encourage strong lawn growth, sprinkle a base fertiliser evenly on the soil. Choose a slow-release organic feed or a fertiliser. Rake lightly into the soil. Turf won’t root into dry soil, so water the entire area if the weather is dry. A fine nozzle attached to the hose makes this easier than watering with a can. Now lay the turf.
Step-by-step guide – follow this guide to create the perfect lawn:
Starting along one edge, slowly unroll the first roll of turf, setting the edge exactly. Once unrolled, tamp down firmly with the back of a rake to settle the roots into the soil. Continue unrolling, butting each length of turf tightly up against the previous one. Use the teeth of the rake to pull or push the turf into position before firmly tamping it down.
Continue until the entire area is covered with turf. Ensure that rolls of turf are laid in a pattern like bricks, so joins don’t all fall in line, but are offset against one another. Turf can be run beyond the edge of the lawn, then cut back to create a pristine line. Use a straight-edged board and edging iron to trim it, pushing down to ensure a clean cut. Fill any gaps with off-cuts.
Put soil along the edges of the turf to prevent it drying out, then set up a lawn sprinkler to water the entire area and settle the turf. Caring for the lawn Try not to walk on newly laid turf until it has rooted down into the soil, which could take several weeks. Walk on boards if necessary.
Give the grass frequent trims once it starts growing, using a light mower at first, such as a hover mower, rather than a heavy model. Keep the blades set high to start with, never cutting too short, and collect all the clippings.
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