While turf lawns will be more expensive than a naturally-grown seed lawn, the instant transformation can be worth every penny. For the impatient gardener, there’s no contest – it’s lawn over seed every time.

Revamping your garden can be an exciting prospect, so let’s not waste any time mucking around in the dirt! Grab a set of gardening gloves, dust off your finest fork and let’s jump straight in with this guide on laying garden turf.

 best time to lay turf

When to lay turf

If you’re looking to tune up your garden with the greeny goodness of garden turf, knowing when to do it can be a hugely important factor. Laying too early or too late could be setting yourself up for an almighty fall and mistiming your lay-day could see your freshly-laid lawn go downhill fast.

While the exact timing can vary from one expert to the next, the best time to lay turf is typically considered to be early to mid-autumn. The BBC says early; RHS says mid – we’ll let you decide who’s the authority on that one…

Autumn in the UK is typically considered to be between late September and late December, so – according to the timeline given by BBC/RHS – any time within the month of October would fit the bill perfectly. During this period, the grass will be able to root into the soil more easily, providing a secure foundation for your budding lawn.

 

How to lay turf

For the best advice on turf laying, a key lesson can be learnt from nu-metal icons, Limp Bizkit. While their gardening credentials may be a tad suspect at best, there’s no arguing that their song “Rollin’” is loaded with lawn laying tips.

Simple, yet effective, the chorus of “Keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin'” should be the anthem of turf layers worldwide. It seems the Limp Bizkit lads could have had a lucrative career in turf laying if the whole music thing didn’t pan out. And, if gigs ever dry up, who’s to say they still won’t?

However, there’s actually a lot more to laying turf than simply rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’. It’s a good idea to prep your soil beforehand, skimming off any old grass and removing any stones, weeds and lumps.

Fill in any holes and fork over to ensure a level surface, taking extra time to rake for a fine finish. To further bolster your new lawn's chances, add a layer of fertiliser across the surface and water for good measure.

 

best time to lay turf

 

Tips for laying turf

Now that the soil is primed and ready for a new coat of colour, it’s time to get your hands dirty and layer up. To ensure uniform coverage, it’s wise to lay your first roll of turf along a straight edge.

When rolling, try not to be too hasty in your approach. Slow and steady is the name of the game; slowly unravelling your turf will help you avoid damaging it.

Once your first roll is down, lay your second strip tight and up-close to the last. Continue this trend until the whole area is covered.

When rolling your turf, it’s also a good idea to let the turf run over the edge of your lawn area and trim to fit, rather than pre-cut to fit the space. Adding soil beneath the cut edges will prevent it from drying out.

You can ensure your turf has made a healthy connection with the ground beneath by firmly pressing down on the surface. Ideally, this can be done with a garden roller; however, it can also be easily accomplished with a tamper or the reverse side of a rake.

 

Maintaining your turf

Once your turf has been laid, now is the perfect time to sit back, relax and take in the satisfaction of a job well done. If you could then continue to do so for several weeks, that would be great, as freshly laid turf can take weeks to fully root. Avoid walking on your new lawn during this time as much as possible.

If you need to trim your new lawn over the wintertime (once the grass reaches around the 5cm mark), be sure to keep your mower blades set to high. Immediately balding your new lawn would be like giving yourself a buzzcut after getting a hair transplant and defeat the object of the whole thing.

 

Professional turf laying

While the above tips can be handy for anyone dead set on laying their own turf, it’s worth remembering that turf laying isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Laying down turf yourself may save money short term but could cost you big time in the long run.

If you really want to give your garden the TLC it deserves, why not consider getting your turf laid professionally? At Lawn & Weed Expert, we provide a high-quality turf laying service that will bring out the best in your garden and ensure you get the perfect finish.

For more information on lawncare, maintenance and treatment, drop us a line on 0800 111 4958.

Alternatively, if you’re considering having your lawn laid professionally, get in touch today using the link below for a FREE lawn survey!

Request a FREE Lawn Survey

There aren’t many things as pleasing to a gardener’s eye than a beautifully balanced, level lawn that’s light, bright and lusciously green.

However, even a beautifully maintained lawn can become uneven over time. Sadly, unless you plan on switching to wooden decking or patio paving, that’s one thing you’ll have to get used to.

Bumpy lawns can be a real eye-sore for any garden, while also posing a potential risk to young children or elderly family.

Level the playing field and flatten your earthy opposition with these top tips for fixing a bumpy lawn.

 

how to fix a bumpy lawn,how to fix an uneven lawn

 

What causes a bumpy lawn?

Bumpy lawns are a common sight in gardens nationwide and aren’t so much of a possibility than they are an inevitability.

This could be down to a variety of reasons: be it weeds, wildlife or simply the weather. Meanwhile, children or pets can also have an effect on the lay of your land when they dig into the surface of your lawn.

While some of these elements are virtually impossible to avoid, there are a few handy ways to fix these bumpy blemishes when they do eventually occur.

 

Rolling in the deep?

While it may be tempting to simply flatten your turf with a heavy lawn roller, this option is often unsuccessful when it comes to uneven garden surfaces.

If anything, more often than not, this option only damages your lawn further by compacting the soil beneath, which can have a lasting negative effect on the grass.

Uneven lawn surfaces are often the result of dips and dents, making rolling a non-factor. Instead, try to do a bit of detective work beforehand and see just what is causing your lawn to take a slump.

 

How to fix an uneven lawn

Before you can fix your bumpy lawn, it’s important to know what’s causing the issue to begin with. While this can be difficult to ascertain for issues involving weather and wildlife, man-made problems can be easier to identify and may involve a different course of action.

 

The root of the problem

When diagnosing exactly what is causing your once-level lawn to take a dip, there are a couple of tell-tale signs that can point to the main culprit.

Uneven ground can be the result of poor drainage. If the lumps occur in areas around water pipes, it may be an issue relating to damaged water pipes.

Drainage problems such as this could require additional groundwork, so it’s worth seeking the advice of a professional if you do suspect you have a water issue in your garden.

 

Levelling shallow spots

If water damage isn’t the cause of your problems, you may be able to solve the issue yourself with a bit of garden DIY. When looking to fix a low spot in your garden, topdressing these dents is a great way to level your lawn in the least invasive way possible.

Combining compost, topsoil and sand, simply apply this muddy cocktail to the low patches, being careful not to smother the grass underneath with too much coverage. Use about half an inch of the mixture and rake to achieve an even spread. Brush the mixture through to ensure a thorough coverage of topdressing between the blades of grass in the affected area.

Over time, the earthy mixture should begin to blend in with the rest of the grass. If not, repeat the previous steps until the whole area is level and green. If there are spots of bare soil, over-seed to ensure an even coverage of grass.

 

Levelling deeper spots

The topdressing method of half an inch deep at a time can be a good solution for shallow dents but a time-consuming process for any dips of notable depth. For these problem patches, you can simply pad out the area beneath the surface.

This can be done by removing the surface turf (aka, “sod”) intact and filling the dented area below with topsoil, adding water to the topsoil as you go to remove air pockets. Once you have added enough dirt to level the ground, simply replace the turf, water the grass and let nature take its course!

If your problem area is larger than one square foot, it may be worth removing the turf in smaller chunks. Anything bigger than one foot can be difficult to replace in one piece, making it a real awkward sod indeed.

 

Levelling multiple problem areas

If your lawn is overrun by more craters and dents than a Spartan’s shield, you may need to consider a more extensive solution and potentially entertain the idea of a wholesale refurb of the lawn.

Re-grading your lawn can be a somewhat drastic option to take, but it can also be an extremely effective tactic in the long run – particularly if you are inundated with dips and dents. Think of it as wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch, giving you an entirely new, fresh canvas to play with.

 

For a professional opinion, why not give us a call? Our team of experts can advise you with the best course of action and even provide you with a FREE lawn survey. Simply give us a call on 0800 111 4958 or contact us via the box below.

 

Get in touch today!

For animal lovers, pets aren’t just an interesting addition to the home, they can often become a cherished part of the family. As such, taking care of your pet can be just as important as looking after a loved one.

If you’re a pet owner, it’s important to know the “dos and don’ts” of animal care. From a gardening perspective, this includes knowing which plants are safe for pets and what ones pose a danger.

Luckily, our team and Lawn & Weed Expert are here to help. We’ve created a handy list to help you differentiate between the cat’s meow and the dog’s b… the dog’s bark.

 what plants are safe for pets

Safe plants for cats and dogs

Undoubtedly two of the most popular pets in the UK, cats and dogs are a common sight in homes across the UK. In fact, according to We-Love-Pets.co.uk, out of the 12 million UK households that have pets, roughly 41% of those include a feline friend or canine compadre.

That figure equates to almost 5 million homes, more than the entire population of both Wales and the Republic of Ireland respectively – that’s a whole lot of Pedigree and Whiskas!

If you happen to be one of those lucky homes, keeping Fido and Felix footloose and fancy-free will be a high priority and picking the right plants for your home and garden can be surprisingly important.

Here’s a short list of popular plants generally considered safe for most cats and dogs:

  • Hibiscus
  • Basil
  • Spider plant
  • Boston Fern
  • Swedish Ivy

 

Safe plants for rabbits and rodents

If you prefer your domestic animals to be a little furrier and compact, this section may be of interest to you. From rabbits and guinea pigs to hamsters and gerbils, these fluffy companions can make a great pet for those thinking outside the cat/dog box.

The downside of these pets (particularly for garden aficionados) is that rabbits and rodents do have a tendency to pick on plants and lunch on leaves. As such, knowing the plants in your home and garden are animal-safe is vitally important.

Popular common plants safe for most rabbits and rodents include:

  • Jade plant
  • Basil
  • Wheat grass
  • Orchids
  • Marigolds

 

Safe plants for reptiles and lizards

If you own a reptile or amphibian, chances are that you also own the relevant equipment to house it (i.e. a vivarium).

As your pet will spend most of its time confined to these four walls, incorporating a plant or two can be a welcome addition, while also making for stylish and eye-catching decor.

But not all plants are an appropriate addition to your reptilian real estate and some can be outright dangerous. The following are popular plants generally deemed safe for reptiles and lizards:

  • Ficus
  • Hibiscus
  • Pothos
  • Philodendron
  • Spider Plant

 

Safe plants for birds

Outside of the furry, fluffy and scaly, birds are another popular choice of pet for many Brits across the nation. Much like their land-loving brethren, these feathered-friends are also at risk from the dangers of the plant world.

Some popular plants that are considered safe for most types of birds include:

  • Dandelion
  • Marigold
  • Boston Fern
  • Magnolia
  • Swedish Ivy

 

Plants that aren’t safe for pets

While the above focuses on plants that ARE safe for pets, the list of poisonous plants for pets is long and wide-ranging, confusing and, at times, frustrating too. What’s great for humans and perfectly healthy can catastrophic for our furry friends.

Take aloe vera, for example: great for the skin, rich in antioxidants and a go-to for detoxing, it’s a much-loved plant that can do no wrong, as far as human consumption goes. However, for animals – particularly cats and dogs – the aloe vera plant itself can be toxic and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

To play it safe, your best bet is to only introduce plants into your home and garden that you know are safe for your pets. A simple internet search can help identify whether or not your plant of choice is fit for your pet-friendly home, so be sure to double-check before you bring any new shrub into your house or garden.

 

Are your plants safe for pets?

While the above list is very much a rough guide on which plants are safe for pets, it’s important to remember that plants can come in many forms with a range of variations. This list is merely a base guide to give you an idea and is far from complete.

If there is a particular species of plant you are eying up for your home, it's wise to do your homework. Don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper and find out whether or not your dream shrub is pet-friendly. You could be in luck and be able to kill two birds with one stone… okay, bad choice of words, but you get the idea!

If you’re still unsure about the plants in your home and garden, why not come see us or drop us a line? Our team of experts can even provide you with a free survey and help treat your lawn to ensure it's risk-free and pet-safe.

Get in touch today!

 

watering lawn at night

 

21st century life is a busy one for most working men and women in the UK. Balancing jobs, homelife and general admin on the go can be a full-time juggling act with little reprieve. Even retirees can have their hands full with family, health and hobbies all working their way into the daily diary.

If you happen to be feeling the pressure of a busy schedule, it’s all to easy to let some tasks slip by the wayside and watering the lawn is often one of them. While this may seem like a job that’s low down on the totem pole, for garden enthusiasts, it can be vitally important, particularly if you want to maintain your grass.

However, that doesn’t mean you should squeeze this task in when you can. There’s a time and place for everything and watering your grass at night could land you in hot water.

 

Is watering your lawn at night a good idea?

 

Okay, let’s wade through the weeds and jump right in at the deep end: should you water your lawn at night?

Simply put – no. When it comes to lawncare, watering at night can lead to a variety of unsightly issues and leave your luscious lawn looking notably under the weather.

As a rule of thumb, the later you leave it, the worse it is for your garden. Watering your lawn in the evening can promote mildew and fungus growth, while it can also attract pests as well.

Water can cling to blades of grass overnight which can, in turn, lead to lawn diseases and transform your prized plot into a patchy eyesore.

 

When is the best time to water your lawn?

 

During the spring and summer months when rainfall is theoretically less frequent (theoretically, at least), your lawn may require a little more TLC to keep it at peak performance – particularly when it comes to moisture.

The best time to water your lawn is typically in the morning. While the exact timing can vary from one expert to the next, before sunrise is generally considered ideal but anytime between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. is also deemed acceptable.

 

Why should I water my lawn in the morning?

 

During the 4-10 window in the morning, the air is typically cooler than later on in the day when water can evaporate a lot faster. Meanwhile, the wind is also usually lighter, allowing the water droplets to remain where they are rather than blow away.

If watering your lawn in the a.m. is out of the question and an evening splash is simply unavoidable, its recommended that you water your lawn no later than 6:00 p.m. (ideally before). This gives your lawn a little time to soak up the moisture and dry before nightfall.

 

For more information on keeping your lawn green and healthy, drop us a line today on 0800 111 4958.

Alternatively, use the button below to request a free lawn survey and keep your garden in peak condition!

Get a FREE lawn survey!

Keep your grass green - and make your neighbours green with envy - with this handy guide on when to scarify your lawn.

Scarify your lawn

What is lawn scarifying?

Okay, first things first, just what exactly does “scarification” mean? While it may, at first glance, seem like something you would associate with horror movies, the real definition is luckily far less sinister.

Scarifying a lawn – also known as de-thatching – is essentially the process of removing thatch and moss from a garden surface (hence the aptly named alias). The word “scarify” is actually pronounced “skah-rify” – as opposed to “scare” (like Scary Movie) or “scar” (a la Scarface).

But how do you scarify a lawn? Well, say hello to my little friend…the scarifier!

While that name could also very easily pass as a horror movie title, the scarifier is anything but horrifying. This handy tool uses rolling blades to trim and remove thatch, moss and debris, keeping your lawn looking lush and healthy.

Scarifiers typically come in two forms: manually operated and machine powered. Machine scarifiers come with either an electrical or petrol-powered motor and boast self-rotating blades. Meanwhile, the manual version features simple, push/pull operated rollers on the end of a long handle – imagine the bigger, more talented brother of the humble rake and you won’t be far off.

When to scarify lawn surfaces

If your lawn has begun to possess a yellowy tinge, it could be time to break out the scarifier. After all, nobody wants a lawn that looks ill and on its last legs.

That being said, there are certain times of the year that are more suitable than others. Late spring and early autumn are considered to be the two best times to scarify your lawn, capitalising on both the weather and the conditions of the ground.

Most garden experts agree that the ideal time to scarify your lawn is when your grass is growing strongly. If you scarify at the wrong time of year when your grass isn’t growing as fast, you risk damaging your lawn severely.

Dusting off the scarifier too early can ruin your lawn, so be patient and don’t jump the gun – that lawn isn’t going anywhere. Similarly, if you miss your window and are tempted to scarify in the wintertime, do so at your peril. You could leave your lawn exposed to the cold weather making it more difficult for your grass to recover.

It’s also advisable to scarify your grass when it’s had a little rain and isn’t too dry. A lawn that’s moderately moist underneath but dry to the touch is ideal, making for the perfect time to unleash your inner horticultural handyman.

Finally, remember that scarifying can be an extremely stressful process for your lawn, so try to time it to coincide with good weather conditions to follow. Chances are that the grass is still going to need a few days to recover, so try to make the aftermath as comfortable as possible.

Top tips for scarifying your lawn

While timing is everything when it comes to scarifying your garden, there are also a few handy hints and tips you can employ to help give your lawn a fighting chance of flourishing.

Mowing your lawn a week prior to scarifying can be a great way to prep your garden for its impending makeover. This will remove excess grass and dice up any thatch patches, making it easier to shift later on.

Similarly, you may also want to apply moss killer to your lawn a week or so before your scheduled scarify day. This will ensure the moss is dead and prevent it from spreading any further during the scarifying process.

For the best results, it’s also a good idea to water your grass a couple of days before scarifying, if the weather is fine. Alternatively, you could just hold off scarifying your lawn until a day or two after a bout of rainfall and save yourself a job.

Whatever you do, don’t scarify when it’s wet – you could end up yanking out the grass by the root, removing the grass itself as well as the thatch. If your lawn does seem a little bare post-scarification, you may want to scatter some additional grass seed. This can help create a thicker, greener lawn, while also helping to limit weed growth.

Lastly, remember to be patient. You may find that scarifying your lawn leaves your garden looking worse than when you started. Don’t panic and have faith – if you’ve timed it right and followed these top tips, your garden will grow back looking healthy and better than ever.

Want to get the most out of your garden? Request a free lawn survey from Lawn & Weed Expert!

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