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.
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.
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!
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