Caring For Turf
When to lay a turf lawn
Spring and autumn are the best seasons to lay a turf lawn. You can lay a turf lawn in summer or winter but extra care must be taken to avoid problems.
Step 1 - Preparing the ground
a) Clear the ground of any debris - remove stones and shrubs, dig out old roots. If there are any weeds or plants that you do not want to keep you can spray the leaves with Roundup weedkiller or any other Glyphosate based weedkiller, which is best used when the weeds are actively growing. Glyphosate weedkillers work by passing through leaves or soft green stems and kill the plant from the roots ensuring that it won’t come back; for tough weeds such as mares tail brambles and tree stumps it is best to use roundup kills trees and stumps which is the strongest version. When they are dead, which can take up to a month, you can then remove them.
b) When the ground is clear you can grade and level the site building it up with Westland grow-sure lawn seeding soil or a similar product. If you have heavy clay soil you can improve the quality of the soil by adding horticultural sharp sand as well as organic matter such as Scotts Levington Organic Blend Soil Improver. If the soil is very sandy you can use Scotts Levington Organic Blend Soil Improve. An alternative is Country Natural Organic Stable Manure, however this should only be used if you are not laying the turf for several weeks after digging this in as it is quite strong.
Whichever product you use you must dig it well into the topsoil, which is usually between 10 and 30cm deep, mixing the product with the existing soil. You may wish to purchase a rotovator if you are working a large area.
c) When you have finished preparing the soil and it is levelled and graded to your satisfaction you may need to slightly compact the soil down by simply walking on it or pressing down on your heels
d) You can now add a fertiliser. Use Westland Growmore which is available in a variety of sizes at a rate of 35g per square metre as a base dressing onto the top of the soil 4 to 5 days before you are ready to lay the turf.
Step 2 - The turf
a) Firstly make sure you know how many rolls of turf you need by carefully measuring the area you wish to turf. Measure the length and multiply it by the width to get the total surface area, it is best to measure this in metres as each turf is equivalent to 1 square metre. To help with measuring irregularly shaped areas it is helpful to break the area up into smaller more easily measured sections then add all the areas together to get your final figure.
b) If the soil is dry and the weather is hot water the lawn heavily the night before you are going to lay the turf.
c) Select your turf, we sell a multipurpose turf which is hard wearing and will tolerate lightly dappled shade but ideally needs some direct sunlight throughout the day. If the area is in heavy dappled shade or never gets direct sunlight, please consult with tillers turf for a specialist turf to suit your conditions. Multipurpose turf in shady conditions will require extra care and is more susceptible to moss and if it is shaded by trees will need more water as the tree roots will create stress for the turf.
d) Once you have bought the turf or when it has been delivered to you it is vital that the turf is laid AS SOON AS POSSIBLE within the first 24 hours. Do not leave it rolled up as the grass will start to turn yellow from lack of sunlight. Even if the turf was purchased as soon as it has been delivered to us to be as fresh as possible you must lay it as quickly as you can. The longer it is left rolled up the weaker it will become and if left for too long it can die. Turf that has been left rolled up may recover but it will be in a poor state for at least several weeks.
e) To lay turf you will get the best results by laying them in the same pattern as a brick wall; butting up and matching each roll to the previous roll. If possible you should start at the far end of the site working your way back and across so you do not walk on the freshly laid turfs. To create staggered rows on each alternate row cut a turf in half and use these to cap the ends.
f) Ensure that each turf is butted up as close as possible to the other turfs and when you have finished a row place boards such as scaffolding planks along the line between rows and walk up and down it using your body weight to press the edges down.
g) When all the turfs are laid give the lawn a heavy watering again walking along boards to help compress the edges without stressing the turf.
Step 3 - After care
a) The most important thing is to keep off the lawn for the first two weeks as much as possible to allow the turf to bed in.
b) Keep the lawn well-watered ideally water every 3 to 4 days heavily if it hasn't rained and water in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too strong. After 2 months you can switch to every 4 to 6 days.
c) The first mow should be done when the turf is no more that 50mm tall (25mm if it is a fine or luxury or shady lawn) For best results keep to a high cut for the first six months and always try to cut off no more than the top third of the lawn.
d) If weeds start to appear try to remove them by hand. Annual weeds should be easy to remove but perennial weeds are harder to pull out as the roots are deep and may snap off allowing the weed to grow back. You should only use a lawn specific weedkiller until 3 to 4 months have passed. Only use weedkillers that say they are for use on lawns such as Westland Resolva Lawn weedkiller, Scotts Weedol Lawn Weedkiller (formerly Verdone) or Vitax Lawnclear2.
e) If moss starts to appear you can treat it with Vitax Green Up Mossfree lawn tonic, but again you should not use this for the first 3 to 4 months.
f) Feeding should not be done for the first 8 weeks. After this time there are a variety of products to use depending on the time of year, please come in to see our fertilizers and chemical department team for the best advice or alternatively please call the garden centre or after hours you can email our customer services department who will forward the query on to the team. In the spring and summer you should use a high nitrogen feed and in hot dry weather a liquid treatment applied morning or late afternoon early evening when the sun is not too strong. In the autumn a low nitrogen feed should be used.
g) Under no circumstances should you apply a granular feed when heavy rain is due, whilst it is raining or just after it has rained. Granular products MUST be applied when the grass is dry to the touch. If it does not rain after 2 days from application then you can lightly water it in. Heavy watering or heavy rain will wash the product away wasting time, effort and money. Always ensure that you apply any product at the correct rate for the product. Under dosing the lawn will mean the feed is less effective but overdosing can seriously affect the lawn. You will first notice the lawn going brown or black which is called chemical burning. Should this occur you can try first brushing away and sweeping up excess product and then water the lawn as heavily as you can. This drenching will wash the product through and in most cases the lawn will recover given time.
h) If you are applying weedkiller to any other area of the garden you should always spray on a still day to avoid the spray drifting onto the lawn where it can kill the lawn. When applying a path and drive weedkiller or a path and drive cleaner do not walk across the treated area onto the lawn as your feet will transfer the product onto the lawn which can also kill the lawn.
i) Finally enjoy your new lawn.
(As products may change please check with the fertilizer and chemical team with regard to stock availability or alternative products)