Correct ground preparation and turf choice will ensure that your turf takes to the ground and will produce a top quality lawn for years to come. For best results always buy turf grown by a member of The Turf Growers Association, The Compost Shop only supplies TGA grown turf.
Proper ground preparation is the most important task when creating a new lawn with cultivated turf, poorly prepared ground will never produce a quality lawn and will not allow the turf to perform to its best ability.
Firstly remove all existing grass/ turf by either slicing beneath the roots with a spade or if the area is larger, hire a purpose built turf cutter from a local hire shop.
The ground now needs to be turned over, either by hand with a spade or with a rotavator (again available from most hire shops) to a depth of 15cm (6 inches).
Clear any stones, weeds or old turf from the soil.
Your soil will now be ready for raking.
Lightly rake the area to break up any lumps, your soil should be fine and lump free.
Roll or tread the area to show any soft patches and then rake again to level the area. Repeat until firm and level.
You can now rake in a thin layer of soil improver if you wish (1.5 to 3 cm), this will feed the new lawn directly at the roots and will also speed up root establishment decreasing the length of time that daily watering is required.
Your soil should be level, lump free and firm but not compacted.
Ordering Your Turf
Measure the area to be covered in square metres and place your order well in advance of the required delivery date. The Compost Shop can usually deliver turf within 2 to 3 days of ordering (sometimes faster) and you can book a delivery date online. Remember that turf should be laid as quick as possible after it has been delivered, preferably within 24 hours.
Laying Your Turf
Never walk directly on the prepared soil or newly-laid turf. Use boards or planks to work from and walk on.
Start by unrolling one strip of turf around the perimeter of the lawn. Avoid using small pieces at the edges as these can dry out and perish. Ensure that the underside of the new turf has full contact with the soil below.
Lay the next strip across the longest straight run and continue to work across the lawn, strip by strip, producing a pattern similar to brickwork.
Butt adjoining edges and ends against each other, but avoid stretching the turf.
Overlapping pieces and ends of rows should be cut off neatly with a sharp knife or halfmoon lawn edger.
Newly laid turf should be watered within half an hour of laying during the summer months. Watering should continue daily until the turf roots have knitted with the prepared soil. Generally water the new lawn for 2 hours per day until the roots are established. Water immediately if you notice any signs of drying out, i.e edges curing, gaps appearing or grass browning off.
Resist the temptation to make the initial cut until your new lawn has rooted. This can be checked easily by lifting a corner to see if the roots are attached to the soil below.
For the first mowings, set the lawn mower to its highest setting to avoid stressing the grass. Mow regularly, each time removing no more than one-third of the grass height. When the lawn is fully established, the height of cut can be reduced gradually to an optimum height of between 15mm and 35mm.
Take care to avoid scalping.
It is recommended that your lawn is fed every four to six weeks in the growing season, this can be done with a fertiliser or with an organic top dressing.