Creating a new lawn from scratch is easy if you prepare the site thoroughly. In autumn, when the soil is warm and moist, your turf will establish quickly. Turf can also be laid in spring, but summer drought can put it (and you) under stress, requiring a great deal of watering.
A standard piece of turf will cover about one square metre but sizes vary dependent on the machinery used to harvest it.
Good quality turf is raised from seed and often available in several grades. They vary from hard wearing domestic to fine turf for a formal landscape to drought-tolerant turf ideal where there is low rainfall and the aim is for a low maintenance garden.
When turf arrives, stack the rolls in a shady spot and sprinkle with water. If laying is delayed, open the rolls and water them, but don’t worry if they turn slightly yellow, they should quickly green-up once laid and watered in. A foliar feed with a high nitrogen feed such as Miracle Gro will help to green your turf grass quickly.
Prepare the lawn area: Dig out large stones and weeds and slice away old grass. Flatten humps and fill hollows roughly, then fork over the site and rake level to leave a fine finish. Tread the area in short shuffling steps, pressing down on your heels, to firm the soil, and rake again. Lightly rake fertilizer into the soil and water well.
Using a string and pegs to make a straight edge, lay your first row, slowly unrolling the turf to avoid damage. Make sure each turf has good contact with the soil and it’s neighbour by tamping down firmly with the back of the rake. Start the next row with a half turf, to make a brickwork pattern, and butt the next row right up to the first row. Work from a board or scaffold plank to save compacting your prepared soil.
Where your new turf meets path or border, lay it over the edge and trim edges with a straight edged board and a half-moon cutting tool. After cutting, scoop up handfuls of soil and put under the edges of the turf to prevent it drying out.
Water well, if possible with a lawn sprinkler, and make sure that it doesn’t dry out. Try not to walk on it until it has rooted into the soil, which could take several weeks.
In a mild winter the grass will begin to grow, and will need a light trim with mower blades on a high setting.
Due to erratic demand leading to heavy wastage, we no longer sell turf for lawns at Cleeve Nursery.