Laying a new lawn is a relatively simple and quick way to revive a ‘tired’ garden. Overnight your garden can be transformed into a lush and tranquil haven. From contemporary spaces to more formal gardens, a healthy lawn can be a vital element in achieving the right look. Choosing the correct turf and carrying out the correct soil preparations, before laying, can assist in the extended health of the lawn.

Seed Grown Turf
There are many different varieties of seed grown turf.

For example Bowling Greens use a very fine mix of fescues which needs a high level of maintenance and aftercare which the majority of private, domestic gardens don’t require, unless you are wishing to establish a croquet lawn, putting lawn or bowling green.

There are various types of wild flower, meadow turf available – see links above.

A high quality, general purpose turf that we use is Medalion Turf grown by Rolawn. Madalion turf performs well in a very wide range of environments, whether it be a well-used family garden or a more prestigious royal park!

Basic tips for Lawn Preparation
Caring for turf:- it is important to fully prepare the site prior to the turf being ordered!
Turf is delivered in rolls and deteriorates very quickly if not laid within 24 hours of delivery. If it isn’t possible to lay the turf within 24 hours then the rolls should be stacked in a cool position away from direct sunlight, to prevent the turf from drying out. In some cases the turf can ‘yellow’ slightly. This ‘yellowing’ is temporary and the turf should turn green again once laid and the light can get to it.

Soil Preparation:- soil should be cultivated to a depth of between 100 – 150mm. All weeds should be removed along with unwanted debris, such as large stones, etc. For best results use a mechanical rotavator but if the ground is too hard it is advised to hand dig the area first and then rotavating after.

Drainage:- If the sub-soil is prone to a high water table or is clay base, you may have to install a basic land drainage system, which would normally be laid in a herringbone system, using either 75mm or 100mm diameter agricultural pipe. This will need to be installed correctly to avoid problems. This all adds to costs, but it is crucial to encourage a healthy root zone layer to encourage the newly laid turf to establish.

Consolidating the ground:- it is important to make sure that the soil is lightly compacted to remove large air pockets and to stop any subsidence at a later time. This is usually carried out by walking up and down on the area and side to side, using the heel of the boot. This method will not be practical on a commercial level but used on a domestic garden is worth the extra preparation.

Raking to a fine tilth:- the soil needs to be raked to a fine tilth and any ruts and dips filled in with new top soil. We generally use Rolawn Root Zone mix or an equivalent, which is a special blend loam soil mix. This will help the new turf to establish well. The soil needs to be raked to a seed bed finish, if possible levelling to existing hard landscape surfaces or lawn edges.

Fertiliser:- to encourage strong growth and root establishment, a slow release fertiliser can be applied in granular form and this is gently raked into the soil.

Watering turf before laying:- if the ground is dry then it is recommend to water first making the soil moist, which helps to prevent the new turf drying out. Of course, this is subject to weather conditions.

Soil Preparation is the key to a successful lawn and in many instances, if not carried out correctly, can lead to an uneven, water surface logging and failing lawn.

Laying Turf
Once the area has been fully prepared the next stage is to lay your scaffold boards out to work from and prepare a string line.

Starting along one edge, slowly unravel the first roll of turf, setting this against the string line or hard edge. Once the roll is unravelled, tamp down firmly the back of a landscape rake, whilst continuing to lay the turf into position, always lay turf in a ‘brick bond pattern’. Whilst tamping down always stand on the scaffold boards to protect the turf. Continue until the whole area is covered with turf. Laying in a ‘brick bond pattern’ means that all the joins are not in the same line which gives the lawn a stronger bonded finish, ensuring that it all ‘knits’ together.

Lawn Care
Newly laid lawns must be well watered to establish a healthy root system. Watering is of course dependent on weather conditions. It is also important not to over water your new lawn! Over watering can disable the root system sending out fibrous roots to the root zone. It is advisable not to stand on your new lawn for approximately 10 days and to ensure that, if laying lawns in autumn, leaf debris is removed from new lawns.

Mowing:- you can start mowing as early as 5-6 days after laying, if you can do so without disturbing the newly laid turf. Aim to keep the grass at a height of approx 25mm. Turf will accept light traffic after laying but keep this to a minimum.

Feeding:- we would always recommend feeding lawns in spring, summer and autumn, after they establish, but pre-turf fertiliser should be adequate