Contact Clippings

  • Email Grass Clippings - Email the Grass Clippings Team

    Telephone: 0871 234 3480

    Fax: 0871 234 3481

    GMT Office Hours Only

Our Details

Our Partners

« Where to buy quality lawn turf | Main | Controlling an outbreak of 'Rust' on your lawn »

How to establish your new lawn turf quickly

Turf LayingYou need to make sure that you treat your new lawn like a newly born baby - look after it! Feed it, water it, caress it, talk to it if you have to, but most of all do not neglect it. The first two to three weeks are the "critical phase" in the establishment of a new lawn from turf. All too often, lawn owners have a new lawn laid then fail to look after it and then blame the company who supplied or laid the turf when problems develop after a few weeks later. Follow these simple rules to ensure that your newly laid lawn gets a head start.

Rule No 1 - Access

Do not be tempted to walk on the turf without placing boards or planks on the surface beforehand, otherwise you will be creating foot depressions in the lawn. Once you have finished accessing the lawn; remove the boards. Work from the boards at all times. You will need two lines of boards or planks, one to lay the turf off, the other to gain access to the board or plank that is closest to the turfing line. All foot traffic should be via boards and boards only and this included wheel barrows! Start turfing around the edges with one full turf and then start turfing the furthest away from the turf stack and work towards it.

Keep pets off the new lawn and ensure that they perform their daily ritual on another part of the garden.

Rule No 2 - Moisture

Whilst the lawn was growing on our turf farms, its' roots were deep into the soil (as much as 3 feet deep) and could easily find sufficient moisture. To enable the grass plants to survive and to grow a new root system, it is essential to keep the soil on the back of the turf and the soil below it sufficiently moist for the whole period of establishment (up to 4 weeks).

To enable you to apply sufficient water to your lawn the appropriate equipment will be needed. Anything less than a hosepipe is inadequate for the water volumes required and an oscillating sprinkler attached to the end would make the job easier and would apply the water more evenly. Do not drench it otherwise it will rot and do not leave the sprinkler in the same spot for more than 15 minutes. Little and often and push a knife into the ground or try and lift a turf to see if the water has soaked through underneath. Ensure the edges get watered too. If it rains, some of the lawn in particular the edges under shrub overhang may not get watered so water these by hand.

Rule No 3 - Mowing Heights

The old adage - a little and often - can be applied to grass mowing. The more you mow the more individual grass leaves will grow and therefore your lawn will have a denser sward and conversely, the more infrequently you mow the thinner the sward and the more mossy, disease ridden and weedy it will become. You do not want to take off more that 25% of the grass growth in any one mowing session. Change the direction of the mower each time you mow. Your lawn will grow quite quickly and it will need mowing about a week from laying. Check to see if the roots have got away into the soil beneath by gently trying to pull a turf upwards.

Rule No 4 - Fertilise your new lawn

Within 4 weeks following laying the new lawn and then every two to three months thereafter. Every time you mow, you remove some of the nutrients so make sure that you give your new lawn a fighting chance by feeding it with a fertiliser only (no weed or moss killer) lawn product.

Rule No 5 - Keep an eye out for lawn disease

Despite the best will in the world, welcome to real grass and real grass problems. Your old lawn may have suffered from all sorts of lawn problems and ailments but the symptons probably went unnoticed. If you notice any white/grey white mycelium like cotton wool on the new lawn, especially when the weather is warm and moist and muggy then you may have an attack of Fusarium Disease. If you notice pink mycelium on the lawn's surface then you might have an attack of Red Thread Disease.

Should you have a requirement for lawn turf or top soil you can order it from The Lawn Shop.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How to establish your new lawn turf quickly:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Hi... We have had new turf laid been about 4 weeks now... been watering it continuously but last week it rained most days so didn't feel the need to eater it etc... I cut it the other day using a flymo easy glide but now it looks terrible patchy dark green and yellowish grass everywhere I have been told I've cut the grass too short... plus when I was cutting it the grass felt squishy like... its been a day or two since the cut and I can still see the lines of the turf should I be concerned plus when it was laid I wasn't told to fertilise it... Please help by giving me some more advise.. Cheers

Reply - looks like it was over watered and started to rot. Fertilise it and over seed the squidgey areas and only water for about 10 mins in one area.


What fertiliser is next for a newly laid lawn? You mentioned earlier not to use a three or four in one.

Reply - any of the granular types in Every three months like clock work.

ian moore

Hi there I laid my new turf 13 days ago i'ts getting quiet long and is a rich green colour , i watered it twice ea day for first 7 days, then every second day up to today ,I'm tempted to cut it to as theres a lot of rain coming , going to cut it on first cut at highest 6cm this okay? also do i water it after the first cut? thanks ian

Reply: When you mow, only remove 25% of the total growth each time. Golf fairways are only mown at around 8mm so 6mm is a trifle too low. Aim for 12mm.


Have laid new lawn today and put fast growing seed over the top off it is that ok and how often should I water it . And when should I fertilise it and when should the first cut be.

Reply - fertilise it now but not a 3 or 4 in one as any weed killer will kill the new grasses. Mow when the grass plants are at three of four leaf stages or 25mm. Literally count the leaves, it's that easy. Fertilise every three months - see for products. If you water it daily, you should be mowing in four weeks but to be honest it depends upon the grass seed mixture. Sounds like it is a 100% Dwarf Ryegrass so it should be up quite quickly. Don't let it dry out.


Makes great reading. I have recently applied topsoil (taken off the park from mole holes) to my garden as the grass was not growing propperly. My friend advised me to add grass seed, so i did, then he said i should slightly turn it over, i did that too. Now i have lost contact with my friend who is on holiday, im unsure what to do now, maybe i should have flattened the soil first, as now it is looking abit off a mess out there. Can anyone advise me please ? Thank you

Reply - Type the words 'establish a new lawn' and you will bring up a great article on what to do. Hope you find your friend soon.


Lawn not growing as well in certain areas, think it is too compacted, will a garden fork do a good job of aerating the lawn? Also need to over seed a few areas, do I just scatter the seed or mix it with soil or sand first?

Reply - use the search facility 'Lawn Renovation'

craig baillie

Ive had my new lawn laid 3 weeks ago. When is it ok to walk on as the kids are dying to get out to play.

Reply: So long as it is firm under foot and you have mown it at least once, controlled playing should be allowed!

mary walton

Spiked and raked in top soil and seed still looking brown in places and not for the lack of water any advice please.

Reply: Please read the post about establishing grass seed and also dry patch.


I have had my Sons put some turf down ,but due to a something cropping up it got left rolled up for 2 1/2 days and started to go yellow in places will it be ok it is down now and watered?

Reply - John, you might be lucky if it has not gone too brown. It could have been rolled out and watered until laid is the other trick if the installation gets delayed for what ever reason. If it is a small area discard the turf and buy fresh and lay it right away or lay what you have and over seed it and you might be lucky. Good luck!

Helen Rawlinson

We hired someone to lay our turf. When it arrived she wasn't happy with the quality but laid it anyway. Some pieces has longer grass than on others. We've been watering it for the last 5 days as you recommended but there are patchy areas of brown dead looking grass developing near the edges and the one piece which had shorter grass on it doesn't look great with a strip of brown going right across it? Have we done something wrong, what can we do, will it recover?
Any advice much appreciated.

Reply - it if was meadow turf then it may have not been mown ahead of harvesting. If it were a formal seeded turf, then it would have been. They should have refused it but I do not know the reason for the selection and / or choice of turf. Even with a well know company supplying the turf, you can get a poor turf as part of a pallet and this can be used in part. Dead grass near the edges points to the turves drying out. You can always over seed it as a quick fix. You should not need to water it daily. Lift the underside of the turf up and see if the soil is wet underneath. Good luck.

elaine moran

Hi, I've had my new turf down now for nearly 3wks, its growing nicely but when should I cut it, I was told after 3wks is this correct?

Reply - that's correct on a high mower setting and then twice or once weekly.

peter clark

I am creating a new garden in which 1" of soil has been used just to cover up hardcore. I have used sleepers to create flower beds but the owner has asked me if the lawn will survive. I don't do lawn care so not sure. my fork only goes 1 or 2 inch into the turf so am pessimistic.
if a returfing job is needed can I leave the turf down-cover it with 3-4 inch of topsoil-and then lay the new turf.
regards peter

Reply - 25mm of soil over hardcore is a bit harsh. No hardcore would have been good but a sub soil but if it has to be this way then at least 100mm would assist a new lawn.


I am a novice gardener and had new turf laid early April this year and it has been growing beautifully and is very lush and dark green. We were watering daily but have now stopped due to all the heavy rain. Now however, there are some patches that seem to be turning yellow at the base and the grass is not growing as well as the rest - the patches are all at one end of the garden The kids play on the grass so it could just be due to heavy traffic and also a relative brings her dog over occasionally who has the odd piddle on the grass. I have never fertilised the lawn as not sure if this was necessary. Can you recommend a product? Also grass clover is starting to grow in a few areas. Thank you

Reply - the lawns should have been fertilised as soon as it was laid or as a pre seeder. Over seed any dog burns and try and limit wear. Treat the weeds with a selective weed killer. Search for Looking after a new lawn on this blog and visit for products to help you and your lawn.


Hi I've just had a new lawn laid yesterday, I haven't had to water it as its rained non stop since having it laid. when should I feed it and do I need to water it straight after the feed and how often should I water it. I'm very worried that in case I do something wrong as I'm a novice, when should I cut it and how often.

Reply - fertilise the lawn with a good slow release granular fertiliser soon after laying similar to those that are available from

Do not apply any fertiliser product with added moss or selective weed killer to new seed or turf until the new lawn or turf it at least three months old.

Mow in around 10 - 14 days from laying the turf but only remove no more than 25% of the grass height in each mowing session and then mow weekly at around 19mm.


Hi, I have had turf laid 8 months ago and it is looking very thin and dry although the ground is moist. Also, the ground is very lumpy.

I am a bit concerned my turf is dying. I have sprinkled some granular feeder on top a week ago although there are no signs of improvements. Any suggestions?

Also, to overseed, do you just throw the seeds on top of the turf and water daily?

Reply - it could be insect larvae damage, eating the turf roots. Chafer Beetle or Leatherjackets. Take a look under the turf. Send some images, a close up and an overview.

Val muir

I have just had turf laid...watering daily half hour each section. Not using planks for moving sprinkler. Can I cut down on watering after two weeks as I away for a week. can I hold off mowing until mid April?

Reply - Yes, that will be fine. Natural rain is far better than watering.


I laid a new lawn 7 days ago, is it ok to walk on it to mow it?

Reply - Yes but go careful and do not take off more than 15% of the growth off.

mr sewell

Hi I had a lawn laid by a garden company no names but not sure how good it was done as not a Gardener but ground was very dry was told that grass will take on any surface and it was sandy ground a Rotavator was used been told to water it twice a day but i am very worried what's the best thing to do as its laid now will it take ok and when should i use a feed on it its about 4 days old now .

Reply - Feed within the first month with a good lawn fertiliser, like one of granular products.



Have had turf laid in an area 7m x 25m. Close to 200 mtr squared.

Its very hot at the moment 25 - 30 degrees c. And looks set to continue.

I have had the sprinkler on for 12 hours a day moving it around every hour. So each area of the garden gets three 1 hour water sessions.

Is that enough or too much water? Its sodden after the hour but dry by the time it comes round again.

Its been down for 3 days should I put any fertilser on. What type?




Have had turf laid in an area 7m x 25m. Close to 200 mtr squared.

Its very hot at the moment 25 - 30 degrees c. And looks set to continue.

I have had the sprinkler on for 12 hours a day moving it around every hour. So each area of the garden gets three 1 hour water sessions.

Is that enough or too much water? Its sodden after the hour but dry by the time it comes round again.

Its been down for 3 days should I put any fertiliser on. What type?


Reply - take a look at the two articles on watering your lawn written in the last week on the blog. You must keep turf watered but soon we are going into a water deficit. Do your best with it and fertilise with a slow release lawn fertiliser once it is all green from

Ben Humphrey

I laid my new lawn at the weekend and it has been non stop heat and sun on it since, I have been watering it in the evening a couple of times once the sun has gone in and again when in the morning before the sun comes up, is this the correct thing to do? I have not watered in the day when the sun is it on it as i didnt want it to burn. My problem is the squares are starting to srink and it is getting a bit brown and dead looking in places.
Is there anything i can do to keep the lawn healthly or any thing i can buy to help it sow?

Reply - sent you a direct email. See the latest article on The heat is on Turfing which features your question and our response. Let's hope others benefit from your question and our response.


Laid turf last weds. Followed all the right steps but we have had a heatwave ever since I laid and worried I haven't been able to get enought water on it. It's laid on my allotment and I am not allowed to use a hose so relying on using watering cans and it already looks dry and has shrunk. It is difficult to get enough water on it to soak right through
Should I just admit that I should lay agin in autumn or is there anything I can do? Have been watering twice a day.

Reply - keep watering and plan to over seed some damaged areas and top dress them and all should be good. Once the turves shrink, they are hard to wet again so little and often watering in the shade will be a good practice.

Reply - Keep watering little and often. Do not let the turves dry out.


We are about to lay some new turf and the base is fairly dry. Should we water it before laying?
You mention that you should stay off it (unless using planks) for 2-3 weeks but then also mention you should mow it 1 week after it is laid which would be impossible with planks!?!

Reply - Yes, to a depth. Water little and often and make underside of turf is wet too. Mow on a high mower setting around 7 days from laying. Remove planks once laid too.


My new turf lawn has been down for just under 2 weeks. It is very springy. Do I need to roller the lawn?

Reply - No, not at all. Let it settle naturally. Mow after 7 days from laying it. Fertilise two weeks from laying and there after every three months.


My lawn is 3.5 weeks old now, I have just fertilized it using liquid fertilizer; How soon after this should I water it? And how frequently should I be watering a new turf of this age?


Reply - Fertilising, that's good practice. Water it straight away so turves do not shrink.


My new lawn is 7 days old. By accident I left the sprinkler on the same spot for 5 hours. What should i do now?

Reply - but a timer? It may rot sadly.


I have had my turf down for 5 days and it looks very patchy it hasn't had water on it for 24 hours due to the rain we had when should I water it.

Reply - as soon as you laid it. Don't forget to fertilise it too asap and every three months thereafter.


I have just laid a new lawn in very cold conditions. It's about 6 degrees C and likely to freeze at night.
How much water should I give the lawn and what is the best time of day to do it?

Reply - do not water it when frosty otherwise it will curl up and be hard to settle down again flush.

Magentic Glass Boards

I laid my lawn yesterday using good quality turf, the ground was well prepared and I've watered the lawn well once down. The lawn is in a very shady position and has a large tree in the middle of it, are their any further tips for this situation that may help the grass establish.

Reply - Keep your lawn mown on at least four from lowest on a Hayter or Honda. It will be the drip, drip, drip of the water off the tree leaves that will help wear the grass out underneath. You may need to over seed it at some point when you notice it thinning. Keep it well fertilised too.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Lawn Technical Pages

Common Lawn Problems

Buy Lawn Products

Other Gardening Sites

Weed Control

  • Weed Free Contract Pesticide Application Services and Weed Control in Amenity Turf

    The Lawn Company Professional Lawn Care Treatments, Lawn Care Products and Advice

Turf Industry Sites


  • Metcheck - detailed UK weather including seven day forecasts

    Met Office - UK Meteorological services