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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 products you can order them from The Lawn Shop.


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Gardener Walthamstow

Really good and informative read.
I'd also like to add that laying your new turf at the proper time can be considered almost half the battle. For those of you wondering when that is, it's in mid-autumn. During this season you don't need to water as much because the sun isn't as strong.
Turf which has been laid laid in spring, like the one you are talking about in your post, needs plenty watering.

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