Laying a perfect lawn is more than just simply unrolling purpose-grown turf and hoping for the best. As with everything in landscaping, putting in the proper groundwork helps ensure you’re left with a new lawn that’s as healthy, strong and green as possible - which is what everyone wants at the end of the day.
Unlike seeding with grass seed, turf cuts back on potential wastage and the time it takes for your lawn to reach maturity. The following steps will guide you from ground preparation through to maintenance and lawn aftercare - helping it reach its maximum potential and providing year after year of enjoyment.
The Best Time To Lay a New Lawn
The best time to lay turf is in mid-autumn. This is when the air is cooler and humidity is higher; helping prevent scorching and root dry-out. Of course, this means ground preparation should begin toward the end of summer to give the soil a chance to settle in before turf is laid.
Preparing to Lay Your Lawn
The actual tools you’ll need for ground preparation and aftercare will largely depend on how much prep is needed. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll assume that the lawn is being laid from scratch and cover all of the common tools you’ll need to prepare the ground before laying your lawn.
Ground preparation can be tough on the body, so using appropriate PPE is always a good idea. At the most basic level, you’ll want a decent pair of protective gloves to help minimise the risk of blisters, cuts and infection. Soil is loaded with sharp stones, sand, thorns and debris, so a good pair of sturdy boots are also a good idea. Lastly, keeping your eyes protected from dust, airborne debris and flying stones will keep you on schedule.
Removing Old Turf
To remove old or gnarly turf, a spade will usually get the job done. Simply start by creating cuts into the ground that are ½ m2, then slide the spade along the root line to loosen and remove it. If the soil beneath is extremely dry and tough, it can help to water the area generously the evening before. For removing large areas of lawn, a turf cutter can be useful.
How to Lay Turf the Right Way
Before you start to lay your lawn, you’ll need to know how much turf to order beforehand. Typically, turf arrives in 1m2 rolls, so measuring in m2 is the easiest way. To do this, simply measure the width of your space and then measure the length. Then multiply these to get the total amount required.
10m W x 14m L = 140m2
While it’s possible to store pre-cut turf rolls in a dark and cool spot for a few days, ideally you want to get it laid within 24-hours of delivery. This gives the roots the best shot at taking quickly and minimises areas of lawn death. If you can’t lay it for at least 5 days, give it a gentle watering every evening to prevent it from yellowing and drying out.
When laying turf on sloped ground, try to ensure that it is laid across the slope to help with moisture retention at the roots.
Laying Your New Lawn
- When you’re ready to lay your turf, the first thing to do is get some wooden planks or boards to use so you don’t place pressure on the grass as you lay it.
- Sprinkle pre-turfing fertilizer onto the soil before starting and give it a very gentle watering to around 1-2cm deep.
- Starting at the perimeter of the lawn, unroll your first turf strip (using large strips on the outside to avoid any drying out). Ensure the underside of each roll makes full contact with the soil below and firmly pat it down.
- Place the second roll of turf to the left or right of the initial roll, starting 50% up its length. Then place the third directly beneath this.
- Continue working from side to side, using a bricklaying pattern as you go.
- Ensure you create a raised lip on each edge (on all four sides) which will settle after patting down and watering and create a solid seal. Avoid pulling the turf into position and aim to create an overlap of around 2cm each time.
- When reaching edges and ends that have excess turf or are overlapping more than you need, cut the excess with a sharp kitchen knife or a lawn edger.
Tools Designed for Professional Results
Whether you’re laying a new lawn or looking for ways to keep an established one in perfect condition, Husqvarna has your back. View our full range of cutting-edge tools online or visit your local Husqvarna dealer to explore your options, today.