Complete guide for lawn turfing
Neat lawns are so much more than a decorative landscape feature that makes your garden stand out. A well-maintained lawn is a great place for your pets to run and children to play. Ir allows you to host an outdoor family brunch, enjoy a home picnic with friends or go sunbathing in your backyard.
We got you dreaming, didn’t we? You want to transform your garden and make your lawn look perfect? One of the best ways is grass turf! Here you can check everything you need to know about turf laying in our full guide suggested by our gardening professionals!
Everything you need to know about turf
Laying cultivated or artificial turf is a fast and easy way to achieve that perfect lawn look without the inconvenience of growing grass from seeds. No delays or waiting time, just lay the turf and you have a lawn. Find below some basic information about natural turf and artificial grass, and get an opinion from our established gardeners.
What is actually turf?
Turf is artificial grass, a horticultural lawn alternative with recreational and ornamental purposes. It comes in perfect condition (mowed and maintained) and is applied directly over the prepared soil to mimic grass fields. There are two types of turf – natural and synthetic.
Natural turf is real grass with soil enhancements at the bottom for better contact with the ground. When you lay natural turf in your garden, be prepared to maintain and take care of it just like you would do with planted grass.
Since the grass will start to grow, you have to regularly cut, edge, and mow it to keep it in optimal condition. Be prepared to replace the turf every 2-3 years and always consult a professional if your lawn is getting patchy or the grass is not growing evenly.
Artificial turf is synthetic grass that looks and feels like a real lawn but it is actually made of fabric. This type of turf is often used in sport fields and stadiums because it needs minimum maintenance. It is perfect for a backyard pet retreat or children’s playground, as well.
Synthetic fibers of the artificial turf are inexpensive to attend because the grass does not require mowing, watering, or reseeding. That also makes artificial turf great for the environment. It encourages water conservation, less use of harmful pesticides, and reduces carbon emissions.
Preparation for laying turf
If you want to learn how to prepare the ground for turf or how to level soil before laying turf, keep on reading. Ground preparation is a crucial step before laying turf and should not be neglected. We are here to teach you how to do it right:
Start with cleaning the area
The area where you lay the grass turf needs to be cleaned up to perfection. Garden waste, scraps, and debris should be disposed of. All plants laying around should be rooted out with a spade until all you are left with is soil. That includes the removal of natural grass, weeds, twigs, roots.
How to prepare the ground before laying turf
Lawn turfing requires a clean soil base and adequate ground preparation. So once any debris and old turfing are removed from the garden, it is time to prepare the earth for the artificial grass. Soil needs to be turned over approximately 15 centimeters in debt. This can be done with a spade.
Don’t forget the soil improvers
Applying proper soil enhancements is an essential step for the healthy turnout of your artificial grass. Feeding the lawn with compost, rotten manure or/and balanced fertilizer will improve soil texture, help the turf thrive, and the grass to continue growing.
Have in mind, every supplement is different and every soil type might benefit from specific nutrients. Thus, it is vital to understand that your garden needs. Always follow expert instructions about the quantity of fertilizer to be used and the application method.
Be aware that during the growing season, natural turf might require monthly fertilizing.
How to level soil before laying turf
This stage is crucial for the well-being of your grassy area. The soil you work with and you will lay the turf on needs to be leveled out, avoiding big bumps. That way, turf can easily attach to the ground and benefit from the natural soil nutritions. It also leaves out your lawn looking neat and perfectly maintained.
Add pre-turfing feed
Before you lay turf you need to enhance the soil with a special pre-turfing feed. This step will reduce the stress for the turfgrass upon moving it from its previous location to your garden. As a result, artificial grass is going to easily root in and start a healthy growth cycle.
To do supplementation properly – ask a professional or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the packaging.
The process of turf laying
Once the ground and soil are prepared, it is finally time to guide you on how to lay new grass turf like a pro. Follow the tips of our experienced gardeners as we walk you through the easy process of laying artificial grass:
Get it started with the first row!
Begin with unrolling the first turf strip. Push it slowly and gently along the lawn perimeter for smooth ground coverage. That way you keep the lawn aesthetics intact, avoid grass bumps, and other irregular formations.
Find below the best advice on how to lay turf properly:
- Refrain from using tiny turf pieces to map out the edges
- Small turf patches tend to desiccate, rot and wither way easily than big ones
- Make sure the turf is always in full contact with the soil
Once you are done with laying the first row, proceed to the next rows. Lay every strip alongside the previous one and leave no space between subsequent rows. Work across the length of your garden field, following a balanced pattern. Repeat the procedure over and over until your new lush lawn is completed.
Shape the edges after laying
It is advisable to take care and shape up the edges after turfing is done. Defining an aligned decorative border around the turf will make your garden look pleasant and your grass – well-maintained.
For aesthetic and functional reasons, you have to ensure that no row ends are showing and ruining your perfect lawn. Cut off any excessive grass, trim and smooth out bumps from overlapping turf strips. The job could be done with a half-moon edger or a sharp garden knife.
Laying down the turf strips in your garden does not mean you are done with turfing. Actually, there is one more important step – watering. And though it seems obvious to water a plant right after it is being planted, this process is vital for newly transplanted grass.
Since the turf was moved from one place to another, it needs a bit of time to adjust and help to get off to a good start. If you stick to a regular watering schedule, this will help the turf establish a new, stable root system in your garden.
During the first two weeks, if you see dry spots, gaps, or turf lifting – water immediately! Every time you water the grass, check if it has soaked into the soil under the turf. If not, then your lawn needs more watering. You can automate the process by installing sprinkles or water manually using a hosepipe.
The amount of water required to make the grass settle depends on climate, seasons, and weather conditions. In case you laid the lawn turf in the summertime, it would need more water than usual. Or if you live in a rainy area, always make sure the turf is not soggy all the time.
Maintenance of turf
Taking proper care of natural artificial grass is key to a beautiful garden. And while synthetic grass does not require any special attention, this is not the case for natural turf. It needs regular gardening attendance for trimming, edging, watering, and even soil feeding.
With that in mind, turf maintenance is extremely important if you want to enjoy a healthy and lush lawn right outside your property. Check out some of our professional tricks on how to take care of artificial grass.
Be careful the first weeks
The first couple of weeks are the most important for a newly-laid turf. That is the period your green garden is vulnerable as the turf is not yet set it and can easily dry out. Before ending up in your yard, the turf was growing unbothered in a field. Then its roots were slices off and forced into new soil (in your garden) – a very stressful situation for a plant.
So until the turf settles in and makes stable contact with the soil underneath (to grow deeper roots), you have to pay extra attention to the grass. To ensure further development, water daily and keep the soil moist but not soggy. After two to four weeks, garden turf should be accustomed to the new conditions and will start growing roots.
Mowing is the most essential part of lawn care. No lawn looks as good as a freshly mowed one. But looking sharp and neat is not the only reason mowing is great for your grassy area. It actually stimulates growth and helps get rid of the top parts of the grass which naturally dry out first.
Usually by the second week after laying the turf, the grass is ready for its first mowing procedure. Just note that sometimes the period can vary according to the current seasonal conditions (since you can lay turf almost every season).
Here are our best tips on how to mow your grass:
- Before the first mow, lift a turf strip corner to check if roots are already attached to the ground;
- Avoid mowing until the turf has rooted;
- Abstain from removing more than 1/3 of the grass height.
- Avoid grass scalping and never cut the grass too short
- Optimum grass height is 20-40mm
- Mow the lawn weekly
If the overall turfing task and maintenance seem like too much to handle, hire a professional gardener to save you time and get the job done right. Our professional gardening team is always ready to assist with garden turfing from the first to the last step of laying artificial grass.