Laying Turf

When the time comes for thinking about a new lawn the choice has to be made whether you are going to grow it from seed or whether it is worth thinking about investing in turf. While a turf lawn was once thought of as an expensive luxury only suitable for golf greens, in recent years it has become much more affordable and is now seen by many as a viable option when it comes to sowing a small to medium sized area.
   Like most things a turf lawn has certain advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage of turf is the fact that in a few hours the bare soil is transformed into a green lawn and in a couple of weeks a mature looking lawn is achieved and ready for use. The main disadvantages of turf are the fact that while turfs are a lot cheaper than they were a few years ago they are still a bit more expensive than a seed sown lawn. Turf also has to be ordered before the ground is prepared as it deteriorates quickly and has to be laid as soon as possible after delivery even if the weather is not suitable.
   When making a lawn from turf the same steps for preparing the ground should be followed as with traditional lawns. The first step is to remove all weeds, debris, and stones from the site before thoroughly digging over the soil. After the soil has been dug a rotavator should then be used to break down big lumps. When turfing a lawn it is important that the sod is laid on an even surface so the soil should be well consolidated, either by using a garden roller or by tramping the soil down with your feet. After the soil has been consolidated a wide rake should then be used to give a fine tilth on the top. If the site is still not even a handy way of leveling it is to attach a rope to one side of a ladder and drag this home made screed over the surface until the site is completely level. After the ground has been prepared fertilizer should be raked into the surface to help draw the roots of the grass down into the soil. You are now ready for the turf.
   Starting along one edge lay out the first roll of turf and tamp it down firmly with the back of a rake to settle the roots into the soil. Continue unrolling the turf joining each length tightly up against the previous one before tamping it down. Each row should be laid like bricks so that the joints don¬ít form a continuous line across the garden. Continue until the whole area is covered. After you have laid the lawn soil should be raked into the seems to prevent the turfs drying out and the whole area should then be thoroughly watered. In periods of dry weather regular watering will be nessessary until the lawn is established. After the lawn has been laid it is important not to walk on it until it has rooted into the soil and if nessessary boards should be put down to walk on. After the grass starts grownig it should be cut as a traditional lawn would be with the blades set high.
© Copyright, Highland Landscapes, Letterkenny, 2008.