How Long Does Turf Last?
Have you ever been to a DIY mega store in the height of summer and seen a pallet of dying, dry turf rolls sat in full sun, and wondered to yourself how long will that turf last?
Let's take a look at the life expectacy of a harveted turf roll.
The Life of Turf
Turf takes up to eighteen months to develop a root system which is suitable for harvest. During that time the turf is watered, fertilised and gently mowed until it is ready to be harvested.
During harvesting a large tractor tool flattens, saws, cuts, rolls and stacks the turf into rolls, which are stacked on a pallet ready for delivery.
The Clock is Now Ticking.
Once the turf has been harvested the countdown has begun. Turf has a very limited shelf life once it's no longer connected to the ground. In fact, turf will start to deteriorate as soon as it’s harvested.
There are various factors which will further shorten the life of the turf, such as high temperatures, direct sunlight, lack of light in the middle of the rolls and too much water.
The turf contains the living grass plants which create natural gases. These gases create heat and the more heat which is created in the middle of the turf rolls, the quicker the turf will deteriorate. What essentially begins to happen here is a composting process.
Prolong the Life of your Turf Rolls
To ensure the best outcome for your turf it should be laid on properly prepared ground twelve to twenty-four hours after it has been harvested.
Always ensure you have properly prepared the ground in advance and try to have the turf delivered when you have time to lay it (e.g. have the turf delivered Saturday morning and lay it on the same day).
Some turf producers may specially treat their harvested turf to extend the shelf life of harvested turf. Rolawn is one such turf producer and Eco stock and sell Rolawn’s turf. Rolawn have developed a unique process called Profresh® which removes the harmful respiration gases from newly harvested turf resulting in a shelf life of up to three times the shelf life of untreated turf.
If you are unable to get your turf laid as soon as it’s delivered, here are some tips which will help to extend the life of your turf rolls:
- Keep the turf in the shade —keeping these precious rolls out of direct sunlight will help to keep the temperature down, which will slow the composting process.
- Stack turf rolls in small piles —allow space between the rolls to increase air flow
- Never water rolled up turf —it will actually speed up the degeneration process
- Unroll turf in the shade — if you can't lay the turf immediately, this will buy you a little time
- Only buy your turf from a trusted company who haven’t had the turf rolls hanging around in storage.
Aftercare to Ensure Longevity
There is no reason why your newly laid lawn won’t last a lifetime. These tips will help you to care for your new lawn:
- Lay your turf on wet, properly prepared ground
- Water your new lawn well as soon as it’s laid
- Water your new lawn daily – in the summer you may have to water it twice a day
- Continue to water your lawn daily until you are sure it's well rooted — this can take up to four weeks
- Don’t walk on your new lawn for around six weeks after laying (although light traffic should be okay after three to four weeks)
- The first few times you cut your new lawn be very gentle and don’t cut too much off, collect all the grass cuttings straight away
- Use fertiliser to feed your lawn but only once the lawn has been laid for at least 6 weeks
- Rake up any fallen leaves regularly to prevent them rotting on the lawn and causing the grass to die
It’s best to avoid the DIY store’s pallet of composting turf rolls. Instead order your turf from a trusted company who will deliver freshly harvested turf straight to your door.
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