When is the Best Time to Lay Turf?
The best time of year to lay turf depends entirely on where you live – different countries have different seasons with different temperatures and rainfall. However, wherever in the world you live, the same basic rules will still apply.
Here, in the UK, the best time of year to lay turf is either early-spring or mid-autumn.
Why so Specific?
Why is there a best time of the year to lay turf? It’s all about the conditions.
The conditions the turf is laid in will make or break the success of the turf, and because laying turf is actually quite a time-consuming and potentially expensive endeavour, you really want your new turf to establish itself without a hitch. This is why laying turf in the right conditions is so important.
In the UK, the perfect conditions for laying turf are met in early-spring or mid-autumn.
However, simply laying turf at this time of year still won’t guarantee results. It comes down to the ideal conditions.
What are the Ideal Conditions for Laying Your Turf?
A little bit like Goldilocks and Three Bears - not too hot, and not too cold (and certainly not frosty). The temperature should be warm enough to encourage the roots to grow and establish themselves but cool enough so that the turf doesn’t dry out before the roots can become established.
Frosty conditions should be avoided as this could potentially kill the new grass and roots before they have properly established themselves. This would be less than ideal as all your hard work, time and money will be wasted and you’ll have to start all over again.
Early-spring and mid-autumn are great times of year to lay turf as the frequent rainfall means you won’t have to water the turf yourself – saving time and money. Light showers are ideal, but torrential rain is not ideal as the potential for water-logged roots could be detrimental to the turf’s success.
Although newly laid turf can be walked on sooner than a seeded lawn, choosing to lay the turf at a time of year when the garden receives significantly less traffic will improve the turf’s chance of establishing itself successfully.
Preparation is Key
It’s as important to prepare the ground ready for the new turf as it is to lay the turf at the right time of year. The right topsoil should be used in preparation, for more information on topsoil read our recent blog, Everything You Need To Know About Buying Topsoil.
The soil should be weed free – it may take several weeks to ensure that all the weeds are gone.
The ground should be firmly trodden down, providing a sturdy base for the lawn. However, it needs to be then raked over to ensure that when the turf is laid the roots can penetrate the ground easily.
Whether you choose to lay your turf during the ideal time of year, or any other time, appropriate aftercare should always be taken.
- Water your new lawn as soon as it’s laid to help it settle. You should also water your lawn daily if there is not adequate rainfall to do this for you.
- Keep off the grass for as long as possible.
- Avoid mowing for as long as possible, but when you do cut it, set your lawnmower blades to the highest setting to avoid unnecessary stress to the grass.
- Once established, use a fertiliser to feed your new lawn.
- Rake up grass cuttings and fallen leaves regularly.
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