Turf Installation: A DIY Guide to Laying Turf Yourself
Laying turf yourself can be quite easy however it is important to be prepared, lay it correctly and look after it, especially in the first few weeks, in order for the new lawn to establish well. By following our guide you should be able to achieve a great looking, and performing lawn that will for thrive for years to come.
Our turf is cut and delivered fresh from our farm, ready to lay. It is important to minimise exposure, especially in warm weather, so it is essential that your new turf is installed immediately. There are several things you should do in order to prepare your lawn area before the arrival of turf.
1. Remove existing vegetation
All vegetation must be removed from the area where you wish to lay your new turf. A non-selective herbicide is the easiest and most thorough way to do this. It may require two applications so it is best to start this process a couple of weeks before you plan to turf the area. Once the vegetation has died off, hoe or rake the area to remove any residual debris.
2. Shape the landscape
Now that the vegetation is cleared away additional soil can be added to shape the landscape. It is important to think about the drainage and overall levels of the lawn area. This is a good chance to rectify any areas that may have pooled water in the past. It is especially important to ensure that the lawn area drains away from the house and paths so that in periods of heavy rain, runoff is carried away efficiently.
3. Assess pH and soil composition
Turf will perform best with a base soil pH of between 5.5 and 7. pH testing kits can be purchased from your local hardware store. If you find your pH is outside the optimal range you can adjust with the addition of lime or dolomite in the case of the acidity being too high, or compost and manures if the soil is too alkaline.
Soil composition will also impact in the performance, with a sandy soil base being the best for your new turf. If your lawn area has naturally clay-rich soil, you may need to add some sandy soil and dig it in well to break up the existing soil. If you have a very sandy soil, you may consider adding some organic matter to increase the nutrients available to the turf.
4. Order your turf
If you have not already done so, calculate the area of turf required, select the appropriate turf variety for your application, and complete your order. We deliver 6 days per week across Sydney.
5. Final preparations
Once your lawn area has been shaped and adjustments made to the soil, it is time to make final preparations. Spread and rake in our Pre-Lawn Starter Fertiliser, then level your soil in preparation for the arrival of your turf. Remember to allow for the height of the turf, approximately 30-40mm where you want the turf to lay flush against decking, pavers or pathways. The remaining areas should be smoothed out to ensure you maximise the area if soil in contact with the new turf.
Laying your turf
1. When to lay
When you turf arrives it should be laid immediately, as the rolls can easily dry out, especially in the summer months.
2. How to lay your turf
We suggest that you begin laying along a straight edge at the furthest point of your lawn and work towards an exit point so that you are not treading on freshly laid turf as you lay. Turf rolls should be laid in a brick pattern with edges butted tight up next to each other to avoid gaps. If you are turfing a large area or it is a warm day, you may wish to water sections of freshly laid turf as you work.
3. Shape the edges
Shape the turf to fit edges by cutting with a sharp spade or shears and make sure to keep any excess in a cool place until you have completely finished and can be assured you don’t need them.
4. Bed the turf
To ensure the roots of the new turf connect well to the underlay, a lawn roller should be used to roll the turf. This step will help the turf establish faster and retain its colour better during this period.
4. Water immediately
The fresh turf should be watered deeply immediately.
Caring for your freshly laid turf
1. Watering your new lawn
The most important aspect in caring for your new lawn is watering. The lawn should be watered deeply at least once per day in the first two weeks, more frequently in the event of warm or windy weather. The soil underneath the lawn should remain damp, and not be allowed to dry out, at all times. In the third and fourth week, watering can be reduced to once every two days, then twice per week in weeks five and six. If the leaf blades begin to look thinner, you may need to increase your watering schedule.
2. Avoid wear and tear
Foot traffic should be reduced as much as possible while the new lawn establishes itself. Rope off areas if possible to deter pedestrian traffic.
3. Mowing your new lawn
Once the lawn has established itself and you can no longer lift the rolls of turf away from the soil base, it is ready to mow for the first time. This should occur at around the 4 week mark. For your initial mow it is best to take off slightly less length than your usual preferred height. You can gradually reduce the height over the subsequent 2-3 mows.
To cap off the 6 week establishment period it is a good idea to top up your lawns nutrients by applying the appropriate fertiliser and water in well.