Lawn Turfing : Expert Tips for Growing a Lawn
Growing a Lawn
The best time for lawn turfing or turf laying is from November to March, on days when theis in workable condition. If the job is done in summer the turves will dry out and shrink, leaving gaps.
These gaps will then have to be filled with fine soil to prevent the roots drying out and dying and brown patches appearing. It is advisable – but not always possible, of course – when buying turf, to go and inspect it on the site so that you know exactly what you are getting. What you want to avoid is poor quality grasses, and. The cost can be lessened considerably by transporting it yourself but turf is very heavy indeed, particularly when wet, and a car is not suitable for this purpose.
Sea-washed turf produces the finest grass; originally this came from salt marshes in the north of England (Cumberland), but now it may be from any sea-washed marsh. It requires very careful management because it has a different type of soil base to the normal run of turves for , and from this point of view alone it would be better to use grass seed to obtain a really fine lawn.
Lawn Turfing – Cutting and Preparation
Turves are usually cut in rectangular pieces of 3′ by 1′, and when bought, are delivered rolled up. They should be unrolled if they are not going to be used immediately, otherwise the grass will turn yellow and will be weak. Rolling turf up also stretches the grass and strains and tears the roots so, for this reason also, it is wise to unroll it immediately. Turves are nowadays cut by machine and are, therefore, of uniform thickness.
Having prepared the turf, and made sure that it is free from weeds, it can then be laid. The soil should have been prepared carefully exactly as for seed sowing, and, again as for , it is best to choose a dry day for this job when the soil is moist. Turf is laid so that the rows are bonded like bricks, one turf being laid centrally against the division between the two adjacent turves in the next row. The first row should be started by laying half a turf, then the bonding I have just referred to will be achieved when the next, adjacent row is started with a full turf (and, in this case of course, finished with a half turf). Always lay the turf straight up and down the site, or across it.
Always lay turves standing on a board laid on the preceding row of turves. This spreads your weight, and avoids getting the turves out of alignment. And lay each turf so that it is looped a little. This allows for the slight stretching the turves may have suffered in transit, and, after tapping them gently down when they are all in place, it will ensure that they all fit really tightly. As each row is laid it should be butted up against the previous one with the foot so that each fits really closely. If any bumps or hollows appear in the soil at this stage, this fault can easily be remedied.
The importance of making the turves form a level surface does not need to be emphasised. Always start at the edge of the site with full-sized turves and try to finish in the same way. If a narrow piece of turf is used to finish off an edge, it is much less likely to knit-in satisfactorily, and is easily knocked away or trodden apart, so try to arrange for an exact number of turves to complete the area. To give an example, 100 turves will cover approximately 33 square metres. After laying, dress the cracks with a topdressing of either sand or a mixture of loam and peat or leaf-mould, and brush it well in to encourage the grass to extend fresh roots into the turf next to it, and so knit quickly and strongly.
Another way to prevent the turves drying out and withering at the outside edges is to push soil up against them. After about a fortnight, depending on the prevailing weather conditions, the grass will start to grow again, and can then be cut in the same way as a lawn made from seed.