Somerset Turfing Contractor, Howard Landscaping of Tauntont explains how to lay turf correctly.
The best times to lay turf are between March-June and September-November. Prior to the selected turfing contractor doing the job have a good look at the area in which the turf will be situated.
When planning where to lay the turf try and leave a border near fences and walls as it is hard to cut thethere.
Is it a jungle? Weeds will need treating several weeks before the lawn is laid with a good biodegradable weed killer. One that will kill the root as well as the leaves such as Roundup or Tumbleweed.From experience it is common to hear that thistles in particular are real problems when it comes to coming through the turf.
Before the lawn is down you have an opportunity to get rid of them - take it! Or else you will be continuously standing on them with your bare feet as you admire your garden on a cool summers evening. Not the best thing. Have a look on the product label to see when it will be safe to lay the turf after the ground has been treated. If in doubt ask at your local garden centre.
Ground preparation for turf
Is it a building site? Your contractor should make sure that any rubble is raked off the surface of the ground prior to any turf being laid. Loose stones and building rubble will prevent the turves roots from making contact with the soil and could make the turf die in patches.
The top soil should then be thoroughly rotivated down to about the first 6 inches to aerate it properly. It is then raked level and gently treaded down.
Your local Somerset turfing contractor will probably have ordered 5% more turf than needed, this is normal and should be included in the quote as this excess will be lost when then lawn is laid and trimmed.
Apart from exceptional circumstances the turf should arrive the same day it is to be laid. From the moment it is dug up on the 'turf farm' until 4 weeks after it is laid in your garden there is a constant battle to keep it moist enough. Failure to do means it will suffer and may die. Therefore, sitting rolled up on your drive or in the back of a truck all night is bad. If its impossible to lay the turf on the same day then it should be rolled out on your driveway (not your prepared surface) and watered to keep it moist.
Laying the turf
Start by laying the first turf down the longest straight edge. Butt and fold the neighbouring turf next to it knowing that there will be some shrinkage and if you try and stretch the turfing at this stage you will end up with some gaps when it is bedded in.
The turf should be firmly but carefully tapped down using the back of a spade to ensure that the roots and the soil are in good contact.