Preparing the ground.
Proper ground preparation is essential for the establishment and future well-being of your new lawn. Take your time doing this, a well prepared ground will produce eye pleasing results for years to come.
If the area has old turf this should be removed by slicing beneath the grass with a spade or a turfing spade. For larger areas, consider hiring in a purpose-designed turf cutter.
The soil needs to be turned over thoroughly to a depth of about 15cm using a spade or a powered cultivator / Rotavator.
Take a bit time to clear the area of stones, weeds, old turf and other debris.
Now with a large landscaping rake, start levelling the area. This will break the soil up to a fine tilth. Keep raking until you are pleased with the level of the bed removing and rubbish as you go.
A good tip is to stand well back from your prepared area and crouch down, check the level by eye. Do this from different angles and you will eventually have a pleasing level.
Laying the turf.
Never ever walk directly on the prepared soil or newly-laid turf unless you are wearing snow shoes. This will leave indentations that will haunt you for ever.
Use boards or planks to work from and walk on.
Start by unrolling one strip of turf around the perimeter of the lawn. Avoid using small pieces at the edges as these can dry out and perish. Ensure that the underside of the new turf has full contact with the soil below.
Lay the next strip across the longest straight run and continue to work across the lawn, strip by strip, producing a pattern similar to brickwork.
Butt joining edges and ends against each other, but avoid stretching the turf.
Overlapping pieces and ends of rows should be cut off neatly with a sharp knife or half-moon lawn edger.
Continue laying until the new lawn is complete.
In the summer months if the weather is hot dry and windy, water will be needed and lots of it. Newly-laid turf should be watered thoroughly within half an hour of installation.
This watering should be repeated at least once a day until the roots are established. A good tip is to try and lift a corner after say a week or so and see if there is any roots growing.
As a guide, at least two hours per day of constant watering is essential across the complete lawn area. The hotter, drier and windier the weather, the more water will be needed. However if the weather is forecast rain there will be no need for watering.
The turf will shrink slightly, this is normal. But if the new turf is looking like it has any sign of drying out e.g. gaps, lifting, browning or curling. Give it a good drink.