How to care for your new turf and keep it looking terrific!
We have been laying a lot of turf recently, and as the weather gets warmer, it’s even more important to look after it.
Water, Water, Water
Did you know that grass is 80% water?
Newly laid turf needs a lot of water. Try to be fully equipped with a hose and a sprinkler before your turf is laid. When temperatures drop below 10c watering is not as crucial, but it is still important to look for signs that the turf is looking dry, and to water as required.
When turf is cut, 85-90% of its roots are left in the ground, and its leaves are starved of sunlight once it is rolled inwards. It immediately begins to dehydrate, meaning that what is left of the turf’s roots need to absorb water and get back into the leaf as soon as possible after laying!
You should water new turf every day for the first 2-4 weeks after it is laid to stop it from shrinking. Water early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid scorching. On very hot days, you may need to water more than once a day.
After the first 4 weeks, you can water weekly for around an hour per week, but this is still weather dependant.
Your lawn will need soaking until the roots have grown into the soil you’ve laid it on. You can tell when the roots have established because you won’t be able to lift the turf up at the corners.
Remember that 1 square metre of lawn needs approximately 20 litres of water each week!
Keep Off the Grass!
It is vital that you keep off the grass until the roots are well established. Use the lawn too soon, and you’ll damage the leaves of the grass, and the roots won’t be strong enough to support their recovery.
This means waiting until the turf has knitted to the ground and you can no longer lift the corners, and each turf has knitted together.
If you must walk on it, lay wooden boards down to better distribute your weight.
In the first few weeks, the grass will prioritise root development over leaf growth, so don’t panic if it isn’t looking its best right away!
When to Cut New Turf
You should not even think about cutting the grass until the turf has rooted properly.
If you mow too soon, the mower is likely to rip the turf from the ground. Make sure that you check the lawn by grabbing a handful of grass and pulling it firmly. If the turf stays put, you’re good to go.
When mowing new turf, you need to:
- Make sure that your mower blade is sharp – Blunt blades can rip and pull the grass.
- Keep the mower on a high setting – Don’t remove more than a quarter of the length on the first cut.
- Bring the mowing height down gradually – You don’t want to cut the grass too short too soon, so bring the height down by one setting each week.
- Keep the grass box on your mower – Do not leave the clippings on the lawn at this stage.
Keep it Clean
Keep your lawn free of leaves and other debris. A new lawn needs plenty of sunlight to produce food and develop strong roots. If you’ve got leaves and other debris over your lawn, they can bock the sunlight that the grass needs.
Not only that, but debris on the lawn prevents air circulation, trapping moisture which can cause the onset of fungal disease.