Laying a New Lawn
Laying a new lawn is sometimes the only way to achieve the grass area you
want. The old lawn may be beyond repair or you may be working on a site with no lawn at all.
It's not an easy task, but if you tackle the new lawn logically and in the correct sequence the
result will be extremely rewarding.
Step 1 Decide How You Will Use The Lawn
There are three main ways in which a new lawn can be used:
- A hard wearing lawn suitable for family use including kids playing
games on it. This lawn will be a mixture of tough grasses such as
ryegrass and some finer grasses.
- An ornamental lawn which receives minimal use. This type of lawn
is primarily for appearance and will be a mixture fine grasses.
- A lawn created to overcome a known existing problem. The typical
example of this is a shady area. Other problems areas such as dry
areas can also be overcome by specific types of grass.
It is important to know how you will use your new lawn because this is
needed for the next step.
Step 2 Decide How The Lawn Will Be
There are three ways in which you can create your new lawn:
- Sowing seed. This is the cheapest method and you can safely wait
until weather conditions are correct before sowing. Click
here to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of
sowing a seed lawn.
- Laying turf /sod ('sod' is the US term for turf). The
quickest method of establishing a new lawn. Just keep it watered and
success is guaranteed. Click here to learn
more about the advantages and disadvantages of sowing a turf or sod
- Planting sprigs. Less common than the other two methods
this involves planting lots of little pieces of grass and waiting
for them to spread and form the entire lawn. Used mainly for small
areas of lawn. Click here to learn more
about the advantages and disadvantages of planting a new sprig lawn.
Step 3 Preparing
In common with many tasks, good preparation is the key to a good
result and it is at this step that the real hard work is to be done. Click here for a detailed description
on how to prepare the site. The main steps involved are:
- Clear the site down to the bare earth.
- Level the site (if needed).
- Drain the site (not needed if drainage is OK).
- Dig over the site and correct the soil pH if necessary.
- Break down the soil and level it. Site is ready for turf / sod.
- 'Fallow' the site - this will remove dormant weed seeds.
- Final raking. Site is now ready for sowing seed.
Step 4a How To
and Sow Grass Seed
The basic rule with selecting grass seed is to buy from a reputable
source. They will have mixed the grass seed to suit your conditions.
Sowing grass seed is a relatively easy activity, but there are good
and bad ways to do it. Click here for a detailed description on how to select and sow grass
Step 4b How To
Lay Turf / Sod
BEFORE LAYING TURF / SOD
A week or so before laying turf / sod, apply a couple of handfuls of
granular fertiliser per square metre (yard). Lightly rake the fertiliser
into the surface of the soil.
If the weather is dry, water the soil thoroughly two days before
laying the turf.
When your turf is delivered, it can be stacked up to 3 levels of turf
with no problem as long as you intend to lay the turf within 48 hours.
If you plan to keep the turf longer than 48 hours before laying, it's
best to lay out each piece of turf (grass side upward) separately in a
shady area. Water if the conditions become dry.
LAYING TURF / SOD
Click here for details on the correct way to
lay turf / sod.
Sift a mixture of sand and fine soil along any cracks and work this into
them with a broom or the back of a rake.