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Caring for your lawn - Laying a New Lawn (continued page 3)

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:
  1. 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.
  2. An ornamental lawn which receives minimal use. This type of lawn is primarily for appearance and will be a mixture fine grasses.
  3. 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 Created

There are three ways in which you can create your new lawn:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 lawn.
  3. 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 The Site

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:

  1. Clear the site down to the bare earth.
  2. Level the site (if needed).
  3. Drain the site (not needed if drainage is OK).
  4. Dig over the site and correct the soil pH if necessary.
  5. Break down the soil and level it. Site is ready for turf / sod.
  6. 'Fallow' the site - this will remove dormant weed seeds.
  7. Final raking. Site is now ready for sowing seed.

 Step 4a How To Select 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 seed.

 Step 4b How To Lay 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.

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.

Name: j.lewis
Date posted: June 18, 2011 - 03:32 am
Message: how long does it take a turf laid lawn before you can mow it is my sit on mower to heavy for the first cut.

Name: mary newbury
E-mail: Private
Date posted: October 04, 2010 - 06:56 am
Message: when is correct time to cut a newly seded lawn the grass is approx 3 inches now but i dont want to disturb the seeds
thank you