Whether you choose seed or turf preparation of the site is vitally important.
It takes a minimum of 4 weeks to prepare an area for turf or seed our
basic method for turfing is as follows:
Before turf area preparation can begin it may be necessary to Grade the site- This means to eliminate surface irregularities. In order to do this first the top soil must be removed then the sub-soil can be levelled out moving sub- soil form high area to low areas. Once the sub- soil is level than the Top soil can be replaced. This process is very labour intensive and hence expansive.
In most cases grading is unnecessary as a slight slope helps with drainage and can be visually appealing.
Alternatively it is often cheaper to import top soil to raise any low areas in the turf bed.
Turf Bed Preparation
Cultivate ground to a minimum depth of 6"; bring to level remove stones over 1.25 and dispose of on site. Rake and bring soil to a fine tilth and level gently firm the surface. Double treading the soil is usually the best method although a light roller can be used It is important not to compact the surface as this will inhibit turf rooting and subsequent growth. Apply fertilizer and work into top 2" of soil. Leave ground to allow settlement to occur for between 2 to 6 weeks re rake and firm at weekly intervals during this period. The result will be a reasonable level surface but with some minor divots and the top inch or so of soil should have a good friable texture
The longer that is allowed for settlement the more level and even will be the final lawn. There are three principle advantages to this. Firstly maintenance is much easer Secondly Using the lawn is more enjoyable walking on the lawn will be easer and safer as it is less of a trip hazard. Thirdly the lawn is more visually appealing.
During the time whilst settlement is occurring if weeds arise they can be dealt with either by removing by hand or using weed killer. Not all weeds are a problem as many annual and some perennial weeds will be eliminated by normal mowing however weeds such as Docks, Sorrels Buttercups Plantains Clover, Dandelion, Daisy, Yarrow, Woodrush, Selfheal & Parsley- Piert are a problem and need to be eliminated Glysphosate is the best answer and the new turf can be laid 7 days after application.
NB It is essential that the ground is given time to settle and any cowboy contractor who suggests that you can rotovate the soil one day and lay turf the next should be given some oats for his horse. The only thing worse than that is the one who suggests that to get a level compact the soil with roller or vibrating plate etc. If you do this all that happens is the turf takes longer to root and the ground will in 6 months or so will settle to its own level leaving your garden looking like the Himalayas
For most domestic and commercial lawns we recommend the following mixture. If you require and ornamental lawn then a turf with a different mix of grass varieties would be supplied.
Supply, Tees and Tennis Turf Containing:
25% Abersprite/Aberimp- Dwarf Ryegrass
15% Limousine- Smooth Stalked Meadow grass
20% Count- Slender Creeping red Fescue
20% Raisa- Chewings Fescue
20% Adinda- Strong Creeping Red Fescue
The turf will then need to be stacked on site and then brought from the stack to the laying area. Rake soil bring soil to fine tilth add fine organic matter or soil and lay turfs in stretcher bond. Firm turfs any small divots can be filled by hand as the laying progresses.
Abersprite The very top rated Perennial ryegrass in 2009 excellent fineness of leaf with the highest score for shoot density Blends superbly with Aberimp and cuts very cleanly. Bred in the UK for the UK conditions
Aberimp One of the top rated ryegrass cultivars in 2009. A very fine-leafed plant with an excellent mid/dark green colour. One of the highest rated, along with Abersprite, for slow regrowth. Bred in the UK for UK conditions
Limousine One of the best rated Smooth Stalked cultivars in Europe for the past 18 years. Has the highest rating for shoot density and recovering rapidly form wear whilst maintaining a very fine leaf. Excellent winter colour
Count One of the top Slender Creeping Red Fescue cultivars in 2009. Exceptionally dense, fine leaved variety with superb disease resistance.
Raisa A well proven cultivar with superb shoot density and year round dark green colour.
Adinda One of the best Strong Creeping Red Fescue cultivars with good shoot density. Quick to establish with excellent disease resistance.
You will notice that the turf consists of a number of different varieties of grass. This is because each variety of grass (and there are thousands) have specific conditions in which they grow best and conversely conditions in which they do not grow or only grow slowly. As a result commercially grown turf is a mixture of grasses so that the turf will produce a thick healthy green sward under widest range of conditions.
It is important that you chose a turf based on the range and quality of the grass species contained within the turf. Also you have to consider how the turf has been grown our turf has been grown in dedicated field which are prepared in advance then the seed sown and the sward maintained for a number of years prior to being harvested. It is a completely different product to some old meadow turf that has been lifted form a farmers field.
The lawns with the best appearance generally consist of more defecate and finer grasses (fescue). IE the individual blades of grass are narrower and closer together. This creates the healthy deep green appearance and when cut correctly the traditional light and dark strip effect. With our turf if it is maintained correctly then over a number of years it will develop into a high quality lawn with the traditional appearance. It will also survive on neglect and after the first year will survive on cutting alone.
Water, Water and more water so long as the drainage is good the more water the better. If puddles appear on the surface then reduce the watering but especially after laying 24/7 water. As the turf roots so the amount of watering can be reduced depending on the weather and ground conditions. During the winter depending on the weather much less watering is required.
The length of time taken for the turf to root will depend on the time of year the prevailing weather conditions and the soil conditions. In the Growing season (March to Sept) this will be about 2to 3 weeks if the weather is good. Once the turf has rooted then the sward should be cut using a mower with a sharp metal blade (Flymo and other machines with plastic blades are totally unsuitable for grass cutting.) The blade should be set to a high sitting. The height of the sward can then over time be reduced.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE NEW LAWN HAVE ANY LAWN FEED IN THE FIRST SEASON. THE APPLICATION OF LAWN FEED WILL SLOW DOWN THE GROWTH OR POSSIBLY KILL THE LAWN