A garden is often a homeowner’s pride and joy and whether you enjoy entertaining in the summer with a barbeque or wrapping up warm in the winter and sitting out on a crisp clear night below the stars in front of your chimenea or patio heater, a lawn really can make or break a garden. A lawn is often the centrepiece of a garden and your neighbours eyes will be as green as your lawn if you lay it and maintain it in the correct way.
To begin with, the idea of laying turf yourself can be a daunting one but hopefully this guide will reassure you that it is plausible, if a little time consuming. Some turf suppliers may recommend that you lay your turf in autumn or springtime. However, there is absolutely no reason why you should not lay your turf during the winter months, as long as the conditions are right, you follow the tips this post lays out and you are prepared to wrap up warm and venture out into your gardens in colder conditions.
One major advantage of laying your new lawn in late autumn or winter is that it won’t need as much water after it has been put down. If you had decided to lay your turf in warmer months it will need watering often to make sure that it is irrigated well enough so it can adapt to its new conditions. In winter of course, Mother Nature will water your lawn very well – there are sometimes benefits to our glorious winter-time weather not to mention the water bill your new lawn may run up for you in the summer!
In summer, when you receive your turf, whether it is delivered from the supplier after buying turf online or ordered in store it is important to lay it as soon as possible, preferably within 2 days, before the hot weather damages it. However if your turf arrives in winter you have up to a week to lay it thanks to the excess moisture in the air which can be particularly helpful if you are laying a large lawn.
A hugely important point when protecting your freshly laid turf is to resist walking on it for a number of weeks after it has been laid, giving it the time to embed and adapt to its new environment by setting down roots. In the summer months the temptation to use your lawn is very high, on a warm summers day you could probably imagine nothing better than enjoying your newly laid lawn which could be very damaging to your lawn later down the line. Laying turf in the winter drastically reduces this temptation, as in the colder months you are far less likely to want to spend time outside – just be sure to keep off the lawn if there’s any snowball fighting going on!
Maintenance wise, there is little that you need to attend to when you lay turf in winter. It is sensible to make sure that your turf is getting enough water and a check is to gently lift up a corner of your turf – you will clearly be able to see whether it needs watering. Mowing is not necessary in winter months really, if you feel you have to cut the grass make sure that it is not shorter than 30mm because longer grass helps to protect the soil below from frost and cold conditions which can cause damage. Leaving the mowing of your lawn until the end of the frosty season is best. Choosing a lawn feed suitable for the time of year is also important, a spring grass feed is not appropriate because it encourages your grass to grow – something we definitely are not looking for! An autumn grass feed high in phosphates is your best bet to benefit the roots of your turf, giving them a helping hand to establish themselves well.
The final maintenance point to look out for is the build-up of leaves on your lawn. A heavy build-up stops the grass receiving light and water so be sure to gently rake away or use a leaf blower to move the leaves, if your turf is freshly laid be sure to use wooden boards to walk on which helps to distribute your weight, causing less damage to the fresh turf.
If you lay your lawn carefully and then make sure you take good care of it over the winter months, by the time the weather starts to warm your lawn will be ready for you to enjoy all the way through the summer months. Remember to carry out any necessary maintenance work as necessary and water, feed and mow your lawn once the temperatures begin to rise, you can see details of what needs to be carried out in the autumn months in this article.
This article has been written on behalf of Q Lawns, a UK-based company providing high-quality turf grown from seed around the country. To buy turf online, please visit the Q Lawns website.