Natural Turf Tips & Advice
Grasses commonly found
Cultivated or seeded turf is grown on arable land by specialist turf producers. They use mixtures of seed of cultivars of a small number of grasses that have been specially bred for use in turf (as opposed to agricultural grassland).
Perennial ryegrass (Latin name Lolium perenne)
Most turf produced in the UK contains perennial ryegrass. It is included in the seed mixtures to provide a hardwearing turf which is relatively tolerant of drought and salt. Modern ryegrasses are fine-leaved and the turf on the tennis courts at Wimbledon consists mainly of ryegrass. Perennial ryegrass responds well to fertiliser and in order to look attractive in turf, it must have regular fertiliser application. If it is not well fed, it will not persist in the turfed area after laying and may produce a turf surface with a clumpy appearance.
Red fescue (Latin name Festuca rubra subspecies)
There are several types of red fescue, which are included in most turfgrass seed mixtures. Chewings fescue has the finest leaves of these. The other types are slender creeping red fescue and strong creeping red fescue, both of which have the advantage of producing underground stems (rhizomes), which helps them to repair any damage that may occur. Slender creeping fescue and Chewings fescue are able to tolerate very close mowing, making them suitable for use on bowling and golf greens. Some cultivars of slender creeping red fescue are tolerant of salt.
Smooth-stalked meadow grass (Latin name Poa pratensis)
Smooth-stalked meadow grass (known as Kentucky bluegrass in the USA) produces a turf that is hardwearing and tends to have a very dark green leaf, usually broader than that of the modern perennial ryegrass cultivars. It spreads beneath the turf by means of rhizomes and can use them to recover from drought and damage.
Browntop bent (Latin name Agrostis capillaris or A. castellana)
Browntop bent tends to have a grey-green leaf and also produces rhizomes to strengthen the turf. It is tolerant of very close mowing and is often found in golf and bowling greens.
Annual meadow grass (Latin name Poa annua)
Annual meadow grass is frequently found in lawns and is the most common grass found in golf greens and bowling greens in the UK. Although not often sown as part of the seed mixture, annual meadow grass is frequently found in cultivated turf. It is a very common natural grass in the arable fields commonly used for growing turf and thus occurs as a contaminant, but generally blends in well with the sown grasses. Unlike the above turfgrasses, annual meadow grass can be found in flower throughout the year, which helps to identify it.
Lawn Care Spring
Begin regular mowing at the appropriate height once the grass starts to grow. Clear twigs, stones and other debris beforehand to prevent damage to the mower. Trim the edges with a half moon or with edging shears.
Feed in March/April and thereafter every six weeks, more frequently on well drained soils.
If the winter is mild then mowing can be started earlier as long the ground conditions are not too soft, the mower should only take 25% off the height.
SAcarification can also be done during this period. Scrification removes all the thatch and moss from the lawn and encourages growth and improves the aeration of the soil around the roots. It make the lawn look awful for a week or two.
Tools for your lawn
These are the tools you would need to perform most of the jobs on your lawn, scarifying machines can also be hired at any good tool hire store.
- A good quality cylinder mower – gives a better cut
- A lawn rake – plastic or metal
- A besom or Stiff broom
- Hose pipe and sprinkler
- A knapsack sprayer (can be hired)
- Edging shears and half-moon for keeping edges trim
- Fertiliser spreader (can be hired)
Post-Laying Turf Aftercare Tips
Avoid walking on the new lawn where possible, the roots need to establish in the soil to firm up the lawn. If you have to walk on the lawn for example to move the sprinkler, where flat shoes or place down boards to walk on.
The initial establishment period will depend on the nature of the soil but generally 7 – 14 days during mild growing weather and 3- weeks during colder periods. During this period the turf must not be allowed to dry out.
When should turf be laid?
Turf must be laid on the day it is received during the summer especially with the high temperatures we are experiencing now. For best results it should be laid within eight hours. If left in the roll for too long the roll heats up and will turn the yellow, if the roll gets to hot it will die.
When you have a turf delivery do not cover the turf with a plastic sheet, as this will accelerate the roll heating up. If possible cover with a breathable sheet such as a bed sheet or if possible place in the shade.
How do I prepare the site?
12 Steps To A Great Lawn
1. The site should be prepared before the turf is delivered. Measure the area to be laid ensuring you order sufficient to complete the lawn.
2. Dig over or rotavate to a depth of at least 30cm (6 inches). The incorporation of sand and/ or peat may prove beneficial where there is poor soil structure.
3. Remove large stones, weeds and any debris.
4. Firm the area by using the backs of your heels, avoid using a roller, as this will make the ground to firm.
5. Level and grade the soil. Make the ground as level as possible avoid making dips as high areas will be scalped by the lawn mower, causing brown patches.
6. Rake to a fine til to a depth of 2cm (3/4 inch).
7. Bring turf to site, avoid walking on the pre- pared site. Lay turf within twenty-four hours of receipt for optimum results.
8. Start at the longest straight edge of your site. Lay end-to-end, butting up as closely as possible. Do not leave gaps.
9. Rake area if required, cut where necessary with a sharp knife, never stretch the turf but gently push together.
10. To ensure complete contact between soil and the turf use a rake or flat board to lightly tamp down the turf.
11. Any gaps between turfs can be filled with a light soil sand mix. Avoid putting small fill in pieces on the outside of the lawn, as these will dry out very quickly.
12. IMMEDIATELY AFTER LAYING GIVE THE TURF A GOOD WATERING. Ensure that the water has percolated through to the soil by lifting a few corners. NEVER LET THE TURF DRY OUT, water until established, if in doubt water it. The initial establishment period will depend on the nature of the soil but generally 7-14 days during mild growing weather and 3-6 weeks during colder periods. During this period’ the turf must not be allowed to dry out.
Mowing your lawn
Do not mow until well rooted, the early mowing will have to be very slight, set the mower high and do -not remove more than 25% of the growth at anyone mowing, you can gradually. Reduce to the desired height over a period of time, domestic lawns should not be cut below 25mm (1 inch) in the summer.
Measuring up turf
The ground is prepared, the weather is set fair and you’re ready to lay turf. But how much turf do you actually need to order? For a uniform, straight-edged site, it will be a simple matter of measuring the length by the width and multiplying the two figures together to give a total area.
If the area to be covered is not uniform, then basic geometry is going to have to be applied to calculate the total amount of turf require Start by splitting the site into the largest square or rectangle to produce an area, which can be conveniently measured. The remaining shapes can then be measured carefully before being added together to produce a final total supply.
Shrinkage and wastage dictates that the actual quantity of turf ordered should, in fact be between 5% and 10% more than the measured area. In any case, it is wise to always order a little more than is needed, as it may be impossible to obtain turf the same day as it is usually cut to order.
Finally, never order fresh turf before it is needed it has a short shelf life especially during the summer months. If the weather is hot, place the turf in the shade until needed and lay within 12 hours of receipt for best results. Water the turf after laying and it must not be allowed to dry out.
When should I lay new turf?
You can lay turf any time of the year – as long as the soil conditions are right, the ground has to be workable to achieve a good level, muddy ground it is better to let it drain, dry ground can be watered before preparation.
The traditional turf season is March to May, September to November but it is not essential that you do it in those periods.
Looking after your lawn mower this winter
Whilst Jack Frost glazes your garden with a frosty icing this winter, the idea of donning your gardening gloves is a less favourable choice to staying in the warmth of your home. Whilst you may think that little activity occurs during the winter, now could be the perfect time to keep your garden looking healthy for spring.
At Royce Turf, we are specialists in providing turf and irrigation services since our establishment in 1989. Much like our projects, we have ‘grown’ to become one of the leading distributors in our field. Providing quality cut-to-order turf, the latest in irrigation systems as well as nutrient-rich top soil in Woking, Kingston upon Thames and the surrounding areas, we have an abundance of experience and knowledge at our disposal.
We understand the logistics and science behind growing a good quality turf and offer expert advice on how to maintain the lush condition of your new or existing lawn. Grown to our own very high standards as well as those set by the TGA – an organisation dedicated to the maintenance and improvement of turf quality – you can have faith in the quality of your turf from us.
But there are things you can do to maintain your lawn during the cold, winter months.
1. Keep Off The Grass
If wet or frosty, refrain from trampling over your lawn. Whilst the grass will be growing at a considerably slower rate, if damaged, it will not be able to repair itself until the blossom of spring.
2. Service Your Mower
Only mow your lawn if necessary, as it’s unlikely you will have to mow it at all during the festive season. Use this time to service your mower, checking the blades are sharp and clean. If you do feel the need to mow your lawn, ensure that the cutting height is raised so as not to expose the grass seedlings.
3. Aerate and Clear
By using a fork to make small holes in the lawn, you will bring fresh oxygen to the grass plants as well as improving drainage and relieving compaction. Clear your lawn of any leaves or fallen debris using a light rake or brush, being delicate so as not to disturb the roots of the grass plants.
These simple steps are a sure-fire way to ensure that your garden remains fresh and healthy this winter. For more information on our turf and irrigation services, check out our website.
The time for turf this Spring
At the minute, it would seem that Mother Nature has about as much idea as to what’s going on with the weather as we do. With it being snowy one minute, sunny the next, before a quick down pour, it’s no surprise that our gardens have taken the full force of this winter’s wondrous weather.
Our turf and lawns have felt the full brunt of the winter’s uncertainty. With areas waterlogged, frozen and washed away, we can safely say here at Royce Turf & Irrigation, that we are expecting a busy spring.
So What Turf Is Best For You?
As the leading supplier throughout Cobham, Guildford and Kingston for turf and turfing supplies, we continue to offer our customers only the finest grades of turf around. We take into account your location, budget and landscaping needs and help build a turfing service around you.
As the name suggests, our Regal turf is cultivated and harnessed expertly delivering hard-wearing and lush results. Our best-selling product, Regal Turf is the optimum choice for many residences due to its medium texture and it’s durability in areas of high use.
Our Royal turf possesses stalked grass offering root strength and a fine texture. Best suited for high quality lawn commercial and uses, such as golf courses, it comes in both drought and shade tolerant meaning you can have turf that is long-lasting whatever the weather.
The last thing you want from a lawn is for it to fade and lose colour as the months go past. Being wet and shade resistant, our Regency turf stands above its competitors when it comes to a lawn that is specifically designed to be resistant to the elements.
Don’t forget, your lawns need feeding too this spring. So be sure to entrust our Scott’s Fertilizer to help keep your lawn fresh and healthy. Be sure to keep an eye out for next month’s article as we highlight the benefits of feeding your lawn. Give us a call today on 01932 629 074 or contact us.
Your new turf guide & when is best to lay
As we start to move further away from the new year, and the cold weather it brings, we start to get closer to those warmer spring months, and it’s during this time when we’ll all start to venture outside that bit more and utilise our gardens for everything from relaxing and entertaining to getting your hands dirty pruning and planting.
Laying new turf is a great way to freshen up your garden, give it a new lease of life and have it looking superb almost instantly come the spring – but when’s best to lay, and how do you look after newly laid turf? We look at all of this and more in our latest article here at Royce Turf – read on for the full post!
When Should I Lay New Turf?
In theory, you can lay turf any time of the year – but there are certain times of the year which make it more difficult to do so, and which would require a large amount of extra care. Essentially, the ideal times to lay turf are when the ground is soft/workable and moist, which makes the upcoming spring months (March to April) some of the best to start laying.
This gives the turf’s to root itself and get established in the ground before the really warm, dry months arrive. There’s also enough rain during these months to keep the ground moist – Spring is the perfect balance of warm and wet.
Post-Laying Turf Aftercare Tips
First and foremost, it’s a good idea not to walk on newly laid turf – you should give it a couple of weeks until it has properly rooted which, when laying in the spring months, will take less time than other times of year.
If you’re getting ready to invigorate your garden with some fresh turf and have been waiting for the perfect time of year to do so, then look no further than us here at Royce Turf; with a wide selection of turf types available, as well as a range of gardening and landscaping services, you can rely on us to provide the highest quality turf for your home or business.
For more information on our available turfs and services, simply browse our website or call us direct on 01932 629 074 . Alternatively, you can always get in touch with us using our website’s online contact form and we’ll email or call you back within 24 hours.