New Turf Aftercare Guide
Looking out at a freshly laid lawn at the front or back of your home can be a joyous sight.
But before you rush out to enjoy it, perhaps by having a game of football with the kids or running about on it with the dogs, you need to bear in mind that there’s a certain amount of new turf aftercare that is required to keep it looking green and beautiful. Otherwise, it might just turn back into the brown, patchy wasteland you worked so hard to replace – a waste of both your time and your money.
So, before anything else, make sure that everyone in your house is aware that heavy usage should be avoided as much as possible for about three weeks after the initial laying. You can walk on it, but try to keep even that to a minimum while it settles in and the roots take hold.
Watering a new lawn
The first and most important part of your freshly laid turf aftercare programme is to make sure it gets a good watering. Naturally, on a typical British, rainy day, this won’t necessarily need any direct intervention on your part. However, if your lawn has been laid in warm weather and it isn’t raining, then daily watering should become a part of your routine.
That should be once in the morning and once in the evening for the first week, and while you’re doing it, make sure you’re watering right into the corners so that all of your new lawn is benefitting. After that, water daily for another couple of weeks, reducing in time until you’re hopefully watering no more than once every three to six weeks.
Just as important as watering your new lawn is making sure that you don’t overwater it, because too much water can cause almost as many new lawn problems as too little water. If you’re not sure, check whether the soil has the right levels of moisture before adding any more water to it. You can do this in the same way as you would check if a cake is done: if a knife can be easily pushed in and it comes out cool and clean, then your soil is moist.
Mowing a new lawn
If your idea of the perfect lawn is to keep it cut short, then good aftercare for new turf means that you’re just going to have to be patient. Leave it for at least two weeks after it’s been laid, maybe three. Before you mow, check if the roots have become established by gripping the turf and tug gently, if there is a lot of resistance the grass is ready and has become secured to the soil. If not, you may have to wait a bit longer.
When you come to do your first mow, set your blades at their highest setting, then lower them bit by bit over subsequent weeks. You shouldn’t be cutting more than about ⅓ of the height of your grass in one go, so if you are after that bowling green look, once your new lawn is established, you’re going to have to be mowing regularly throughout the growing season. The grass height should not be lower than 25mm. This will help the ground from drying too quickly in a hot summer.
At Royce Turf & Irrigation Ltd, we’ve been supplying beautiful lawns around Surrey, West Sussex and the South East of England since 1989. As well as offering advice on which kind of grass would be the best for your garden, we can also help with all your newly laid turf aftercare needs with our irrigation and sprinkler systems. If you have any questions or need advice on anything to do with your new lawn, give us a call today or find out more in our FAQs.