A newly turfed lawn requires a bit more attention to establish quickly and thrive. For the first few weeks the grass plant is surviving on much shallower roots so is much weaker than a healthy established lawn.
The first thing you should do once a new lawn is laid is water it in thoroughly. The new lawn will need a really good watering in so that the turf and the first few centimetres of soil below is damp. In the summer this may require leaving a sprinkler on for 1 to 2 hours (or more) in each area the sprinkler will cover.
The new lawn will need watering daily (unless there is adequate rainfall) for the first week either early morning or early evening when there is less chance of evaporation from wind and sun. In very hot weather this may need to be done morning and evening. You can gradually reduce the frequency watering over the next 3 weeks until established. The grass should not be allowed to dry out for the first 28 days atleast.
Once established you can water the lawn as and when it is needed (see watering the lawn page) but make sure the lawn is watered in dry hot spells as it will not tolerate drought conditions like an established lan will.
Watering your new lawn may not be necessary in winter months when the turf and soil has enough moisture and if there is plenty of rainfall but in most cases watering is needed.
To check your lawn has enough water, lift a corner of one of the turf rolls and feel the soil underneath. If it is cold and damp it has enough water. Be sure not to let the turf dry out on top in the first few weeks in windy or hot conditions as this can still happen when the soil beneath is damp.
It is possible to over water new turf. If puddling starts to occur you are watering it too much.
Wear and Tear
New turf is not as resistant to wear and tear as established lawns so try to stay off the grass as much as possible until it has knitted in to the soil below. It is possible to walk on it but be careful after watering heavily as this can leave foot indents in the soil making the lawn uneven. Using boards to walk on the lawn and move the sprinkler is the safest bet. The lawn should be ready for normal use within 3 to 4 weeks depending on the weather conditions.
The key to a great lawn is regular mowing, cutting no more than 1/3 of the leaf off at a time. Mowing little and often creates a dense and lush green turf.
Give your lawn its first cut as soon as the turf has started to take root. This should be anything from 7 to 14 days depending on the weather. The reason for this is so you don’t let the grass grow too long before giving your new lawn its first cut. Just take the tip of the grass off so make sure you have a mower with a few height settings. You can then gradually reduce the height of cut to the desired length. Avoid cutting new turf too short, no lower than 35mm until it is established. You may find you need to cut your new grass twice per week for the first month or so as it will grow quickly with all the watering in.
Make sure you have sharp mower blades as dull or blunt blades will tear the turf and encourage diseases.
Be careful when turning the mower on the first few cuts as the turf will have very shallow roots and can easily be dislodged. If you do happen to dislodge a piece of turf, pull it back into position and press down firmly to ensure good contact with the soil
Be sure to clear any sticks or leaves etc if you have trees around your lawn as this will block sunlight getting to the grass and can make it bare and patchy.
If you have had your turf laid by Mow and Grow a starter fertiliser will have been applied at the time of laying. This will keep you lawn fed for the first 6 to 8 weeks. If the lawn was laid without a starter feed then it is not too late to apply one soon afterwards. After 6 to 8 weeks it is recommended to continue feeding your lawn 3 or 4 times per year to keep it lush green and healthy. New turf can deteriorate quickly without adequate feed due to the fact it will have been loaded up with fertiliser in the growing fields. Once this feed wears off the turf can go in to withdrawel and start to look yellow.
Mow and grow can supply you with suitable feed to apply yourself or provide a quote for a regular lawn treatment programme and or mowing service to keep your lawn in shape.
If you have any queries about looking after your lawn, please get in touch and we would be more than happy to offer advice.