How to Lay Turf
How To Lay Turf: A Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Measuring and Ordering
Laying instant turf requires accurate measurements. Use a tape measure to work out the area of your planned lawn, include these measurements on a sketch of the lawn area with the length and width and any unusual features. As professional instant lawn suppliers, we can determine the amount of instant turf you will need from your sketch. If the area is of a rectangular shape, then all you need do is phone the measurements through and we will work it out for you. Please measure your turf area carefully as we are unable to accept returns following a new lawn installation.
Schedule your order for delivery of turf after preparatory work is completed and you are ready to for your new lawn installation. A key turf installation tip is to laying turf promptly on the day of delivery to ensure a strong beginning and healthy foundation. Knowing how to lay grass effectively can make a big difference in the longevity and enjoyment of your lawn.
Step 2: Soil Preparation
When planning how to lay instant turf on your property, proper soil preparation is essential. For best results, use a lawn rotary hoe or dig the area evenly to a depth of 100mm to 150mm. Eliminate drainage problems for your instant turf in Melbourne by having soil slope away from the house etc.
Check to see that your soil does not require lime, if it does, apply at the recommended dose, then rake in a complete lawn starter fertilizer to optimize.
Rake and smooth the soil removing any rocks, roots and large clods. Roll and consolidate the soil lightly, this will firm the soil surface and reveal any low areas that need more soil. Keep the soil level 20mm below paths etc. Water the prepared area to settle the soil and provide a moist base for the turf.
Step 3: Turf Delivery
Our fleet of Semi Trailers delivers direct from the farm to your door from Monday to Saturday. Deliveries are usually in the morning so that your turf can be laid fresh on the day of delivery.
Our Drivers will contact you on the afternoon prior to the next day’s delivery with a delivery time.
Our Truck mounted forklifts drop the turf curbside and if required will place the turf where instructed. Deliveries to be placed inside a property boundary require the signing of a waiver by the property owner. Click on this to print a copy of the delivery waiver. Please get this signed by the owner and return it to us prior to delivery.
Step 4: Turf Installation
Install your lawn immediately upon delivery by rolling out your instant turf. Turf is a living plant that requires ground contact and moisture to survive. In hot weather, protect unlaid turf by placing stacks in shade, or lightly sprinkling with water. Begin installing turf along the longest straight line such as a driveway or path. Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching. Avoid gaps or over lapping. Stagger the joints in each row in a brick like fashion, using a large knife to trim corners etc. Avoid leaving small strips at outer edges as they will not retain moisture. On slopes place turf across the slope.
Rolling turf after laying is important. After installing the turf, roll the lawn with a lawn roller to improve turf to soil contact and remove air pockets.
Following installation and until it is established, you should avoid walking or kneeling on the new turf as this will cause indentations or air pockets.
Step 5: Turf Watering
Instant turf in Melbourne and Australia-wide must be watered within half an hour of laying instant grass. Regardless of the weather, give your new lawn installation least 25mm (1″) of water within half an hour of laying. Water daily or more often, keeping turf moist until it is firmly rooted (about 2 weeks). These first two weeks are the most critical time for the turf. DO NOT ALLOW TURF TO DRY OUT. Establishment of new turf can take up to 2 months in the cooler months.
After two weeks, regular and deeper watering should begin. Weather conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering. Be certain that your new lawn has enough moisture to survive hot, dry or windy periods. An important turf installation tip is to water areas near buildings more often where reflected heat dries the turf.
Caution: During the first three weeks avoid heavy or concentrated use of your new lawn to ensure your new lawn installation can firmly knit with soil for a successful, smooth turf.
Step 6: Maintenance
Regular mowing with either a rotary or cylinder type mower is essential for your instant turf in Melbourne and Victoria. Your new instant lawn should be mown 10-14 days after installation. Continue to mow often, generally no more than 1/3 of the grass height at a mowing. Keep your mower blades sharp. For correct cutting heights refer to the Instant Turf page.
Fertilizer should be applied on a regular basis all year round. Our professional lawn supply team can advise which fertiliser will suit your instant turf type and budget. Small applications at frequent intervals give the best results.
For example, 1 ½kg/100m2 per month of lawn fertilizer will keep your new lawn in an active healthy condition.
From time to time you may need advice or assistance in caring for your lawn. Contact us directly for the best lawn care advice possible.
Keep in mind that your new lawn increases your property value significantly. With proper care it will remain a great asset, providing beauty, a clean playing surface and an improved environment for many years.
Top 10 Tips for Laying Turf
- Consider when to lay the turf: It is best to lay turf in the non-winter months. Ensure that the turf is not used for a few weeks after installation so that it can establish well.
- Consider where to lay the turf: Think about where you are going to lay the turf including the location, surrounding environment, access to water and the quality of the soil.
- Research grass types: Different grass types have different characteristics, and some are better suited to certain environments over others. Ask a professional and conduct online research.
- Choose a suitable grass type: Choose turf that is best suited to your requirements and needs. For example, consider maintenance, usage, shade tolerance, water tolerance and weed and pest resistance.
- Assess the quality of your soil: At Anco Turf we provide a free soil test. Bring in kilogram of soil and we will conduct a ph test and to you know whether it is ideal.
- Add nutrients to your soil: A sandy soil is ideal. Consider adding nutrients to the soil to enhance its vitality and to prep it well for fresh grass.
- Measure turf area: At Anco Turf we have a handy turf calculator that will help you calculate linear shapes. Input the dimensions in metres, and the area will be calculated automatically. Always add 5% to each dimension to be safe!
- Prepare the underlay: Before you install the lawn, remember to prepare the underlay by killing off existing vegetation, ensuring a sandy soil base, adding nutrients, and smoothening and levelling the surface.
- Lay the turf: Remember to spray fertiliser before installation. Immediately after delivery of fresh turf, install it by unravelling the rolls carefully. Start in one corner and work your way to the diagonally opposite corner.
- Maintenance following installation: For a period of at least 6 weeks following installation, you will need to water every day. Keep traffic to a minimum. The first mow should be at a higher than usual setting to avoid shock. Add fertiliser after the first 6 weeks.
How to Lay Turf's FAQs
Begin installing turf along the longest straight line such as a driveway or path. Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching. Avoid gaps or over lapping. Stagger the joints in each row in a brick like fashion, using a large knife to trim corners, etc. Avoid leaving small strips at outer edges as they won’t retain moisture. To eliminate causing indentations or air pockets avoid walking or kneeling on turf while it is being installed or just after watering. After installing the turf, rolling the entire area to improve turf/soil contact and remove air pockets is beneficial. On slopes place turf across the slope. On steep slopes, use wooden pegs to anchor the turf.
Turf can be laid year round in most parts of Australia however in the cooler parts of Victoria June and July are not ideal for some warm season grasses such as Zoysia and Buffalo.
Turf should be laid on a clean prepared and friable surface. Never lay turf over existing grass as it will stop the root system of the new turf establishing well and the layer of dead grass underneath will cause drainage and other issues such as hydrophobicity that will stop water penetrating evenly into the soil profile.
You can lay turf effectively in winter although in Victoria it is recommended that traffic is kept of the newly laid turf until early spring once the roots of the new turf have established. If the location is shaded on the south side of a house it may be best to wait until spring. Light topdressing after laying turf in winter will give the new turf a small amount of protection and stop the edges drying out while the roots are taking time to establish. In winter the roots will develop slowly and you may not see a lot of leaf growth however you will use less water to establish the lawn than in summer.
Instant Turf can be established rapidly and put to use much quicker than seeding and will therefore require less water to establish. Turf due to its instant density is also more resistant to weed invasion than seeded lawns during the establishment phase.
Your turf should be laid as soon as it is delivered to avoid the rolls and or slabs from heating up and yellowing.
Turf can be laid in any month and at anytime of day however you should lay your new turf as soon as possible after delivery.
Turf is inexpensive compared to plastic synthetic lawns, paving and concrete. Most turf varieties cost between $10-$15 per square metre.
Once the new turf has established a strong root system and the turf cannot be lifted you should mow the turf if required. Once you have mown the turf a few times it can be walked on. You may need to walk over the lawn for some reason during establishment but care should be taken not to create depressions if the lawn is wet.
As soon as the lawn is laid watering should commence and the first watering should be long and thorough. Use a sprinkler rather than a hand held hose to wet the lawn evenly. The turf should then be kept damp at all times until the roots are 50mm long. This may initially require 3-4 watering applications per day in hot windy weather or as little as two in cooler conditions. Once the roots have established the watering frequency can be reduced. As the weeks pass, increase the length of time that you water with each application and decrease the regularity. Grasses such as DNA Certified Sir Walter require very little water once established even in summer.
Clay is not an ideal lawn base as it compacts. Water and roots will not penetrate down into compacted soil. You should loosen the clay and level it off before adding a 60-100mm sandy loam soil layer over the clay. Re-level the new topsoil, firm it up by using a roller or tamping it down and lay your turf.
Most people can lay a 50 square metre lawn in a morning quite easily. Once you get the knack a 100 square metre lawn can be laid in a few hours.
You will require a good steel rake or Level Lawn tool to prepare the level of your lawn. A sharp knife such as a bread knife or steak knife will be require to cut the turf edges or odd shapes. A Tenon saw is also ideal for cutting turf.
Instant turf can be laid at anytime of year. It establishes faster in Spring, Summer and early Autumn. It can be laid successfully in Winter if in full sun.
Sand and Sandy loam soils are the ideal soil base for lawns as they are free draining and don’t compact as much as soils with high organic and clay content. They are also easier to level prior to laying turf.
Once the lawn can’t be lifted you can commence mowing your lawn if needed.
Commence laying your turf along the longest straightest edge. If the area is steeply sloped, lay across the slope not down it.
Mow your instant Turf when the turf can’t be lifted and the leaf has started to grow strongly. Never remove more than one third of the leaf length per mow.
If your turf was laid in Spring, Summer or Autumn it will benefit from an application of Lawn Food six to eight weeks after laying.
Dogs can be destructive on lawns. Use a Couch, Kikuyu or Buffalo grass as they self repair and are more wear tolerant than other grasses. Aerate any tracking lanes that the dog runs along regularly to alleviate compaction. If you are getting urine burn patches consider using “Dog Rocks” which neutralise the Urine in 80 per cent of dogs and stop the grass from burning.
Once established Water the lawn only when it needs it. Look for tell tale signs that the grass is drying out such as blueing of the leaf or the leaf starting to fold. Footprints that don’t disappear in a few minutes are another sign of moisture stress. Usually a consistent small dry patch area will be the first to show signs. Water as soon as you seen a dry area appearing.
You will need a steel rake with a straight edge or level lawn tool to level the soil and a sharp knife or Tenon Saw for cutting the turf. Loosen and Level the existing soil base and remove any stones or tree roots. If required add a sandy loam or sand topsoil to a depth of 60-100mm.
Apply Lawn Starter fertiliser on the prepared surface prior to laying the turf. Lay the turf in a brick pattern ensuring that you push not pull the turf into position.
Lay turf along the longest straightest edge and across the slope if you have one. Ensure there are no gaps between pieces. Water immediately you have finished laying the turf. For detailed laying instructions refer to https://www.ancoturf.com.au/how-to-lay-turf/