After laying a new lawn, the care you provide in the following few weeks are critical to the success of your turf. Similar to plants and hedges, the first season after laying your turf requires a little bit of extra TLC to encourage it to firmly establish in the soil.
By following these guidelines, you’ll maintain the excellent condition in which your turf was delivered and be left with a fantastic looking lawn. Taking extra care in the first few weeks will also help to prevent any future problems from occurring.
The first thing we recommend is to avoid heavy usage of your lawn in the first 3 weeks, as this is when the grass will be most vulnerable and cannot yet handle ball games or frequent footprints.
Watering your turf
Newly laid turf needs a sufficient amount of water to survive and grow into the luscious lawn you’ve imagined. Often the water requirements of a new lawn are met by the great British summer – rain. However, when we do get the odd week of sunshine you need to assume all watering responsibilities to ensure your turf remains damp, especially in the first 28 days.
Water frequently in the first week after laying – you may need to water twice a day if the weather is dry. After this, water 2-3 times a week reducing your watering to once a week, three to six weeks after the turf was initially laid. Always water in the morning or evening to avoid the water being evaporated by the sun at the hottest part of the day.
After this you can reduce your watering regime slightly as your turf should be established enough to thrive without continuous watering. Established turf should be watered about once a week in the summer dependent on the weather m – your lawn may not need to be watered if it has recently rained. You can water less during spring and autumn but in dry periods you may want to increase your watering to once every two weeks. During the winter, you don’t need to worry about watering your turf.
Ensure you don’t over-water your turf as this can lead to boggy conditions. If your lawn becomes flooded, disease can develop and spread and the excess water can suffocate your turf. If you’re worried about over-watering, check to see if the soil is damp before any further watering.
Fertilising your lawn
Applying a fertiliser to your turf can help to deter weeds and disease and maintain a healthy looking lawn. However, as with watering, over application can be detrimental to the success of your turf.
If you fertilised the soil underneath your turf prior to laying the lawn, that should supply your turf with adequate nutrients and encourage healthy growth for at least two months.
A nitrogen rich fertiliser can be beneficial to your turf during the growing season in spring and summer and a phosphorus based product is useful to encourage root growth in late autumn. When applying any products to your lawn always follow the package guidelines to ensure the correct amount is being used at the right frequency.
Mowing your lawn
You can begin mowing your new lawn between 2-3 weeks after laying but it’s a good idea to check your turf has established enough first by turning back a corner and, if you find it is well secured by a good root system, you’re good to go.
For the first cut, ensure your mower is set to its highest adjustment to cut only the very top of your lawn. Following this, we advise that you never remove more that 25% of the grass growth at any one time to avoid causing unnecessary stress to your lawn.
You should always take the weather into consideration when deciding how regularly to mow but in general we recommend mowing twice a week in spring, once a week in summer and early autumn, and every 10-14 days towards the end of autumn.
Frequently check the condition of your mower to ensure the blades are sharp as a blunt mower can damage your lawn.
A lawn is just like any of the other hedging plants, shrubs and trees in your garden; a living material that needs nutrients, water and maintenance to survive and the better you care for it, the more it will respond and leave you with a fantastic looking garden.
If you have any questions about caring for your lawn, or anything else relating to your garden, please tweet me @best4hedging and I’ll be happy to help.