The perfect time to lay a new lawn from scratch is early autumn, when the grass can root easily. Follow the below advice to help you lay turf and cultivate a pristine lawn.
When to lay a lawn
Creating a new lawn from scratch is easy if you pick the right time of year and prepare the site thoroughly.
Turf will quickly establish on soil that is warm and moist – autumn is perfect as new turf will also be regularly watered by winter rain. Turf can also be laid in spring, but avoid this time of year if you live in an area hit by a hosepipe ban as new turf needs frequent watering to prevent grasses from being put under stress.
- Prepare the soil by skimming off any old grass, removing large stones and weeds, and then roughly levelling by flattening humps and filling hollows. Fork over the site and rake level to leave a fine finish. Firm the soil by walking over, placing weight on your heels and rake again. Sprinkle a granular fertiliser over the soil and lightly rake into the soil and water well.
- Lay your first row along a straight edge, slowly unrolling turf to avoid damaging. Butt each piece up closely to the last and ensure good contact with the soil by tamping down firmly with the back of the rake.
- Lay the next row, making sure the pieces of turf are pushed right up to the first row. Stagger this and subsequent rows in a brickwork pattern until the area has been covered.
- Lay turf so it runs beyond the area of your new lawn and trim edges with a straight edged board and a half-moon cutting tool. After cutting, scoop up handfuls of soil and put under the edges of the turf to prevent it drying out. If possible set up a sprinkler to water or soak thoroughly with several doses from a watering can.
- Try not to walk on newly laid turf until it has rooted into the soil, which could take several weeks.
- If the weather is mild over winter the grass will begin to grow. Trim it lightly, keeping the mower blades set high.