|If your lawn is in a bad state and sowing new seed has been unsuccessful, laying a completely new lawn could be the answer. Although it sounds like a major upheaval, if you know what youíre doing, and have helping hands at the ready, it neednít be too stressful and can be achieved in one day. Interested? Read on for the low-down on how to do it!
In most cases, if youíre going to re-lay your lawn, itís probably due to some form of problem. Common problems include poor grass quality or patchy grass, drainage problems or an uneven surface. Replacing the turf will cure the grass quality issues, but if you have poor drainage or an uneven surface, youíll need to sort these out after youíve removed the old grass and before you re-lay the new turf.
In the case of drainage, if youíre aware of water that wonít drain away properly (particular if you have soil rich with clay), then you can improve the situation by digging a pit, filling it will small stones and grit, and the putting the topsoil back on. If the level is an issue, youíll need to spend time raking the surface, removing any big stones, levelling bumpy areas and generally making it much flatter.
Buying New Turf
When your surface is ready, you can start to work out how much turf you need for your new lawn. Youíll need to measure the length and width of the space, then multiply the figures together to give you the total area. Itís worth noting that many turf suppliers sell it in square metre rolls, so you may have to convert your measurements before putting in your order. As a guide, 100cm is equal to 1m and 10000cm2 is equal to 1m2. Remember, that youíll often need to cut pieces of turf off when laying it, so always order a bit than youíll need so youíre not left short.
Turf can be purchased from garden centres or nurseries, but you will usually have to order it in advance. Before you purchase the turf, make sure you unroll a few pieces and check it first to ensure the grass is green and healthy. If it looks yellow, or the turf falls apart as you unroll it, then itís not worth buying.
The Turf Laying Process
Before you start laying your new turf, make sure the area has been cleared of old grass, roots, weeds and stones, and the topsoil has been dug over. Keep in mind that the eventual height of the lawn will be slightly higher than any paths around it, so donít worry about removing soil. To ensure the space is level, tie on end of a piece of string around a brick, put it on top of another brick and do the same with the other end of string. Then get a spirit level and hold it against the line of string to check the level.
When youíre sure that the surface is level, make the soil base firm by gently walking all over it with little steps. Having several people involved is handy, especially if the area is large. Next, give the soil a quick rake. Now itís time to start laying your turf.
If possible, begin in a corner, where youíve got a straight line to guide you Ė otherwise, use your string line. Unroll the first piece of turf and lie it down on the surface of the soil. As you put the subsequent pieces of turf down, lift the end of the last piece and the new piece and tuck them in together to provide a good look and prevent any gaps. Rather than walking on the grass just yet, lay wooden boards down and stand on those.
When each row is laid, gently tap the top of the turf with the underside of your take to remove any air gaps. As you start on subsequent rows, try and stagger the starting points, so that the joins of each line donít meet, and cut off an excess turf with a knife. Once youíre into the rhythm of laying turf, it shouldnít take too long to fully lay a new lawn.
In the next few days, remember to ensure that the grass remains healthy by giving it a water, especially if thereís been no rain. Ideally, itís best not to walk all over the newly laid grass for a few days and you should only start cutting it when it really needs it. Now, all you need to do is enjoy your new lawn!