There is nothing quite like a beautiful lawn, though many people do not realise the other major benefits it brings aside from its beauty. A typical lawn has grass with about 90% of its total weight beneath the surface, where it is able to absorb large amounts of water, while filtering out chemicals and excess nutrients. A lawn just fifty feet by fifty feet not only absorbs carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, it can produce enough oxygen for a family of four. Grass also absorbs heat very efficiently, with a cooling effect better than the standard homes air conditioning can manage, while also trapping small airborne particulates. That soft underfoot, well maintained lawn also has the benefit of increasing the value of your property. Some people look at their out-of-shape garden and yard, and wonder about the possibilities, though the truth is a beautiful lawn is not as hard as it might look.
Laying a New Lawn
Turf can be laid from springtime onward, though if you live in an area potentially likely to have a hose pipe ban for any period, waiting till later in the year might be advisable. Turf will take root and start to grow quite quickly when it is laid on warm and moist soil, so autumn is considered by many to be the premium time. Proper ground preparation is essential and it is worth spending a bit of extra time on doing it properly and well. Clear away any rocks and large stones, along with any weeds or old grass and then turn the soil over to about a six inch depth. This surface now needs to be firm, but not compacted, then raked level. Walking on the surface will show any soft areas, which need to be raked again and the process repeated until the whole area is firm and level. Now is a good time to spread some granular fertiliser and water well before the turf goes down.
Choosing Your Turf
All turf is not the same, so it is important that you think about your local climate and the purpose for which your lawn will be used. As any guide to laying turf will tell you, if you are going to have kids running around on it, you will want something hard wearing, while for something more landscaped, a finer grass will give that showpiece effect. Regardless of your choice, it is important to choose good quality turf that has been grown from seed.
Laying Your Turf and Aftercare
Lay the first row along a straight edge, unrolling the turf slowly, keeping each piece tight to the next and tamp down, and then lay subsequent rows, ensuring the edges are pushed right up against the previous ones. It is better to overshoot the edges and then trim the turf to shape, pushing some loose soil under the edges to keep the turf moist. Make sure the laid turf now gets generous amounts of water and ensure it does not dry out and start to shrink. It may take some weeks for the turf to become rooted and it is advisable to keep off it at this time and keep initial grass cutting quite light, with the blades fairly high.