DIY Turf Installation Tips

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DIY Turf Installation Tips

26 September 2018 Installation Preparation

This handy guide has been prepared to help you get the best result from your new lawn. By following these steps you will be able to install & maintain your new lawn like a professional.

Site Preparation

  • Spray out existing lawn & weeds with Glyphosate (Roundup), follow the label for rates to give the maximum kill, allow a minimum of 5-7 days for the chemical to work on the plant, a second application may be required, if you wait untill the existing lawn is totally brown & dead it will be easier to remove,
  • Either remove old lawn and weeds or cultivate this into the base soil, for best results cultivate, till or spade the area to a depth of approximately 150mm, this is also an ideal time to add soil amendments like Gypsum, Lime and extra organics,
  • Test your soil with a pH test kit to check if you need to add any additional products to balance your soils pH (somewhere between 6 – 7 is ideal for lawns)
  • If you have poor soil, cap this off with good quality under turf soil such as TurfGro to a depth of 50 to 200mm. Allow for 30% compaction of your soil when ordering,
  • Eliminate drainage problems by having soil slope away from foundations, footpaths, garden beds etc. and towards drains,
  • Rake and smooth soil whilst removing rocks, roots, and large clods,
  • Roll the area with a lawn roller, this will firm the soil surface and reveal low areas that need more soil,
  • Keep the soil level 30mm below footpaths, patios and driveways for the new turf to sit into (40-50mm for buffalo).
  • Apply a pre plant fertiliser like Lawn Launcher which contains a pre plant fertiliser and water crystals that help boost your new lawns drought tolerance,
  • Screen off the soil to provide a smooth surface, roll, then screen again. Your soil needs to be compacted enough that when you walk on it you only leave a small foot print.
  • Lightly wet the soil to minimise dust & provide a moist base for your new turf, but not too wet that it turns to mud.

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Turf Installation

  • Prior to laying turf check that the soil surface is not too hot. Lightly wet the soil down if it is hot.
  • Install your lawn immediately upon delivery. Turf is degrading on the pallet, and it is recommended that all turf should be laid within 4 hours of delivery in summer/spring & 12 hours in winter/autumn, failing to do so can lead to pallet burn.
  • Begin installing turf along the longest straight line, such as a driveway or footpath
  • Butt and push ends against each other tightly, without stretching.
  • Stagger the joints in each row in a brick-like fashion, using a large sharp knife to trim corners.
  • On slopes, place the turf pieces across the slope.
  • After installing the turf, roll the entire area, this will improve the contact between the turf and soil and help with leveling.
  • Begin watering lawn within 30 minutes of installation. Turf is a living plant that requires ground contact and moisture.
  • During the first two weeks, avoid heavy or concentrated use of your new lawn, this gives the roots an opportunity to firmly knit with the soil, and insures that the turf will remain smooth.

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Initial Watering

We recommend applying 10 litres of water per square metre on the initial installation, you need to get the top 25mm of soil under the turf saturated.

The information provided below is based on the climate of South East Queensland, take into account your current climate & temperatures when using this guide

  • Week 1: water lightly up to three times a day during spring/summer, once a day will be enough in autumn/winter.
  • Week 2: roots should have formed by now, to check simply lift up the corner of a slab and look for little white shoots, watering can now be reduced to once per day but watering should now be longer, this will soak the water in deeper which encourages the roots to search deeper.
  • Week 3: Water a couple of times per week. Again, increase the watering time to encourage deep rooting. Full establishment could take between one and three months depending upon the season & grass type. You should be mowing by now. But never mow off more than one third “1/3” of the leaf at any time.