The DIY Guide
The Must Do’s
- Water, Water, Water
- Good Soil Preparation
- Lay Turf as soon as possible the day it is received
- Soak Turf after Laying
- Keep Turf roots damp until the turf had taken root and can not be lifted (usually 3 to 4 weeks)
- Top-dress Turf after laying
- And after all your hard work…………Pls Don’t forget to continue to water your lawn after that 1st month.
How Much Lawn Do I Require
Take Measurements by using the following diagrams:
3.14 multiplied by
A the longest side divided by 2 multiplied by
B the shortest side divided by 2
Equation = 3.14 x A x B
The area of shape can be determined by simply breaking the shape into sets of square, rectangles or triangles. After you break your shape into squares, rectangles and triangles, find the individual areas and add them to give you the total area of the Shape.
The soft leaf buffalo varieties are cut in slabs that are 600mm wide and 1200mm long.
Soil Preparation prior to turf being Delivered
Remove all building waste, rocks, old lawn & weeds.
Any living weeds left behind will sneak up between the new turf joins. Dead weeds/lawn will hinder the roots of the new turf from finding the soil underneath and will prevent your new turf from establishing evenly.
You will find that if you already have couch or kikuyu in your yard, it is very hard to permanently remove. We recommend spraying with say Roundup, as you will never dig up all the runners, even then you will probably find it poping up in time.
Dig up or turn over soil and consider introducing new soil.
Introducing new soil will pay for itself with the remarkable variance on how well the turf does.
Spread on appropriate soil conditioners if desired i.e. for acidic soils add lime, for heavier clay soils add gypsum, for sandy soils simply mix in small amounts of organic material.
Use a Rotary hoe or a shovel to turn the soil over.
If you are adding organic material – make sure that you only use a small percentage and mix it in well with the soil. If the turf is layed directly onto organic material, the roots will not be able to get to the soil and will die. Organic material is porous and heats up really easily.
Make sure that your soil is finely broken up. If the rolls of lawn are placed upon clods of dirt, it create air pockets. The air pockets prevents the roots from holding mosture and therefore the lawn will die.
Level the surface.
Eliminate drainage problems by making the soil drain away from the house.
Allow for the height of the turf along paths. If you are installing buffalo or kikuyu leave your soil height below the top of the path by around 40mm and if installing couch leave around 20mm. This will allow the leaf of the grass to be above the path.
Laying the Turf
During warmer weather in Summer, please lay the turf immediatly, dampen down the earth prior to laying the turf. Then lay a small section of turf, water it, then lay the next section. Soak the turf intially then keep the soil below the turf damp. You will need to water the turf morning and night until you can not lift the turf generally for the first 3 to 4 weeks.
Our soft leaf buffalo varieties are cut in slabs while the Kikuyu, couch and Tall Fescue is harvested in rolls.
Lay the turf within a couple of hours of delivery. Turf layed a couple of days after delivery in summer will be dead. In winter it will still mostly survive for a day or two but it will take longer to establish and may have some areas die back (Buffalo grass, Couch grass & Kikuyu grass will regrow in these spots).
Don’t let the slabs/rolls of turf dry out.
On hot days the unlaid stack of turf should be in the shade and sprinkled with water – do not soak, just a light misty spray.
Apply a ‘lawn starter’ fertiliser
Spread your lawn starter fertiliser evenly over the area and lightly rake or water in (If you forget to put it under, it is not crucial and it may be placed over the top).
Dampen down the area where you are going to lay the turf.
Do not lay turf onto dry soil, especially in the warmer months. It is ideal to dampen down the area about 4-12 hours before you lay the turf. You do not want it muddy when you go to lay the turf as it makes a messy uneven job and harder work.
Remove all the plastic net wrapping from around the turf.
You should start laying turf away from your stack of turf if possible, to avoid walking continually over the newly laid turf.
Just remember that each roll of turf can be up to 20kg in weight, so if you wish to lay a large amount of turf – find some friends! It is tough going on your own.
Allow plenty of time to lay the turf. If you are unable to finish the job on the day, just dampen down the turf yet to be laid and place it in the shade if possible. Don’t put a tarp or a plastic cover over the turf, as the turf will sweat. Find something that will breathe ie. old wet bedsheet or wet shadecloth.
Use a brickwork pattern.
Choose your straightest and longest edge; start with rolling your lawn out without pulling or stretching the turf, pushing the edges together, staggering the joins in a brickwork pattern. It is ideal if you picture frame the area first (run a row of turf around the edge of the area, so all you small cuts will be in the middle. You may need to peg grass on sloping areas to prevent movement.
Avoid gaps as this provides a perfect environment for weeds to grow.
Avoid overlapping the turf as the roots will dry out and the turf will die.
Avoid leaving narrow strips
Your turf will naturally die back on the edge of the roots after being harvested. Strips of turf at the outer edges of the area may struggle to retain moisture, especially if not top-dressed.
Laying on hot days.
On hot days lay a section of turf and lightly water, then lay the next section. Repeat until all the turf is laid.
On cool days all turf can be laid at once.
Trim the turf with a bread knife or shovel.
If trimming is required just use a shovel or bread knife to cut around edges.
Top dress the turf.
Top dress the turf with top soil (sandy loam or a “lawn mix”) or washed river sand (1 cubic metre per 100 square metres of turf).
Top dressing improves the establishment of the grass significantly.
Apply a thick layer on top of the joins, narrow strips and any low areas.
Apply a thin layer to the rest of the turf.
Top dressing the turf holds additional moisture for the turf, therefore reducing the turf being shocked after harvesting and using your water more efficiently.
Soak the Turf.
The newly laid turf needs to be watered immediately.
Squash the turf down beneath your feet, or roll the turf, to remove any air pockets.
Keep the roots of turf damp until the turf can not be lifted, generally up to 3 to 4 weeks. Currently you may need 4-6 weeks.
Watering for the first two to four weeks is critical.
In late spring and summer, the turf may need to be watered from above the ground twice a day to be kept damp.
Mowing the turf.
A couple of weeks after the lawn has taken root/can not be lifted, it can be mown, the first mowing is usually done a little higher than normal. Please do not mow Palmetto too short, as it does not like having its runners exposed.
Settling in of the turf.
Please, please after all your hard work and hard earned dollars spent – remember that lawn is a living product and you will need to continue to water it regularly (depending on the whether, but say weekly in summer). Yes it is drought tollerant, but it is not cement.
Turf generally takes about 6 months before it settles in, after you have mowed it a few times. Consider fertilising the turf about 2-3 months after laying to give it that extra boost.
You will find that during your first winter, the turf will loose more colour than what it will in the subsequent winters.