So you’ve decided to take the leap and re-turf your lawn, congratulations I’m sure it will look fantastic!
But you will have to treat it differently than you did before, it needs special attention after being laid for it to establish in your garden correctly without problems.
But don’t get yourself too concerned, preparing and maintaining your newly turfed lawn is much easier than you might first think. There are just a few things that you will need to put your focus on over others.
The good news is that I’ll be giving you some of my best new lawn care tips in this article, so be sure to stick around, and you’ll benefit from a beautiful and healthy new lawn.
If you want to learn more about laying new turf, proper preparation and care to ensure the project is a success click on my article – Laying Turf For a New Lawn.
New Lawn Care Tips
As I mentioned above, some things will require your attention when getting your new lawn looking up to scratch and whilst it may be slightly different from caring for an already established lawn, it isn’t hard to learn.
Stay off The Grass
This may feel like something of a challenge, especially if you have kids who just want to get outside and play, but it is one of the most important steps in getting your new lawn fully established.
For the first full season, you’ll need to limit how often you use your lawn if you don’t then it could end up quite uneven and bumpy. I know this can be quite annoying, but this is when it is most vulnerable as the young grasses are not yet tough enough to withstand the excessive use that more mature lawns can during the summer.
If you absolutely must transport things across it, then I recommend placing some boards on top of the grass to act as a walkway over the lawn, this should limit any pressure exposed to the lawn.
However, if you want to stay on the safe side, I wouldn’t recommend that you even walk on it until its roots have embedded on the soil, which could take a number of weeks.
There are ways in which you can check how well the roots are embedding and one of the easiest is to try and lift up a corner of the new turf and if it doesn’t lift up easily then the roots have gotten deep enough into the soil underneath.
It is, however, vital that you keep in mind that if your new turf lies on a slope then it can take longer to root in, so you should stay off it for a little longer. I would recommend 6 weeks to be safe.
Provided that the ground is firm then newly turfed lawns can be mowed from 10 to 21 days after being laid. However, if you want to ensure the best end-result, then you can also wait until the turf has bedded in properly and that the new grass has grown to about 5cm to be safe.
Make sure that when you mow you’re using a high cutting setting on your mower, so you aren’t taking any more than 1/3 off the current length, dispose of all grass clippings either in a bin or compost heap. It is also important that you mow the lawn in different directions each week. Doing this will prevent the grass from developing a grain and leaning in the direction that you mow. You will notice that, by alternating the direction, your lawn remains in a more upright position.
If you have laid your lawn in late summer and early autumn then try to keep it no lower than 2.5cm in height (a robot mower would be perfect for this!) and make sure you maintain this throughout the rest of autumn. Again make sure you collect all grass clippings and dispose of them in either a bin or compost heap.
During the first spring after you have laid your new lawn, it will begin to grow more quickly, and this will require you to alter your mowing patterns to match. You should take into consideration the type of lawn, which will allow you to determine the appropriate cutting height. In some cases, you may need to gradually lower the cutting height to adapt to the lawn.
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There are three basic types of lawn:
- Fine – This is the shortest grass which usually has a striped finish, with this you should mow with a cutting height of 2cm during spring and do so once or twice a week.
- Utility – This tends to be the choice for families who want to play games, this type of lawn will require a cutting height of 3-4cm during the spring and should be mowed once or twice each week.
- Rough – This is the longest grass, it should be mowed using a mowing height of 6-7cm during spring and should be done so twice or three times a month.
The weather conditions will have an impact on how and when you water your newly laid lawn, however, it is imperative that you keep in mind that for the first month, your lawn will need to be kept well-watered.
To make sure the water doesn’t dry off too quickly, make sure you water early in the morning (ideally between 6am and 10am), especially during times of warm and dry weather. If you’ve laid the lawn during summer then you’ll probably have to water daily for the first couple of weeks, but if you’ve laid in the autumn, when temperatures are under 10 degrees C, then this high frequency won’t be necessary.
One of the best tips for treating a new lawn is to get the water levels just right and this might take some practice. You will need to water the lawn thoroughly as this will ensure that the water can easily reach the underlying soil and root system. However, there is a point where enough becomes too much and this can cause problems with over-watering/flooding your lawn.
It is important to find a balance, but you will notice if there are problems.
- If the grass begins to show signs of drying out or the edges of the turf begin to gap, then the lawn isn’t watered enough – so start adding more.
- If the lawn begins to look soggy and marshy then you’ve probably over-watered, ease off a little and perhaps stop watering entirely for a day or so to let it dry up. When you lift up a corner of the turf to check its underside, it should be moist and dark but not soaking wet.
As with watering any kind of lawn (new or established) you want to encourage nice, strong roots. This is done by watering thoroughly, but not over-watering – this just results in the roots being starved of oxygen and turning yellow, in some cases you may even kill the grass or cause lawn disease.
Over the next 3 to 4 weeks you’ll see the lawn beginning to establish, it will start knitting together to the point where you don’t notice the individual rows of turves and grass will grow. As this happens you should water less frequently, for the best results water deeply every 2-3 weeks to ensure the water gets deep into the roots.
How to Look After Your New Lawn Video
Of course, the tips for treating a new lawn that we have already discussed will give you the best chance at creating a wonderful, green and healthy lawn. But, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve that will give you a huge advantage when it comes to taking care of that newly laid turf.
It’s no secret that fertilising your lawn will, without doubt, yield the best results, but when you have just laid it, you won’t need to add any fertiliser right away.
You can first fertilise the lawn after the lawn has been down for 3 months and then every three months after that.
Fertilising a couple of times a year will keep the lawn healthy, you’ll find most people either do it in spring or autumn. You need to provide your new turf with the nutrients it needs, otherwise it’ll starve and die.
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When to Plant New Turf
The time of year and the current weather conditions will affect the way you will need to take care of your new lawn, so it is important to consider this when deciding on the best time to lay the turf.
If you are going to lay the lawn during the autumn months, then this will likely mean that you need to do less work to maintain it thanks to the colder and wetter conditions. However, if you want to lay the lawn during the summer months, the warmer (hopefully) weather will mean that your turf needs a lot more TLC and plenty of water.
Keeping It Tidy
It isn’t difficult for leaves and other types of debris to find their way onto the lawn, so one of the best new lawn tips is to ensure that you remove anything as you see it.
This debris is not good for the health of the lawn. For example, if there are a lot of trees in the garden and you have laid the lawn when the leaves are starting to fall off in autumn, these can accumulate and block any sunlight trying to get through to the grass. Of course, your grass needs sunlight to thrive so removing the leaves will allow for this.
A lawn that is well looked after will make your garden look lush, green and healthy and whilst taking care of an established lawn is a job all of its own, a new lawn also requires some special attention.
But this doesn’t need to be a challenging task. My useful tips for treating a new lawn will allow you to lay, maintain and enjoy a beautiful lawn no matter what the season.
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