Why you need to prepare your site for new turf
We can’t stress enough how important site preparation is to the long term health of your new lawn. How much groundwork you have to do may vary from site-to-site depending on your location and the size of your land. We suggest that if this turf is for a new garden or lawn, you’ve got a landscape plan sketched up or at least an idea of how you want it to look.
Before you start
Now is the best time to make sure you’ve chosen the best spot for your new lawn. Keep in mind whether the site has shade, will be easy to mow and have access to good quality water. If you’re unsure and would like a second opinion, we’d be happy to discuss this with you.
Tip: If you’ve got a large site to prepare, why not invite family or friends over for a bbq and cold refreshments in exchange for a few hours of their time? Many hands make light work!
Step one: Remove weeds and clear away debris
Getting rid of weeds and existing grass by spraying the site with weed killer should be done well in advance of laying turf – at least 14 days. Once you’ve sprayed unwanted foliage wait about a week and repeat the process until all the weeds are dead.
Always follow herbicide instructions and keep in mind some stubborn weeds might require tough love to remove. If you find weeds just aren’t responding to the spray, try using a pre-emergent herbicide; this stops the formation of new root cells in baby weed plants.
Step Two: Loosen the soil bed
When your surface is weed and grass free, hire or borrow a rotary hoe to loosen the soil to a depth of at least 100mm, but no more than 200mm. This will help the turf take root easier. Your local equipment hire shop should be able to sort you out; some even offer a delivery service.
If you’re short on time, you can skip this step and order some quality under turf soil from a local landscape supplier.
Step Three: Adjust slopes and add extra soil (if required)
To ensure correct run-off, check the area you’re about to turf slopes away from your house, sheds and pathways. As a general rule soil height should be 10cm deep and 3cm below paths or driveways; this usually allows the turf to sit flush.
If your soil level falls short you might have to bring in some extra, we suggest a high quality sandy loam that is about 40% soil and 60% sand. Make sure this extra soil is weed free and be careful not to mix sand and clay soils. To further enrich your soil before you turf, you can also apply a high phosphate fertiliser.
Hint: Heavy clay and sandy soils can be improved by adding large quantities of organic manure. You can also add coco peat (a natural fibre made out of coconut husks) to spruce up sandy soils.
Step Four: Water soil and firm up site
You’re almost ready to lay your new lawn (yay), but the final steps are super important. At this stage we suggest you lightly water the prepared soil, unless it’s already super wet, so you have a nice moist base for your new turf. If you’re laying turf in the heat it’s best to wait for the ground to cool before watering.
Lastly, create a smooth and level surface by using a roller to firm up your soil. The trick is to ensure your site is not rock solid, but firm enough not to leave deep footprints when walked on. We can’t stress enough how important this step is if you want a flat mowing surface free of humps and hollows.
Final Step: Finishing touches
The last thing you should do before you lay your new turf is to remove any lingering stones or weeds and then grab a piece of timber or rake and level your soil. Then give yourself a massive pat on the back because you’ve put in the hard yards to ensure your new lawn has the best possible start.
Don’t forget: When measuring the area you intend to turf, remember to add an extra 5% to account for cut offs. The last thing you want after all this hard work is to be a slab short!
To find out which Wild Horse Turf product is best suited to your unique growing conditions, drop us an email here or call 5496 9790. We’re always happy when talking turf!