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Turf laying in South West

If you are interested in learning turf laying methods and techniques, Edenvale Turf can help.

Turfing supply

We use quality turf mix to provide a hard wearing turf, with excellent colour that requires little maintenance.

Edenvale mulch

We offer high standard, long-lasting mulch for a range of clients.

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Quality screened topsoil, appropriate for borders, planting beds and renovation.

new lawn in a garden

Our specialists make sure that our landscaping services deliver the desired outcome.

  • Alternatives to Mulch
    Non-biodegradable choices won't enrich the soil, but will help with everything else, although you may need to place something else underneath to stop weeds peeking through. Stones, shingle, pebbles, sea shells and slate will make an attractive finish for beds and containers. Create an individual look with coloured gravel or even glass beads. For new borders, substitute sheet mulches, making holes to facilitate planting through them. Choose a permeable variety to allow water to penetrate it, and disguise its ugliness with something decorative. Be aware that plastic sheeting won't necessarily keep out all light to banish unwanted vegetation, as the ultra-violet rays of sunlight can penetrate it, and cause it to disintegrate. Old carpet will completely smother anything underneath it, but will have to be removed before any gardening can be done.
  • Natural mulches
    Suitable material is on sale at garden centres and outside large supermarkets. You may even be able to obtains some shredded wood from timber yards and tree surgeons, to make your own bark mulch. Any company that uses sacking will be only too glad for you to pick it up, and may throw in the residue from its original contents, such as spent grinds from coffee beans together with their original sack. As already pointed out, an extra advantage with a biodegradable garden mulch is the long-term goodness that it will add. Raid the compost heap or your pile of decomposing leaf mould; alternatively use manure, straw, mushroom compost, seaweed or wood shavings. Pay attention to the species you pick, too, or you will transport seeds that will germinate to defeat your efforts. Old newspapers and cardboard do a passable job in protecting plants and denying weeds, too, and will rot down to turn into compost eventually. Spent hops are very effective but dog owners should avoid these as they are poisonous to canines. Don't waste prunings from trees and hedges. While softer growth can be composted, larger branches and more mature wood can be shredded to make excellent bark mulch, with exactly the same abilities to provide summer moisture, winter protection, nutrients and weed control. A bonus with this is that it breaks down more slowly than other options, so won't need replacing so often.
  • What about mulching the lawn?
    The benefits here are similar to those for other parts of the garden. At its simplest level, it saves collecting and disposing of cut grass. Being composed mostly of water, they pose no problems unless you have weed seeds among them. They will add nutritious nitrogen, cutting down on the amount of lawn fertiliser you have to buy. To properly incorporate the clippings, specialised mower kits are available. Of course, they can also be added to a compost heap to enter the process that way. Although all of this is extra work initially, it will save effort, and it will certainly enhance and prolong the life of your garden. Taking just these few precautions a couple of time a year will leave you with more time to sit back and enjoy your surroundings!
  • When and how should mulches be applied?
    Add them in spring and autumn, making sure the earth is warm and moist. If it's too early in the year, or you're working in freezing conditions, you will prevent the sun's rays from reaching the soil, so that roots will stay cold and dormant. Later in the year, a mulch can preserve valuable moisture but it must be applied to a damp surface. Remove it in spring and autumn, making sure the earth is warm and moist. If it's too early in the year, or you're working in freezing conditions, you will prevent the sun's rays from reaching the soil, so that roots will stay cold and dormant. Later in the year, a mulch can preserve valuable moisture but it must be applied to a damp surface. Biodegradable mulches should ideally be as much as 7.5 cm thick (3 inches,) but less is acceptable as long as it's at least 5 cm (2inches). Leave room around woody stems, to prevent decay or the introduction of diseases in wet weather. When treating trees and bushes, spread the material right to the edge of their canopies. During dry spells remember to keep watering well, so that the protected area doesn't dry out. Fertiliser can be placed on top in late winter, leaving the rain to carry it through to the roots below. Of course, if you prefer to actually incorporate material from the compost heap into your plot, that needs to be done first so that it's underneath. If you want to introduce new plants, pull back the top material first (and remember to leave air around the young stems. Mulches can eventually form a hard impenetrable crust, so remove and replace them when necessary.
  • Laying Turf in Summer
    The advantage of summer turf laying is that the soil is at its warmest, but, unfortunately, it's not at the optimal moisture level due to reduced rainfall during the summer months. That means you have to get out and do nature's job yourself with a garden water hose to in order to prepare the soil. Keep in mind, too, that while the natural warmth of summer is great for preparing the soil, unlaid turf deteriorates more quickly in warmer weather, so you need to lay it promptly after obtaining it and ensure it receives enough water. As laying turf can be quite strenuous, it can be hot and sweaty work at this time of year, although, given Britain's typically unpredictable and often disappointing summers, this is rarely a problem. More likely, it will be comfortably mild, and you can take advantage of the longer hours of summer daylight in which to work well into the evening to complete the task before darkness descends. The month of June provides the best conditions of the summer season in which to lay turf as there is ample soil warmth and the longest hours of daylight in which to lay the turf. July and August are less favourable as increased temperatures mean that rainfall may evaporates before it has time to provide your lawn and soil with the water it needs. It's not a problem if you supply enough water yourself, but if your local council decides to implement a hosepipe ban due to drought conditions, it could be catastrophic for your lawn.
  • Laying Turf in Winter
    By far the least popular season, winter sees little turf-laying activities, and turf is much harder to source at this time in garden centres as there's far less demand for it. People are more interested in obtaining Christmas trees and festive garden decorations than laying turf, so garden centres focus on stocking and supplying those instead. Generally, most people with turf-laying experience recognise that this season is not the best time for carrying out this work, and it's definitely the least comfortable time to do it unless you're a fan of cold weather or don't mind laying turf while wearing gloves and warm clothing. Most people will only lay turf during the winter season if commitments or other time constraints prevent them laying the turf at any other time. In winter, you're also limited by the much shorter hours of daylight in which to work, especially in more northern parts of the country. At least, unlike in summer, the cold winter weather does buy you a little more time in which to keep the unlaid turf in good condition until the job is completed.
  • A Turf for all Seasons
    Finally, having chosen the time to lay your turf, and having successfully located a source to buy it, ask the experts there for advice on the best turf blend they have available for that particular season. Modern advancements in horticultural technology have produced a range of turf blends suited not only to various soil compositions but that are also suitable for 'off-season' root growth. Previously, autumn and, to a lesser extent, spring were the only seasons you could expect successful results when laying turf. That's no longer the case. Some turf blends can now do just as well in the more challenging seasons provided you follow their soil preparation and watering requirements carefully.
  • Laying Turf in Autumn
    Traditionally, the autumn season has always been considered the best time to lay turf. The soil has been heated throughout the summer, and rainfall increases at this time of year, too. These factors combine to produce warm, moist and loose soil that's easily prepared for receiving turf and providing the ideal environment for healthy root growth. Aim for the earlier or mid part of the autumn season in which to prepare the soil and lay the turf otherwise you start to lose the advantage of the soil warmth that has built up over the summer season. In late autumn, it begins to rapidly fade as the winter season approaches. When the turf is finally and successfully laid, it can then be left undisturbed throughout the rest of autumn and all winter as not many lawn activities go on at that time. By the time the following year's warmer seasons return, the turf will be healthy, attractive and inviting - just as it should be.
  • Laying Turf in Spring
    Not too far behind in popularity, spring is also considered an excellent season for turf laying. The ground starts to warm up nicely and there's usually plenty of spring rain around to moisten it and make it easy to prepare. The middle of spring is the best time to lay turf during this season. In early spring, the soil is still recovering from winter's icy grip, but a month or two later, it's warmed up, moistened and far more amenable to turf laying. Apart from those minor considerations, there's little difference between choosing spring or autumn as the best time to lay turf. As with autumn turf laying, don't leave it too late or you may have trouble finding local garden centres that haven't sold out of turf after the mid-spring rush.
  • Choose a variety of grass
    Not all grasses are created equal. Choose a variety of grass based on your location, level of intended usage and amount of sun exposure your lawn will receive. The variety you choose may also affect what time of year you are able to install your turf, so be sure you have a complete understanding of your chosen grass.
  • Create a site plan
    Drawing a simple site plan, especially if your terrain is oddly shaped, can help you calculate how much turf will be required.
  • Test the soil
    In most cases, you’ll want to test your soil for any deficiencies that may impede the growth of your new lawn. You may also want to assess the consistency of your soil to determine whether it will require adjustments to improve drainage.
  • Measure your lawn
    The area of a simple, square-shaped lawn can be calculated by multiplying its length by its width. Lawns with different shapes – like triangular or circle-shaped lawns – may require a different formula.
  • 8. Water the soil
    Your soil should be watered a day before your install your turf. If it dries out, water it again. As always, the aim is to have moist, not soggy, soil. Tip: In hot weather, it’s important to lay turf on damp soil in order to avoid damaging the tender roots of your new grass.
  • 4. Enrich topsoil
    Rich topsoil is essential to support a lush, vibrant lawn. Issues with your topsoil may not present themselves until years after installation, so it’s critical you address any soil deficiencies before you lay your turf. If you’ve had your soil tested, add the necessary amendments to adjust the acidity level and nutrients present in the soil. You may also need to add peat or other organic matter to improve the consistency of your soil. Always make sure that soil amendments are evenly worked into the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches, creating a uniform layer of healthy topsoil. Rototilling the amendments into the soil can help you achieve this uniform distribution.
  • 6. Let it rest
    Ideally, you should let your soil settle for 7-10 days before laying turf. This resting period will reveal any depressions or lumps that need grading and give the weed killer time to break down.
  • 5. Raking
    After adjusting the composition of your soil, rake it until it appears even. Your aim should be to create a soft top layer of soil – approximately 3 inches deep – for your turf to grow its roots into.
  • 7. Order your turf
    When placing your order, add 5% to account for wastage. If you have an irregularly shaped lawn, you may need to order up to 10% more.
  • 1. Remove existing lawn
    In situations where you’re replacing an existing lawn, it’s important to kill the existing grass and any perennial weeds present in the soil – you don’t want your new lawn being forced to compete for nutrients and water. To accomplish this goal, apply a weed killer. A non-selective herbicide, such as glyphosate, is the idea choice as it won’t affect the growth of your new grass. Weeds may continue to appear after you apply the weed killer – that’s OK! Treat the area a second time and wait 7-10 days before installing your turf.
  • 3. Grading
    Grading your terrain helps ensure proper drainage, allowing your new lawn to thrive. Where possible, aim to create level terrain by eliminating small lumps and depressions. If slopes are necessary, they should be gradual to avoid issues with erosion.
  • 2. Clear the area
    Till the area you’ve selected for your lawn, making sure to remove any rocks, roots, compacted soil or other debris you unearth in the process. Till to a depth of 4-6 inches to ensure your turf has room to develop a healthy root system.
  • 4. Watering
    Depending on the weather and the size of your lawn, you may need to begin watering the turf before installation even finishes. If you’ve installed an area of 15 by 15 feet, stop and begin watering. All of your new turf should be watered within 30 minutes of installation. After all the turf has been installed, water the lawn enough that the ground underneath is saturated – you can check by peeling back the turf. Tip: Turf edges are susceptible to drying out during and after installation. Curling or yellowing edges is a sign you’re not watering enough!
  • 3. Rolling the turf
    After you’ve laid the turf – or at least a large segment of it – roll it. The rolling ensures good contact between the turf and the soil underneath and eliminates any pockets of air. If you don’t have a turf roller, use planks of wood to apply even pressure to the new grass.
  • 1. Delivery
    Begin installing your new turf as soon as possible after it’s delivered. Turf must be installed within 24 hours of delivery – less if it’s hot outside. Always ensure your turf rolls don’t dry out before you lay them. Tip: If it’s sunny and hot, keep your turf rolls covered or in a shaded area. Remember, they should be kept moist, not soggy!
  • 2. Laying the rolls
    Installation is easiest when you start from a straight line: This might be the edge of garden bed, sidewalk, path or driveway. If you don’t have a straight edge, create one by using planks or a string drawn across the lawn. Then, use this straight line to begin laying your turf. Turf should be staggered in a brick pattern. This pattern prevents slipping and creates less noticeable seams. When possible, avoid using small pieces along the outside edge of your lawn: These small pieces are more susceptible to drying out. Instead, start with the full pieces on the outside, saving the smaller pieces for the centre. Shape turf to fit edges using a sharp trowel, square spade or knife. Do Place edges of turf tightly together Ensure good contact between turf and soil Fill small seams with topsoil Lay turf across – not down – sloping terrain Don’t Leave gaps in between turf Overlap edges of turf Stretch turf to fit spaces
  • Watering
    Watering your new lawn is a matter of balance: Keep the turf and soil moist without leaving it drenched. There’s no one-size-fits-all watering schedule: Different varieties of grass require different levels of watering depending on weather and sun exposure. You may need to water one to three times a day in the first week as your turf establishes its roots. In the second week, you should be able to transition to every-other-day watering. Finally, once your turf has “knitted” itself to the ground, it’s time to establish a regular watering schedule for your lawn. Do Check local watering restrictions Gently peel up turf to verify if ground beneath is moist Water your grass according to its species and sun exposure it receives Don’t Water too late in the evening
  • Mowing
    Your new lawn should not be mowed until it has formed strong roots and “knitted” to the soil underneath. However, if the grass has grown so long that the blades fall over under their own weight, you’ve probably waited too long for the first cut. Tip: Never remove more than one third of the grass’ height in one mowing.
  • Use
    With installation complete, your new lawn is ready to establish itself. Be gentle and you’ll be rewarded with a healthy display of green. It’s important to keep traffic on the lawn to a minimum. The lawn should not be used for at least 2 weeks, with a month being the ideal. Your lawn needs this time to grow deep, strong roots.
  • Lawn Care Routine
    To maintain your established lawn, develop a lawn care routine that takes into consideration level of use, sun exposure and the nature of the underlying soil. Treat your lawn right, and you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come!
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To learn more about our turf or mulch laying process, please call us on
01884 266509

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