Building DIY Gardening

 

26 Sep, 2012

Successful Lawns – laying a lawn in Autumn, Fall

Posted by: Geoff Davis In: Autumn|Biodiversity|Buildings|Fall|garden|gardening|Gardens|green|Photography

These are some photos from a recent lawn laying session. The small lawn was killed by overhanging trees provding too much shade, and neglect by tenants in a rented property.

Autumn is a good time to lay a lawn as rain will make it bed in better. Laying in Spring is also possible but you have to be able to water it a lot, so if you have any water supply problems (very common nowadays) then you might end up with a wilted, weak lawn. So Autumn is best time even though it might be a bit wet when you lay it. Go on, get outdoors and put up with it, rain is good for you and your garden, it is all good fun.

The rolls of turf can be got from any large garden centre, plant shop, etc. They should be watered if they are to be left for any time, they might yellow a bit, this is not too bad but to be avoided. Best to buy just before you need them. Also store them in the shade. There are many types of turf such as drought resistant, normal or standard, and fine (for special jobs). Ask the expert in the shop if you are unsure, but standard is good for most situations.

Using home-made charcoal - see later

Using home-made charcoal - see later

Dead lawn oh dear! Too much shade, and neglect

Dead lawn oh dear! Too much shade, and neglect

This is a small lawn, but the principles are the same.
First clear the area and dig it all up to allow easy root penetration. Water the ground but not too much.

Lawn edge or edging, showing how plants have grown over the lawn

Lawn edge or edging, showing how plants have grown over the lawn

Note that the plastic edging, although not very eco, is practical as easy to knock into the ground and provides a bit of a barrier. You can use wood for this but it will rot eventually. Roots will grow under it but it provides an edge for the rolls of turf.

Lawn tools - a good spade

Lawn tools - a good spade

You don’t need many tools for this lawn laying job – a good spade to dig up the existing soil and weeds, a smaller spade or trowel for edge work, a watering can or hose. You can also use a fork to poke air holes into the ground to help enliven it a bit. There is a specialist half-moon cutting tool that is worth getting for a large lawn. Otherwise, improvise.

Lay the urf in a pattern so it does not abut too much – like laying stones.

Also make sure the turf edges are pushed up against the adjacent one – so they grow together well. Any gaps will get bigger not smaller over time.

Water a lot at first, several good doses from a watering cn or use a hose. Then leave it for a few weeks, water it every day but not so heavily. Do not walk on it. It should bed in well. If it grows too much, give it a trim but not too close.

Clear up old weeds and organic material for recycling

Clear up old weeds and organic material for recycling

Burn old dry twigs - fertilize and makes charcoal

Burn old dry twigs - fertilize and makes charcoal

Charcoal made from burning old twigs, branches etc

Charcoal made from burning old twigs, branches etc

Rolls of turf - usually 1 square metre/yard

Rolls of turf - usually 1 square metre/yard

Laying a roll of turf against existing lawn and the edging, note had tool

Laying a roll of turf against existing lawn and the edging, note had tool

Lawn geometry - if you have a big enough lawn you can spell out a word for Google Earth to see

Lawn geometry - if you have a big enough lawn you can spell out a word for Google Earth to see

Land completed and grown in, so old and new grass blend together

Land completed and grown in, so old and new grass blend together

For biodiversity, keep lawn areas to a reasonable size, and provide a lot of shrubs and bushes, cluttered areas etc for maximum biodiversity.

Any questions please use the contact form. Good luck with your new lawn!

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