If you think your lawn could do with a bit of a facelift, or if you just want to add a bit more grassed space to your yard, or you have just built a new home and you want an immediate lawn solution, then roll on turf is the perfect solution. Yes, you can sow some grass seed and get pretty much the same result, but growing grass takes ages, albeit costing a lot less. Instant gratification calls for instant lawn.
If you have an existing lawn, that’s obviously going to need removing. If you are putting down roll on turf for the first time in the new house, then you can skip this step.
You can remove old lawn a couple of ways and it will depend on your fitness level and the size of the old lawn area. Using a spade to remove the old lawn is a job for a few mates and a BBQ afterwards. It’s a lot easier and twice as much fun if you hire a turf cutter which removes the grass and roots quickly. Cleaning up is easier as well because the cutter rips up the old grass in chunks, or strips, which can then be rolled up and removed.
Till You May
Once the old lawn has been removed, make sure that the soil contains no debris or old roots. Again, depending on the size of the job, you either hire a rotary tiller or use a shovel to break up the soil so you have a good base on which to lay the turf. Be clever and add the fertiliser before you till the soil. That will mix the fertiliser in with the soil while you operate the machine.
Making the ground as level as possible will enable easier laying of the turf rolls. Rake, remove debris like stones, stray grass roots and whatever else might cause a bump in the turf. A level surface of lawn is going to be a lot easier to mow a few months down the track. If all else fails, you might need a rolling drum. Back to the hire shop, but by this time you have formed a firm friendship with the owner, so ask for a discount.
Laying the Turf
Start at the outer most edges and as you move inwards, make sure you lay the rolls as close as possible with overlap. Your rows of turf shouldn’t have seams that all line up, so stagger them. This will give you optimal irrigation and a better grass fill in. if you notice a section lower than the rest, then remove the strip and place a bit of top soil in there to level the lawn out. By the time you get to the middle you will have to trim some of the turf strips with a knife to get them to fit. Tip: it’s best if the trimmed pieces are not on the outside areas of the lawn as they may dry out easier and get that sickly yellow look.
If you hung onto that roller, get a bigger bang for your hire buck and give the newly laid turf a roll to help level and embed. All done! Start watering and watch the grass grow. You will need to water daily for at least 14 days after it is laid. Mowing? Check first by pulling on the grass, lightly, and if the strip stays put, it’s probably okay to mow.
You’ve spent the money on buying roll on lawn so make sure you look after it. Water and fertilise frequently. This will ensure that indeed, the grass is greener on your side of the fence!