Preparation & Maintenance
What you need to know to prepare and maintain your new lawn
Below you will find handy tips on everything from measuring how much turf you will need and preparing your site before laying to caring for new lawn so that it flourishes for years to come.
Remove most of the vegetation. If there is any difficult to eradicate grasses, then one or two applications of a glyphosate based spray (roundup, zero etc.) maybe necessary; allow 10 – 14 days after spraying for the glyphosate to do its job properly.
Rotary hoe soil to the depth of at least 100mm then level out with a rake removing stones, roots and hard clods as you go. If there are any hard areas, it pays to deep rip the ground first; hard areas will prevent moisture and root penetration, which in the long run makes grass require more water. If you have a clay soil we highly recommend that you apply gypsum to the soil at a rate of 1kg to 1m², rotary hoe the gypsum through the soil.
If the soil is really poor quality sometimes it pays to have it removed and good quality turf underlay bought back in to replace the soil that has been taken away. A good quality turf underlay will be available from your local sand and soil provider.
If laying your new turf adjacent to a footpath, driveway etc, leave your prepared soil 25 – 30mm below the top of the concrete, this will give a professional looking finish.
Follow the guide we have provided; but basically draw up a plan and measure the areas according to shape.
Turf is sold by the square metre. If you are having trouble measuring, we can give you a free measure and quote if in the Bathurst Area. If you are out of the area draw up a plan with all the measurements in metres and fax or email it through and we can give you an estimate, remember the more accurate your measurements the more accurate estimate we can give you. If you haven’t got a fax or email, give us a call and we will help you out.
They say to order around 5% extra for cutting but remember turf is a living thing and if you order too much you cannot return the left over’s. If you are short we can always cut some more for you.
How To Lay
Before starting the lay job make sure you have your water sorted out. There is nothing worse than you go to water your new turf and there’s something wrong with the system or the hose nuts the wrong size for the hose, or you just forgot to arrange a hose and sprinkler.
New turf needs watering within 30 minutes of turf being laid especially in warm to hot weather.
Apply a lawn starter fertilizer to the soil prior to laying your new lawn.
Start on a straight edge, and roll the turf along it, when you come to the next run make sure you stagger the joints. Roll the turf out so they butt up nice and tight next to each other but don’t over lap the rolls, use an old knife or a spade to cut any left over turf around trees and edging. If you are laying a large area do not wait until the job is finished to start watering as the turf would be starting to suffer from water stress, water as you lay. Refer to the watering guide.
Mowing usually starts about two weeks after the turf has been laid depending on which season it was laid, if you can walk on the turf with out feeling like your sinking and if you can grab the corner of the roll and cannot pull the turf up, you can give it a light trim by just taking the tips off the new lawn.
The level can be brought down on each of the following cuts until the grass is at the length you like but make sure you don’t go too short as it will eventually kill out your lawn and you will end up with a yard full of weeds.
Refer to recommended lengths when mowing. Mower blades also need to be sharpened regularly to give your lawn a smooth cut and prevent the leaf being shredded which leads to bruising of the leaf and also lose of moisture out of the leaf.
As mentioned before use a starter fertiliser prior to laying and then this should be followed up by applications every 3 or 4 months. A good quality fertiliser should be used, we use and recommend Turfblend, an Incitec fertiliser but anything similar would be fine. The N: P: K is 16:5:25 for Turfblend. You will need to use about 5kg to every 100m² of grass and it will need to be spread as evenly as possible preferable with a spreader.
A good watering will be needed within an hour of application to dissolve the fertiliser into the soil. A nitrogen fertiliser may be needed if lawn colour and leaf growth is lacking. Urea is good for this purpose but be careful as it can burn your lawn if applied too generously to the area and make sure you water in straight away making sure you use enough water to dissolve the fertilizer.
If you have dogs use a fertiliser that is lower in nitrogen this can help a bit with the problem of dogs burning the lawn but it is not going to stop it completely. It also doesn’t hurt to replace one of your fertilising during the year with an organic fertiliser; organic fertiliser works best in warm weather so it might be worth considering using it in summer.
The main pest problem in the Central West and Blue Mountain is the lawn grub usually the African Black Beetle. These only become a problem when they are in plague numbers. The lawn grub damages the lawn by eating the roots away from just below the surface, leaving the lawn to eventually die from water stress. One of the first signs that you may have an infestation is a larger than normal amount of bird life picking through your lawn. Another sign to look for – the lawns browning off when you know that you have watered it enough, if this happens always try to pull on the grass; if it comes up in your hand easily you have a problem.
Lawn grubs can be controlled by insecticides which are available from nurseries and garden centres. Always make sure you read instructions carefully and follow all safety instructions. The main thing you must do is keep the damaged areas wet as it is like having new turf and if you are going to have problems its when it hot and dry usually in November through to March is the time to keep your eye on your lawn.
Weeds & Fungi
Broadleaf weeds and clover are the main weeds that you will come up against. These can be easily eradicated, look for the chemicals that contain the following active ingredient: – Clover- Dicamba, Bindi- MCPA, Summer Grass-DSMA and Winter Grass- Endothal. Always use chemicals at the rates shown on the package and always follow safety instructions. NEVER USE DICAMBA ON SAPPHIRE SOFT LEAF BUFFALO. There are specially made weed eradication chemicals which are made for buffalo available at your local nursery or garden centre.
Fungus is not usually a problem in the central west or mountains area but it can happen. It is usually during warm, humid and wet weather with the first sign being brown or sick looking patches of grass. If they are found early, they are easily eradicated, with the use of a broad spectrum fungicide. These are available at your local nursery or garden centre. Make sure you read instructions carefully for the correct application and again follow all safety instructions.
Watering your new turf is not only to keep it alive but to stop it from shrinking.
Water your turf within 30 minutes of rolling it out. If laying a large area do not wait until you have finished to start watering as it will have already started to suffer from water stress. Water as you lay. For details on how much to water download our “Rule of thumb guide for watering your new turf”.