Spring is finally on the horizon, and if you’re planning your garden for the warmer weather ahead, don’t overlook the benefits of turf to get your open space ready for a season of fun with friends and family.
It’s all too easy to focus on flowerbeds and rockeries, while neglecting a mossy old bumpy lawn or a patch of broken concrete that could be given new life as a vibrant, verdant grassy area.
Here are five big benefits of turf lawns and why this is the perfect time of year to think about laying a new lawn with freshly cut turf from Carbutts Turf.
Spring brings an end to the coldest weather, so if you’re in an area prone to ground frosts, it should be much easier to lay a new turf lawn as we move out of the winter months. If you already have a lawn in place, it’s also a great time to give your lawn an MOT.
While spring is still an unsettled season, that’s no bad thing – there should be plenty of days when the weather is good enough to lay new turf, yet also a good amount of rain to help your newly laid grass to grow.
If you’re preparing ground for turf that was previously covered by concrete, for example, you should find any soil beneath it is neither frozen nor parched, making it easier to dig up, fertilise and level.
Once your ground is prepared, turf is fast and quite easy to lay – just roll it out and tamp it down to create a level lawn surface, and to an extent the grass itself will do the rest as it starts to grow and put down firm roots.
This is why preparing the ground is so important, to give the turf the best surface to root into, but once it comes to actually laying the turf, things can move very quickly.
We often take green grass for granted, at least until a summer heatwave turns it brown, but if you currently don’t have healthy grass in your garden, new turf can give an immediate lift to your view out your windows.
As we move into spring, the flowerbeds will start to bloom too (with a bit of luck) but a bright, healthy green lawn makes the ideal centrepiece for whatever you choose to plant.
Spring and summer are not without their downpours, and those microbursts of rain can be extremely heavy in a short period of time.
Grass lawns help to dissipate excess rainwater in a more controlled way. That can reduce the risk of isolated floods, while also relieving pressure on the drainage network in your street.
It’s a best of both worlds solution that can help to safeguard you and your neighbours’ houses on occasions when a sudden summer downpour might have been just enough to overwhelm an area of hardstanding, rather than grass.
The effects of a healthy turf lawn are not just psychological – they can be physical as well.
Healthy grass ‘breathes’ by the process of transpiration, and that has a cooling effect. On a hot summer’s day your lawn should feel physically cooler than concrete paving or other hard surfaces would be.
Equally, grass takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, improving the air quality in your garden – and creating an oasis of calm for you to spend your spring and summer days in greater comfort, this year and for many years to come.
The winter months don’t have to mean saying goodbye to your garden – in fact from late autumn through to the warmer days of spring, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your outdoor space.
At the same time, you can take care of pruning, maintenance and other winter garden tasks that will hopefully have everything in good condition well into the new year.
Laying turf in winter is not as problematic as you might imagine. The only times you really can’t lay turf are when the soil is frozen, frosty or very wet.
During mild winters or prolonged dry spells, it’s likely the ground will be in fine condition for laying a new lawn – so why wait until spring?
As always, prepare the soil with plenty of fertiliser and aerate it before laying your turf, then gently tamp the turf down to a level lawn and water it well.
For a resilient, low-maintenance turf that will do well in winter, try our Gold Standard Turf.
Once your new turf lawn is laid, it actually needs less care and attention during winter, as it won’t dry out as fast or as often.
Check daily and water when the soil appears to have dried out. This is especially likely during dry windy spells of weather, which will encourage moisture to evaporate.
You shouldn’t need to mow your lawn until winter ends, so you can focus on giving it the right amount of water to put down roots, and should avoid walking on it on the coldest days when the individual blades of grass are frozen.
See our lawn care calendar for a year-round guide to protecting your turf.
There are a few different ways to cover flowerbeds for frost protection and other purposes, and to help any spring-flowering bulbs you planted in the autumn months.
Once you’ve removed any dead growth from the end of summer, you can add a layer of compost to help fertilise your topsoil and provide those bulbs with nutrients.
But insulating layers like hay or leaves should not be added until the weather gets cold, to avoid your flowerbeds becoming home to mice and other unwelcome visitors.
The counterpoint to the above is wildlife like hedgehogs, which also need somewhere cosy to hibernate during winter. An undisturbed heap of leaves in a quiet corner of your garden is the perfect place.
You can also hang birdfeeders or, if you already have them up, fill them with winter foods like fat balls and suet pellets, which will help the birds to stay warm along with the usual nuts and seeds.
It’s a good idea to have some fresh, unfrozen water in your garden for all kinds of wildlife, so remember to check and replace this if it freezes solid in a cold snap.
There are plenty more tasks to take care of, such as checking wooden structures like fences, sheds and picnic tables for rot and wind damage.
But one that’s easy to overlook is protecting pots and planters against cold weather. Planters that cannot be moved should be covered with fleece or even old carpet, to insulate against freezing temperatures.
Terracotta pots that can be moved should be placed indoors in a shed, greenhouse or even inside your house, so if temperatures drop below zero outside, they will not crack due to the freeze-thaw effect or expansion of the soil in the pot.
An eco-friendly lawn makes a great centrepiece for any garden and grass has plenty of benefits in terms of drainage, carbon capture and all-around sustainability – so its sensible to adopt sustainable lawn care methods too.
Those looking to invest a little more can lower carbon emissions with a robot lawn mower, but there are also plenty of ways to keep your lawn looking great using natural fertilisers and resources recovered from the environment.
The top tips below should give you an introductory sustainable lawn care guide to help you get started with an environmentally friendly lawn.
If excessive fertilising over the years has left your soil imbalanced, there are several ways to get it back under control.
The fastest but most difficult is to remove several inches of topsoil and replace it with fresh, good-quality soil free from excess chemical fertilisers.
Alternatively, if you have the time, you can plant mustard which is known for drawing large quantities of nutrients from the ground, and can work well as an eco-friendly one-year ‘reset’ button for your soil.
Of course if you’re laying a new turf lawn, this is the perfect time to remove some topsoil, making it an opportunity to tackle your soil fertility at the same time.
Again, there are several natural lawn fertilisers if you want to keep your grass lush and green, without using artificial chemicals.
Just some of the best natural lawn fertilisers include:
Also called ‘compost tea’, this is the richly fertile fluid that drains from the bottom of a compost bin.
Some bins drain this liquid out automatically but some retain it, allowing you to release it via a tap and use it on your lawn or flowerbeds.
If your garden has a pond, don’t waste the nitrogen-rich algae you skim from the surface or extract from your filter box.
Algae can be composted to recover those valuable nutrients, or if you have exposed soil for a future lawn or flowerbed, you can dig the algae into it as an instant fertiliser.
Your lawn is one of its own best fertilisers, so don’t make the mistake of removing your grass clippings or dumping them in your garden waste bin.
Try ‘grasscycling‘ instead; leave the cut grass where it falls to naturally mulch back down into the soil, or put your clippings in your compost bin to rot down separately.
Lawns cope well with hot weather – even if they turn brown, they’ll usually be back to green when the rains come – but there are eco-friendly ways to water them.
Keep a rainwater butt somewhere in your garden and you’ll have an easy source of water for your lawn and flowerbeds, without any of the chemicals that are in tap water.
The water pressure of a full butt alone could be enough to power a hose or irrigation pipe, or you can use a watering can for targeted coverage.
With just these few simple steps, you can create a sustainable lawn care routine that’s easy to start, easy to follow, and costs practically nothing over the long term.
We’re often asked how to lay turf on different surfaces like soil, grass and hard materials like stone or concrete.
The results you get will vary depending on what type of material is under your newly laid turf, and how you prepare turf before hand, so here’s our rough guide to some of the most common surfaces to lay a new lawn on.
Soil is the ideal surface and we’ve covered it in detail in our Turf Guide, but here are a few of the main do’s and don’ts to help you remember how to lay turf on soil:
In a perfect world, it’s better not to lay turf on grass. This isn’t just because the old grass and weeds might grow through – it’s about preparing soil for fresh turf.
Removing the old grass exposes the soil beneath so that you can rotavate and aerate it, and this again improves the new turf’s chances of bedding in better.
If you must lay over old grass:
New turf has a layer of soil and roots attached, but it’s not enough to sustain the grass for the long term – it needs something to grow roots down into.
Hard surfaces like stone and concrete are not suitable for a permanent lawn; however, if you want natural green grass for a special event, it’s easy to unroll a few turves on to a solid floor.
Finally, laying turf on green roofs is an increasingly popular option on eco-friendly properties, so remember:
When choosing the types of grass to grow at Carbutts Turf, we know you need your lawn to serve many different purposes.
That’s why our Gold Standard Turf is designed to be visually appealing with lush green grass, but also hard-wearing underfoot so you can get good use from your lawn.
Here we’ll look at some specific locations where Carbutts Turf can be laid, and the characteristics that make our Gold Standard Turf such a versatile option.
Our turf is ultra hard-wearing, thick and glossy, which makes it the perfect choice for areas with heavy footfall.
That can include gardens at home if you have children, pets, or you just like to spend time outdoors on your lawn.
It’s also good for grass verges and other lawn areas where pedestrians are likely to walk on the grass regularly.
Grass shoots in our turf recover quickly from being trodden on, which makes it a good option for sports fields.
Use our Gold Standard Turf for sports pitches like football and rugby, as well as for general playing fields and grassy athletics tracks.
Our Gold Standard Turf needs very little maintenance, only occasional feeding and can go a good length of time between being mowed.
This makes it an excellent choice for commercial lawns, from show homes to courtyards, or manicured grassy areas in front of business premises.
Carbutts Turf is carefully cut and rolled to make it easy to lay, even on uneven ground, so you don’t need to worry about getting the soil surface absolutely flat in order to get a good standard of finish.
Just even out the ground as best you can, and unroll your freshly cut turves on top. With a little tamping down and the right amount of watering in, the turf will set down roots and create a smooth and level lawn.
For larger areas including large lawns, playing fields, parks and commercial gardens, we can offer a discount on orders for more than 50 turves.
Just let us know what area you need to cover and we can make sure we have enough freshly cut turf for what you need, ready for collection or delivery.
Carbutts Turf is versatile, low-maintenance and looks great on the ground. It’s good for areas of heavy use, ornamental lawns and commercial settings too.
Some examples of who Carbutts Turf is good for include:
The list goes on and on – in general if you need turf for a lawn, pitch or other grassy area, it’s likely that Carbutts Gold Standard Turf will give you the look and durability you need.
To find out more or to place an order, contact us today and we can have your turf freshly cut and rolled for you to collect, or deliver to your home, workplace or construction site.
Preparing to lay new turf takes a little time and effort but it’s worth it to give your turf direct contact with fertile soil and good drainage – it will root faster and better, and should look lush and greener for a long time to come.
The key things to remember are:
With these things in mind when preparing to lay new turf, you can be more confident that the roots will grow to a good depth, allowing them to draw valuable moisture and nutrients up into the grass. Where you lay new turf is also important, and your preparations will vary according to this.
Some of the main stages in preparing soil for turf include:
Again, when preparing soil for turf, you want a well aerated soil for roots to penetrate, but not so much that it will subside; good direct sod-to-soil contact; and good moisture and fertiliser content.
Once you’ve gone to the trouble of creating a turf-friendly environment, there are a few more precautions to take when it comes to actually laying turf on prepared soil.
Use turfing boards to spread your weight any time you need to walk across the soil, and to gently tamp down the laid turf so it’s nice and flat and in good contact with the soil underneath.
Butt the turves up against each other without any gaps or stretching and gently flatten down the joins, which should be staggered like brickwork for the best finish. Water well to help the turf establish itself into the soil.
The Carbutts Turf Laying Service is a complete lawn laying service that removes the need for you to prepare the soil yourself, as our team of experts can handle it instead.
Our complete turf laying service includes digging out the soil and preparing the area for the turf to go down, to ensure good root contact and help the turf to establish itself properly.
We can also lay turf on to soil that you have prepared in advance, if you want to keep control of that part of the process but would prefer us to provide a professional lawn laying service once your turf itself is delivered.
You can of course lay your turf yourself or use your own lawn laying contractors to do the job, and we can happily provide you with complete guidance on how to care for newly laid turf in the following weeks and months for the best results.