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Preparing your lawn, prior to laying down turf, is an essential part of establishing a healthy outdoor space.
Doing so removes the risk of any weeds or debris from disrupting the turf from establishing roots deep in the soil. As a result, your lawn will be more lush and vibrant, and more resilient against the natural forces that occur throughout each season, such as intense heat, rainfall, and drought conditions.
To help increase the odds of your new turf thriving in your lawn, here is a simple, step-by-step breakdown of the preparation process.
Use a non-selective herbicide spray like Glyphosate or Roundup to kill any existing grass or weeds currently on your lawn.
Be sure to start this process at least 10 to 14 days prior to laying down new turf.
Non-selective herbicide is specifically designed to target all plants, regardless of species. So it will gradually wither down and kill any grass, weeds, and other invasive plants on your lawn.
Some herbicide products are rainproof after 30 minutes of application. This means you can apply the herbicide, and not have to worry about rainfall disrupting the weed removal process.
If your lawn is still germinating after one application, continue to re-apply the product, until you have achieved the desired results.
Once you’ve removed all grass and debris – including sticks and stones – you can prepare the soil.
There are a ways you can do this, depending on the current state of your lawn.
If your existing top layer soil is depleted of nutrients –
Use a mini loader or skid steer to remove the top layer soil.
In doing so, you will remove the poor-growing soil, which you can then replace with fresh soil to encourage new growth.
If your existing top layer soil is in good condition –
Turn it over. Turning over soil is a time tested way to improve turf growing conditions, as it helps promote airflow, chop and kill weeds, and it allows you to mix in organic materials like lime, fertilizers, and gypsum to achieve the ideal pH balance.
For soft sandy soil, use a rotary tiller to turn over the soil.
For harder, clay-like soils, use a rotary hoe. They are better-equipped to mix more hard-wearing soil textures.
Consider hosing down the area before you turn over or remove your existing soil to help soften it up a bit.
If you have no top layer soil –
You’ll need to choose the right soil type for your lawn.
Which one is right for you? That will depend on the level of sun exposure, shade, the local climate, and other factors like surrounding trees and greenery in your area. For the best advice on choosing soil types, contact A View Turf today.
Once you’ve chosen the right soil type, use a rake to spread the soil evenly. The soil should be about 20mm to 30mm deep. This way, the turf will be level with (or slightly lower than) the surrounding paving, thus making it easier to mow and walk across safely.
If the soil is not deep enough, bring in some extra soil like a good quality sandy loam (80 percent sand, 20 percent soil). Sandy loam will also help the surface be more level and free-draining.
If the soil is too sandy, apply some well-broken down organic mix, so the soil can hold nutrients and soil more easily.
Continue to rake the soil until the surface is even.
You may need to use a roller to make the soil firm, but try to do so without compacting it. Strive for a smooth consistency, without any lumps or bumps, so that none of these imperfections show up in the final work.
If laying the turf in hot weather, do not water the ground straight away. Wait until sundown or prior to sunrise, when the surface is cooler, so that you can water the surface without damaging it.
Lastly, lightly sprinkle starter fertilizer over the top layer soil, which will give the root structure the required nutrients to bind with the soil.