Here are the 5 basic stages for creating the perfect new lawn area for any garden space:
If your lawn is brand new, you may be importing new soil, in which case you can skip to the next stage.
Cultivation is another word for digging. It is important to do this when the weather and the ground are dry. Cultivation is normally done with a piece of machinery called a “rotavator”, in a process called rotavating.
Before this stage it is important to remove any existing lawn or plants from the area to avoid contamination or other problems with the new lawn. When the area is clear it is ready for stage 1. The rotavator drives up and down, thoroughly digging over the soil, breaking it down to a fine ’tilth’.
This is normally done with a large rake called a landscaping rake. The soil is raked out thoroughly until it is level and flat. most landscapers will specify that a lawn will be levelled “to the lay of the land” which basically mean that if your garden is on a slope then your lawn will be too, just a flat slope.
Once we have created the desired level, the next phase is compaction. On a very large area this can be done mechanically, but for the majority of new lawns this is done manually, with the heels of your feet.
The landscaper walks in small steps, using all their body weight on their heels to compact the soil and remove any soft spots. One former employee named this process ‘ducky steps’ which I quite like.
The raking process is then repeated, then the compaction process and so on until the desired level and compaction is achieved. This should be a firm, flat surface.
You are now ready for your grass, up until now the process for seeding a lawn will be much the same. Here we will focus on turf.
The turves are rolled out on to the soil and the ends pushed together by hand to create a tight seam. it is advisable to leave the turves a little ‘baggy’ as they can shrink once laid, especially in warm weather. the landscaper will work from scaffold boards in order to not disturb the level of the ground or the new turf.
The turves can be cut using a serrated knife or our choice, an old hand saw.
We then ‘tamp’ the turf with a specially designed turf tamper. This ensures the grass is in contact with the soil.
The final and most crucial stage is watering. In the height of summer this need doing very thoroughly every day to keep the turf alive. In winter you may not need to water the lawn at all as the rain will do it for you. Your landscaper will advise you about the after care of your new lawn.
Depending on the weather your lawn could take anything from 1 week to several months before the first cut, usually the longer you can keep off it the better!
Now you can enjoy it!
Lawns can take a lot longer to become fully established and will need regular maintenance to keep looking their best. We always do the first cut on a new lawn when possible, free of charge.