DIY how to prepare & install lawn

       General information on turf type and      or laying of turf for a Do it Yourself Option
(not including Fescue)

PRE-PREPARATION
It is strongly suggested spray off existing weeds and growth first, best to use “Round up” and follow instructions on pack, making sure you wear appropriate safety gear. Invest in a spray pack, ensure when you have finished with it to wash it out well.

CHOICE OF TURF
Depends on what you want but if the area is in full sun then a Noonan Fine Leaf Kikuyu is one of the best as that is green all year round, hardy and drought tolerant. That is around $6.80 per square metre plus delivery if less than 50 square metres, price may vary. To get the square metres, you measure the length and the width and multiply (length x width = square metres) If it is not a square or rectangle, then allow a couple of square metres for cutting out. If the area is shaded or has more than 15% shade, then look at something like Tall Fescue which can take about 40% shade or if more than that, then a Buffalo variety would be more suitable as most can take up to 70% shade. To make your choice, view our lawn plots and read the information we can give you on each variety available first.

SOIL PREPARATION, LAYING AND WATERING
To prepare, depends on type of soil you have and if ph is ok but generally, cut down the area 100ml, rotary hoe the base adding in some gypsum, organic matter or organic fertiliser, or our soil conditioning fertiliser, level off then infill with a good loam such as Mt Compass Turf mix or Sandy loam(depending on your existing soil 80/20 or 60/40 mix), rake and ROLL it to get level, leaving about 3 -4cm below the height you want to allow for your turf. If it is a hot day, you must water the ground well before you lay the turf and then soak the turf when you lay it and Roll it again. Lay it like bricks working from one side to another, leaving the cuts till last.
Watering must be done daily for the first week, during warm weather, twice a day giving the lawn good soaks so the water goes down to the soil underneath. Cut back watering gradually the second week to every second day, then 3rd week every third day, keeping in mind to give extra watering if needed during extreme hot weather. As from December 1st, 2010 no watering permits are given out and overhead sprinklers may be used between 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. any day, with hand held hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle can be used any time, any day.
To amend this for fescue, it needs watering twice daily for the first week regardless, with hand watering in the middle of the day during hot weather, then a good soak once daily second week with extra watering on hot days.

IRRIGATION
If you are doing irrigation, in particular subsurface, it is suggested by us (we have done quite a few) to lay at 100ml below the turf, at 30cm apart even though the irrigation shops will tell you to lay anywhere between 40 and 50cm apart, the lawn will suffer and get uneven watering if it is too far apart. The soil is placed over this and the turf is laid as above. Subsurface or dripper irrigation is permitted to be used any time, any day. ALL TURFS NEED OVERHEAD WATERING WHEN FIRST LAID AND DURING HOT WEATHER.

AFTER CARE                                                                                                                               (adapt as to turf type)                                                                                                                      Fescue is weekly mowing all year round, do not cut short anytime
It is then suggested you mow the lawn at this time of year after about 2 weeks and feed it (fertilise) with an organic fertiliser or lawn starter at about 6 weeks. Once you start mowing, then it's best to do weekly, cutting no more than 1/3 off the leaf in any one cut and leave the lawn at least 25mm.
Fertilising should also be done regularly, once per season alternating the fertiliser (i.e. using organic once season, chemical another or different types of organic fertiliser) Coring can be done yearly to help alleviate compaction, opens up the soil to allow water to penetrate in summer and help with drainage during winter, and stimulate growth where the lawn is patchy. Once a year, when the soil warms up mid spring, it is advisable to cut the lawn short as possible, remembering the rule not to cut any more than 1/3 off the leaf in any one cut. This can be done gradually over 2-3 mows in as many days but this helps to keep the sponginess which is created by thatch build up, from getting too bad.

With all creeping grasses, the lawn will need to be scarified every few years but this also depends on how regular you mow and how short you keep it and make sure you always use a catcher with all turf types.