01392 231040 sales@wesellturf.com

Turf V Seed

To turf or not to turf (and seed instead?)

One of the dilemma gardeners face is whether to lay turf or to sow grass seed to create that lush green lawn. Of course you’d think we are likely to say turf is the best option, but we’ve looked at both sides of the coin. One option may be better for you than the other….

At a glance, Turf v’s Seed…

Turf vs seed HCT we sell turf Devon

Laying new turf will give you that instant wow factor, it is both convenient and practical. And if you have an event or a date in mind that you want to achieve that ‘instant lawn’ look by, then turf is the very grass for the job. It’s not a martyr to the seasons and can be laid at any time, unlike seed.

Of course the expense and hard labour may not work in it’s favour but it depends entirely on your budget, muscle and whether you are in a hurry.

Naturally, turf will give you a much faster, completed and useable lawn just 2-4 weeks after laying. Whereas, the length of time it takes for seed to get established is dictated to by temperatures and hours of daylight, so it could take 2-4 months to achieve similar grass coverage. And it’s also worth considering the amount of time it takes to prepare the area for both options, but seed beds will require more labour prior to sowing.

Turf has the added convenience of being able to be laid at any time of year, as long as the ground is not frozen. Seed has a much smaller window of opportunity, with ideal sowing times March – May or September and October.

If budget is the driving factor and time is not an issue, then seeding is the cheaper way to go, especially if you are intending on doing all the work yourself. (Do consider any labour costs if you are paying someone else to do it for you).

It’s also worth considering risk factors when looking at the two options. There are more potential problems with sowing seeds, than there are laying turf (as the turf is already established) whereas the seeds have to go through many stages of development and have to contend with extreme weather conditions (torrential rain can wash away the seed and lack of sun can mean the seeds just won’t establish). 

However, it’s possible to use a mixture of turf and seed successfully, especially if the area has more diverse location or soil issues. 

In broad terms, you might turf:

  • The areas to be used soon and heavily
  • Areas which would be harder to grow seed on such as shady, steep and poorer soil quality

And seed:

  • Areas not being used as much and further from the house, especially if not visible from windows and seating areas
  • At the best time of year to get the fastest growth (spring and early autumn) – turf is fine to install all year round for instant lawn

There are many factors to consider and each garden project is unique. If you have further questions on whether to choose turf or seed for your garden, we would be more than happy to advise.  Please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com

 

 

 

 

Summer Lawn Care

Gardens really come into their own during summer time, they provide an extra room for families to gather. Lawns can be enjoyed to their fullest potential, but it also means your lawn will see the most traffic and activity of any season, as the lawn becomes a carpet for garden parties or regular family gatherings and long days spent enjoying the beauty of it.

Therefore it is one of the most challenging seasons too.  Your lawn will require a level of commitment to keep it healthy and strong, but don’t let that deter you, it’s very simple and we’ve got some advice to ensure you and your family enjoy your lawn all summer long.

Grass is an extraordinarily resilient plant and with just a few tips can survive both ice and drought within weeks of each other.

Summer lawn care HCT turf

NEW TURF

For those emergency gardening situations, when only new turf will do, it’s transformative effect will give your garden an instant wow factor. However, it also means additional care will be necessary, when laying turf during July and August, when higher temperatures and drought are more likely, ensure you water thoroughly. The danger of just a light watering is that roots are attracted up to the surface rather than down into the soil. For a large area sophisticated irrigation may be needed to deliver enough water. Please do ask us for advice on this as we sometimes hear of new lawns completely dying off without enough water.

If you are having turf delivered during the summer it is best to lay it on the day of delivery, but if this is not possible, unroll the turf in a holding area and water it regularly to ensure it doesn’t dry out.

Read more about laying turf here

ESTABLISHED LAWNS – 2 or 3 years or older

Watering

Prolonged periods of heat and dry spells are the biggest problems for your lawn during the summer, and lawns can quickly appear ‘dead’. But don’t be alarmed: the roots will still be alive and colour should be restored after a good down pour or watering. The turf we grow and supply is hard-wearing and has some drought tolerance. Read more about our turf here

This is the season when you really need to be on hand to quench your lawn’s thirst.

To avoid scorching and evaporation the best time for watering the lawn is early morning or evening, ideally allowing the moisture to sink a good 10cm into the soil. A couple of times a week should be enough to hydrate tired lawns. 

Weeding & Moss Removal

It’s very common to have weeds in your lawn during the summer: weeds love sunshine and warmth, so keep up the weeding.  It’s a good idea to hand weed before they get out of control and set seed.

If you want to apply a weed killer, do so when they are actively growing between April and September, avoiding drought periods. Cool evenings are the best time to do this.

Feeding

Continuing to feed your lawn helps support and protect it through the summer months, ensuring it remains a vibrant shade of green, enabling vital nutrients to nurture and condition it, keeping it healthy and strong throughout the entire season. A well-fed lawn enables recovery after any extended periods of drought. You can feed your lawn after mowing every 3-4 weeks between May and August, though in most gardens twice a year (Spring and Autumn) will give good results. Apply fertilisers when the soil is moist, or when rain is expected. We recommend visiting your local garden centre for advice on a suitable product

If your garden has features which are challenging for healthy grass growth such as deep shade, poor soil quality or poor drainage, the stronger you can make the grass growth with the use of lawn feed the better its chances.

Mowing

Your lawn will be at its strongest during the summer months and will grow fast if it rains. So it’s a good idea to cut it regularly to keep it healthy, leaving it around 5cm long is recommended. It’s best not to cut too short each time as this will cause damage and dry out in hot spells. So never cut more than one third of its current length.

In dry spells grass growth can slow right down so you can mow less often. It’s easy when it’s very dry to inadvertently cut it a little short giving a straw-coloured lawn. But as above (see “Watering”) an established lawn will recover quickly when it gets a drink.

If you would like further advice on lawn care this summer or would like to talk to us about ordering turf, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com

Summary

  • New turf will need rigorous watering
  • Established lawns are much more resilient but can lose their greenness. This is easily reversed.
  • Weeds thrive in sunshine so try to remove them before they spread too much seed
  • Feeding – particularly useful if your garden is shady or poorly drained
  • Mow cautiously in the warmest weather to keep grass greener.

 

 

Is spring the best time to lay turf?

Waving goodbye to winter brings renewed hope and energy to gardeners and a sense of purpose and positivity. Spring brings with it new buds, new growth and the impetus to be outside.

One of the main focal points to notice after the long winter months will be the condition of your lawn (See our lawn care tips for spring time). Or for those gardeners considering new projects it might be time to lay turf.

is spring the best time of year to lay turf lawn

Is spring the best time to lay turf?

Turf is one of the most under-estimated aspects of any garden, and with spring fast approaching, most think this is the best (and only time) to lay turf. Yet turf can be laid any time of year. We think autumn is the optimal time, but laying turf in spring is absolutely fine and can transform any sized project instantly.

With the promise of lazy summer days, entertaining on the lawn, and perhaps a spot of croquet, gardens will need to look their best. For some, spring is therefore seen as the most convenient time to lay down a new lawn.

What are the advantages of laying turf in spring?

Conditions in spring time are very favourable. As you are working with nature, days are generally milder and longer, rainfall is gentle, providing appropriate irrigation and moisture for root growth to establish at a faster rate.

The temperature of the soil is warmer in spring, giving plants the ability to put down roots for immediate growth. The soil will also be much easier to work with.

If soil quality is poor it’s important to use a pre-turfing fertiliser before turf is laid. Your local garden centre will be able to recommend a suitable product.

The disadvantages of laying turf in spring

Turf laid in the spring will need extra watering, especially during extreme dry spells during the summer. Dry soil may stress the turf and delay rooting. For large areas make sure you have arranged irrigation or consider whether you can delay your turf project until the autumn. Small areas are easier to manage with a sprinkler.

There may be a shortage of turf during the spring months at garden centres as supplies run dry due to popularity. But don’t let that deter you, we are on hand to advise where and when you can find stocks of our turf, and of course we are here to supply too.

Care guide when laying turf

Turf provides an instant lawn effect but it is important to prepare the soil well before laying, as you would grass seed. (See our guide to preparing your soil for turf).

Don’t be tempted to mow your grass before it is fully rooted as this stresses turf and may delay rooting.

We advise you to lay turf on the day of delivery during the spring. If this is not possible, we recommend you unroll the turf in a holding area and water it regularly.

Do not under-water your newly laid turf, as this may result in shallow rooting. The water applied needs to be sufficient to penetrate and soak the soil underneath the turf in order to encourage the news roots downwards. There is no need to feed it for the first 3-6 months as it arrives fully fertilised.

In order for your new turf to settle in stay off it, ideally for at least 3-4 weeks, to enable it to establish and really set down its roots, so it can become a thing of beauty throughout the summer months and beyond.

Summary

  • Conditions for laying turf in spring are favourable, warm and wet
  • When laying turf in spring plan how you will keep it watered including for that first summer
  • Do not mow or run around on the new turf for the first 3-4 weeks

 

We supply quality turf all year round. If you would like further advice on lawn care this spring or would like to talk to us about your order, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com

Spring Lawn Care

After the wet winter months, your lawn may have taken a beating and it now needs a little time to bounce back.

It’s only natural to want to get out and mow your lawn as soon as spring arrives, but the best thing you can do is to encourage nourishment with plenty of TLC and some good feed, which all goes towards putting vital energy and nutrients back into the soil and helps to fight off disease, ensuring your lawn is full of luxurious vitality for the summer months ahead.

We have devised some helpful tips for those of you ready to get your lawns in order this spring.

Mowing

With the sun making an appearance at this time of year, it easy to think I’ll jump in the garden and give the grass a mow to get it ready for the Spring. And while it is a very important job to do, caution is required. Grass leaves have a lot of work to do at this time of year as they are storing any available nourishment and sending what they can down into their roots to enable new growth to form on the surface, as well as trying to stave off diseases. Therefore, mowing too early will cut off any vital nutrients that they need.

For the first mowing in spring, set the cutting height to the highest setting. Thereafter, gradually reduce the height of cut until the desired height is reached. The general guideline is never remove more than one-third of the leaf in any one mow. A little and often approach is better in spring; think, once a week in spring time but never when it is wet or frosty.

Aerate

From March onwards a key part of looking after your lawn is to aerate it. It is an often overlooked part of lawn care but is well needed after the impact of winter which can lead to compacted soil and also sometimes very wet grass – conditions not conducive to spring growth! Aeration allows air into the soil enabling better root growth and absorption of more nutrients from the soil, allowing it to breathe again. This can be done with a hand-held aerating tool or a powered aerator.

Scarifying or raking, is a really useful thing to do in the spring and the autumn. You can easily hire a machine, which makes it simple to do. Scarifying prevents too much thatch from accumulating by removing the build-up of dead vegetation. This ensures that air and water can permeate into the soil and it discourages moss from spreading too. Of course to keep cost down, a hand held spring-tine rake can be used. Vigorously pull the rake through the grass sward to remove dead grass, roots and moss.

Moss and weed removal

After the winter you may see lots of moss and weeds in your turf, they’ll be competing with the grass for nutrients and moisture and need to be dealt with. An all in one lawn feed, weed and moss killer is ideal to increase the nutrient levels of the grass and kill off the moss at the same time. Or for a less chemical approach, Scarifying or raking, as described above can really help. It’s a good idea to wait at least until April or May to use weed killer. But manual weeding can be done earlier. Not all weeds are created equal!

Also, the presence of moss, could be a sign of compacted soil if your lawn has been subject to high levels of traffic. Aeration is the best remedy to rectify it, but this kind of solution is best kept until the autumn.

Once moss has been removed you may have to consider over-seeding to cover up bare patches or even out the whole lawn with the appropriate grass seed and then add fertiliser for optimal growth.

Over-seeding

If your lawn is plagued with bare patches due to heavy traffic, pet activity or neglect or it suffered from the ravages of an excessively wet winter, you may need to apply grass seed to fill in the gaps. Spring is a great time to over-seed your lawn after any winter damage. It’s easy and quick, just sprinkle where needed. April to September is the ideal time to over-seed.

Feeding your lawn

To establish lawn health, spring is one of the optimal times to feed your lawn. In fact it’s ideal to feed it up to 6 times a year and helps prevent weeds and moss forming

Summary

  • Feed your lawn regularly with all-in-one feed, weed and moss killer, especially in Spring and Autumn
  • Set the mower blades high for the first mow in Spring and don’t remove more than one third of the leaf at a time
  • Aeration helps a compacted lawn to thrive better
  • Scarifying removes dead vegetation to encourage grass growth
  • Moss and weeds can be removed with chemicals or manually
  • Over seed bare patches left by moss and weeds between April and September

 

If you would like further advice on lawn care in spring or would like to talk to us about your order, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com

Can you still lay turf in the winter?

Is turf affected by the cold weather? How does snow and frost affect turf?

We’ve been asked a few of these question this week with the weather taking a turn for the worse. Just as we were beginning to look forward to the spring a blast of Siberian weather has arrived. But fear not, it’s not all bad news. The cold snap shouldn’t affect the harvesting and supply of our turf, unless the ground is frozen, and usually we can harvest in the afternoon following a frost. And as long as the roads remain clear we can still deliver as usual.

lay turf winter frost

Laying turf in the winter

Generally the cold weather won’t affect laying turf either. Winter is actually a great time to lay turf as it gives the turf time to settle and root before the summer months when you‘ll be wanting to use the lawn more often. It will actually be easier to manage; it will require much less maintenance and watering (no long hot sunny days to worry about … ah, wishful thinking!).

Can I lay turf when the ground is frozen?

Laying turf onto frozen ground is not advised, however if you have already received your turf and the rolls have frozen, simply wait until they thaw and then lay.

What if I’ve just laid new turf and the frost comes?

If you’ve recently laid new turf, the frost won’t cause any long-term damage either, just follow our tips below to ensure it stays in tiptop condition.

How can I take extra care of my lawn in the frost and snow?

As snow and frost won’t really do any damage to your lawn, there isn’t really too much to worry about. However keeping off the grass when it is frosty or frozen can help to reduce ugly footprint forms in the lawn, but rest assured they’ll not cause long term damage – grass is pretty hard wearing! Any scorch marks will then grow out of the grass in the spring.

When it comes to snow, prolonged compacted snow cover can cause an outbreak of snow mould (small circles of straw coloured spots in the grass).  To reduce the chance of snow mould damage we’d advise you to avoid throwing snow on the lawn from paths and driveways, and, as much as we don’t want to spoil the kids fun, remove snowmen when they are finished with (shh … don’t tell the children we said that).

Obviously, this is not the time to be mowing or applying any fertilisers or weed killers either. The grass needs to be growing rather than dormant for them to work.

If you would like any further advice or would like to talk to us about your order, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com