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Caring for Turf

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 1 Oct 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Caring For Turf Tips On Turf Care Turf

Caring for your turf is something that should be a priority, especially if the turf lawn is one that has been recently laid. Turf, just like grass grown from seed, needs lots of care and attention and here is a list of some of the things that you can do to care for your turf be it in it infancy or fully established.

Watering

Watering your turf lawn is the same as with a grass lawn; you should water your lawn as and when the circumstances allow you to do so. If the weather is particularly hot during the summer months then watering your garden in the evening when the temperature is cooler is a must. Watering your lawn in the midst of a hot sunny day only serves to have the grass dry out too quickly, which can lead to the grass burning and turning a mottled brown colour.

Also, it is worth noting that on windy days, turf dries out quicker than it would on sunny days so it is best not to water the lawn on days where there is a high wind factor. If your turf lawn has recently been laid it is best not to walk on it whilst watering unless you are walking on planks of wood.

Feeding

Use a good quality fertiliser for your turf lawn - there are lots of them on the market to choose from - and your local garden centre will be able to recommend which one is best for you given the usage of your turf lawn i.e. is it suffering a degree or wear and tear or if it is newly laid. A well balanced fertiliser will contain relevant levels of Potash, Nitrogen and Phosphate and this should be administered to your lawn once every four to six weeks.

Fungal Growths

Toadstools are likely to grow on any lawn, be it a grass seeded lawn or a turf one. Most likely a mixture of rich organic matter and moisture can spur on a growth of these fungi as - once they have landed after being airborne - they can settle anywhere and if the conditions are right they can take hold.

One way of removing these toadstools is to quite literally brush them away with a hard brush or you could try spraying them with an iron phosphate solution usually measured as half an ounce per gallon of water of a square metre radius.

Dogs

A large number of us have household pets that we allow to roam around the garden area unhindered. In doing so on grass and turf lawns they are susceptible to the chemicals contained in a dog's urine. Mostly visible in dry weather, the giveaway signs that a family pet has been urinating on the grass are circular patches of brown grass with healthy grass growing normally around them. This can be treated through thorough watering, but in some extreme cases, a new piece of turf or grass may need to be laid to cover up the damage.

Leatherjackets

These larvae are the eggs of crane flies (or Daddy-Long-Legs) - one inch in length - which spend their time as larva feeding on the roots and base of grass stems. Yellow or brown patches appear in early spring or summer to signify that these larvae are busy at work. Or indeed they can appear in spells of extremely dry weather. A good way of identifying if this is indeed the problem is to water a particular patch of grass and then cover it with plastic sheeting, this draws the larva to the surface and you should be able to see them once the sheeting is removed.

One way to combat this problem is to regularly aerate your lawn, which helps prevent a build up of moisture in which these creatures flourish or, if the problem is too widespread, a selected insecticide should do the trick.

General Maintenance

As with both grass and turf lawns they need to be mowed. In the summer they should be mowed at least once a week up to a maximum of three times a week depending on the weather and how quickly they are growing. Always make sure your mower blades are sharp and raised or lowered to the correct height to avoid scalping - basically the removal of large chunks of lawn with a blunt blade - and never use a strimmer. It may also be worthwhile occasionally mowing the lawn in a different direction.

If following these tips you should find you have a healthy and visually pleasing turf lawn in your garden that can be enjoyed all year round.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I wish to purchase lawn fertiliser for my recently laid garden but would like to know what to purchase as I do not want to use something that could BURN the grass? I did visit my local garden centre but had no choice in fact it had a good selection of Christmas items and pet toys. I would prefer liquid type as I would use a watering can to do the job.
Mick - 1-Oct-13 @ 12:50 PM
Hi we recently laid new turf (50 square metres) but did not put any fertiliser/feed down beforehand, can we feed now the turf is laid or do we need to wait a while for root growth?
bonsai gal - 14-Jun-11 @ 8:45 AM
Hello, I've just laid new turf 2 weeks ago. It looks very good and green on one side of the garden while on the other side is turning yellow very worryingly. Maybe because this area is more hit by the sun. I doubled the amount of water to 2x45mins a day, with a sprinkler and the hose has, I think, a decent pressure. I'm a bit worried and not too sure what to do. Any hints appreciated. Many thanks in advance Tom
tom - 18-May-11 @ 1:11 PM
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