When to water new turf – gardening expert reveals her top tips

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Getting turf laid down in your garden is the fastest way to achieve that lovely lawn look, but once it’s been laid how should you care for it? Writer of the Blooming Lucky gardening blog, Louise Findlay-Wilson reveals when to water your new turf and how to look after it.

When to water new turf

According to top gardening blogger Louise Findlay-Wilson, the most crucial thing when it comes to turf is to give it plenty of water.

Louise said: “New turf needs a good soaking so that the water reaches the roots.

“On cooler days, watering once a day will be fine, but in warm weather, or if it’s windy, you will need to water it at least twice a day – ideally morning and evening.”

You’ll need to water like this for the first two weeks until the lawn’s roots have grown into the soil and you can lift the turf at the corners.

Louise said: “If the roots are strong and established, you shouldn’t be able to lift the turf at the corners.”

When watering your lawn, make sure you’re not just focussing on the middle sections.

It’s important to make sure every inch of your new turf is watered to perfection.

Louise said: “In particular pay attention to the edges, it’s all too easy to neglect these, and no one wants their lawn shrinking or curling up!”

Sometimes you won’t need to water your turf, but that’s only when there’s a lot of rain.

Louise said: “If it’s raining, you may not need to water, but don’t automatically assume that’s the case and dodge your watering duties!

“That rain may not really be soaking through, so check.”

Another vital rule is to keep off your newly laid lawn as much as you can.

Louise explained: “New turf won’t cope with people trampling all over it in the early weeks.

“The roots are busy trying to establish and won’t be strong enough to help the grass recover!”

Louise advises everyone to stay off their new lawn for the first four to six weeks but understands this is a tall order.

She added: “I appreciate this sounds like a long time, especially as you will be itching to enjoy your new lawn.

“So, if this feels impossible, certainly stay off for two weeks. If you need to walk on it, a good tip is to put some wooden boards down, so your weight is spread out.”

You shouldn’t start mowing your lawn too soon, either.

The gardening blogger said: “When it comes to mowing, wait until the grass has rooted properly.

“As a quick test, grab a handful and pull. If the turf stays put, you’re good to go – or should I say mow!”

From this point onwards you can start to mow weekly, and for the first month keep the mower at its highest setting.

Louise explained: “On the highest setting you’re just taking the top off the grass – typically a quarter of the length.

“After this, bring the height down gradually – perhaps by a setting each week.”

Before laying your turf, you should put down some pre-turf fertiliser.

Louise said: “This will give your new lawn an extra dose of nutrients for the first six to eight weeks while it gets going and its roots establish.

“Otherwise feed your turf twice a year in Spring and Autumn. I find granular feed easiest to apply.

“Whatever product you use, read the instructions. Don’t use more than is recommended – you’re not helping your grass by overfeeding it!”

Don’t forget to keep grass clippings and leaves off your lawn, as Louise says this prevents your precious grass from getting the light it needs!

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