Spring has sprung and the grass is growing. What more could you want? well an informal presentation on the ins and outs of lawn care might be nice!

I will admit to having succumbed to lawn fever earlier in the year and sprinkled the patchy patch behind my house with indestructible, shade loving lawn seed mixed in compost. Watered lightly and waited, and waited, and waited. Last week it decided to show it’s shoots and then shot up about 3 cm in a couple of warm days! I want a sward by the end of the year, it’s a long time to that point but it’s a modest goal I think.

Lucky for me the Rolawn rep came to visit the SGD cluster group meeting this week. Dave, plied us not only with info and promo literature but also soil and left me with 2 sample patches of their best product. Medallion and Minster Pro. I am gleeful, I will have two patches of fabulous turf in the garden, not exactly what I had in mind but nevertheless 2 patches will stand out and act as a good guide to perfection.

Medallion and Minster Pro in a sample box

Rolawn are the turf kings. They have been farming, yes farming, hectares of the stuff in Yorkshire for 40 years. Plenty of rain and a cool steady climate apparently, well up until the last couple of dry winters and hot springs that is, so a perfect climate for growing excellent turf.

Having studied lawn care with the RHS I thought I knew quite a bit about it but in fact there is much more to know. It’s not just about mowing, aerating, scarifying, weeding, feeding, top dressing etc but about laying it correctly in the first place. Gardening well, pretty much always comes back to good preparation.Thinking about  things like Where, When and What you lay turf on is important.

The absolute basics are to remove old turf, compost it elsewhere in the garden by turning it upside down and leaving for 6 months.

Turn over you soil to a depth of 5-10cm no more, overusing you rotavator can destroy the soil structure making it nigh on impossible for the turf roots to find food, water or purchase.

Raking the area over and removing/breaking down big clods of earth and then firming the soil with your heels. I laugh at this particular step but it is a vital thing to do.

Follow all this preparation with a application of pre-turfing fertiliser in the top 25mm.

Turf needs to be laid on a damp surface so if it’s been dry water before laying and then lay your turf in offset pattern on the fine tilth you’ve just prepared.

Dave says it should take in 3-5 days, so be prepared to get mowing as soon as a good tug doesn’t have you standing with a patch of grass in your hand!

Usefully there is every kind of information on how to make and keep a good patch of turf on the Rolawn TV website with some chap from TV series Emmerdale apparently. One wonders if he now actually knows how to lay turf?!

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