Planting a new lawn can be daunting if you have never done it before. Here, we take a look at how to plant seeded lawns and instant lawns.
Start with a good foundation:
Successful turf establishment depends upon good soil preparation. Grasses need a firm but not compacted soil. Good surface drainage is important, especially in heavy traffic, sloping or shaded areas. Munns recommend that all lawns be planted in a coarse sandy loam mixture of 80% sand and 20% loam, to a depth of 15 – 18cm.
Prior to rotary hoeing, eradicate weeds using Glyphosate non-residual spray. Be sure to follow directions carefully for all weedicides and chemicals. Remove large rocks and debris. Clay type soils should have the soil conditioner gypsum added at the rate directed on the product, plus the addition of medium grade sand to a depth of 5cm. Spread this evenly over the area and thoroughly rotary hoe in to the top clay soil as deep as you can.
Firming the Seed Bed:
Alternately rake the area. High spots should be evened off and low ones filled in until the area is firm and level. A simple gauge of firmness is that footprints should not be seen more than 1cm deep. Final levels should be approximately 1 – 1.5 cm below pathways.
Now is the ideal time to install an irrigation system, before planting the lawn, as it is much easier to do this on a bare surface than having to cut into an existing lawn.
Rake the surface soil in straight lines making shallow furrows. Mix the seed with Munns Superstart Seed and Turf Starter Fertiliser and Munns Weta-Lawn and Garden for best results. Broadcast the seed mix evenly over the seed bed, either by hand or with a spreader, then lightly cross rake. (N.B. On sloping areas, cross rake only to prevent seed washing down the slope.) You should then water the area with a fine mist spray. It is imperative that the top soil remains moist for the first 15 days to complete germination. When germination is complete, gradually reduce the number of irrigations but increase the volume of water at each watering.
Mow your new lawn when seedlings are about 5 -6 cm high, even if this entails only partial mowing of the area, removing only about 1cm. To keep your lawn in maximum condition, mowing should take place on a regular basis, ensuring that mower blades are not dull or blunt, as this may damage the grass. Dull blades can tear the grass rather than give a clean cut. If possible don’t mow when the grass is wet. You can drop lawn clippings back into the lawn provided you are not removing more than a third of the leaf.
Generally fertilise your lawn every 3 months. Alternating your choice of fertiliser is a good practice as lawns will respond to a change in diet just like we do!
Roll out lawn should be laid on a loosened coarse sandy loam topsoil (80% sand, 20% loam). Level and lightly roll to firm the soil, leaving the level 2.5cmsbelow borders or edging. This will place the lawn at the correct mowing height.
Prior to laying your instant turf, spread Munns Superstart Seed and Turf Starter Fertiliser over the area at the rate of 1kg to 10 square metres and water in well.
Please note: The ground should be moist prior to laying the lawn. Munns recommend an application of Munns Weta-Lawn and Garden at this stage to help soil retain moisture and give better root establishment. You could mix this with the starter and broadcast both products over the area prior to laying turf.
The instant lawn can then be unrolled onto this prepared bed, fitting each slab snugly into one another. Cutting the lawn to fit corners and ends is best done with a sharp knife.
After laying the lawn, lightly roll the area and irrigate thoroughly. This soaking should be carried out twice a day for the first 10 days. On hot days, 2 – 3 waterings daily may be necessary. Make sure that the lawn does not dry out while the roots are establishing. If you have applied the Weta-Lawn and Garden, then once a day watering should be sufficient.
After this period, twice weekly soakings should suffice. You should mow your new lawn approximately 2 – 3 weeks after laying. Fertilise with Munns Golf Course Green, Buffalo Booster or Buffalo Green Lawn Fertiliser after 6 – 8 weeks. Please see fertilising section for ongoing fertilising procedures.