If you opt for a roll on lawn, it can be installed almost any time of the year in Australia, unless you live in a really cold or wet area. Example – Tasmania. If you decide to spread a few seeds, then you would be well advised to do this when spring has sprung. Warmer soil temperatures certainly aid germination.
The ground preparation for both options are rather similar and a critical requirement. Obviously, planting grass seed is a long-term solution, and if you haven’t done your groundwork (pun intended), then the ominous march of weeds will soon begin and be competing for moisture and nutrients.
It can take months for a seeded lawn to become established and turn into a hard wearing, firm, and attractive grassed area. Roll on turf though, takes just a few weeks to become established. It is capable of withstanding kids playing on it within 2-3 weeks, and certainly after a month, you can set up the stumps for a game of cricket. The big advantage and a preference for many people selecting to use roll on turf is that it has the finished look after Day 1. Both options have the same aftercare from installation – keep off it and keep it moist.
Here are a few tips on ground preparation:
It might be an idea to spray the old grass with a strong weedkiller before you start. Remove the old lawn. Use a flat spade, but if you have a large area then hiring a turf cutter is the best solution.
Turn the soil to a depth of about 12 inches (25 cm)
Remove stones, big chunks, and other debris.
Apply some fertiliser and rake it into the soil
Level as much as possible
Water the area and allow it all to settle
Installing the new Lawn
You should install the new lawn as soon as possible after delivery. If for some reason you can’t, then roll the turf out and keep it watered. It can last for 48 hours stored like this. If you leave it rolled up for an extended period, the lawn will deteriorate and turn yellow.
Start by laying the lawn along the longest straight line and then stagger the lengths in subsequent lines. It will look a little like brickwork.
Push the edges together making sure all the joins are well butted. Use a sharp knife to cut the rolls where required.
Try not to walk on the turf; use boards or some flat sheeting to spread your weight.
When you have finished installation, water the lawn well each day for at least a couple of weeks after which the roots will have gained some purchase to the ground.