LAYING AND CARING FOR TURF DURING WARM WEATHER
This information applies to ALS natural turf, ALS wildflower turf (all types) and ALS Sedum matting
TURF IS PERISHABLE and the team here at ALS want to help you avoid costly complaints due to burn out. Here are some tips on caring for turf, wildflower turf and sedum matting during the spring and summer months.
TURF MUST BE LAID ON THE SAME DAY AS DELIVERY
- Be ready to lay or install products the moment they arrive.
- In very warm weather, it is wise to lay turf/wildflower turf/sedum matting within 4 hours of delivery.
- Please ensure that you can prepare the soil for turfing BEFORE your turf arrives. Likewise, if you are creating a living roof, prepare the surface in advance of delivery so that there are no delays to installation.
- If the natural soil is sandy or particularly free draining, consider incorporating some good quality topsoil to help with water retention.
- To help you plan your work, Arbour Landscape Solutions will keep in touch with you so that you know when to expect your delivery.
- It is better to order smaller loads over several days than to order more than you can reasonably lay in one session.
– ALS CANNOT offer refunds on turf that has burnt out due to a delayed installation times.
ALS natural turf is also available in 20m2 rolls. These are being laid by Craig McGibbon & https://www.greenacreslandscapemanagement.co.uk in a large garden in Buckinghamshire.
Delivery lead time for big roll turf is a little longer than for standard rolls but laying time is considerably faster and, of course, there are fewer joints.
Please get in touch if you would like a price for big roll turf. Minimum order quantity is 400 square metres.
Help us to help you
Delivery is normally kerb side. Ie our driver will offload your turf as close to site as is safely possible. Turf will not be bought round into driveways or back gardens.
A smooth delivery will give you more time for turfing. When you place your order please let us know about things like
Forklift offload can be arranged for a moderate cost - please let us know if this service is required when you place your order for turf, wildflower turf or sedum matting
- Potential problems with access. Do you have room for an artic lorry on site? Are there likely to be cars parked in the way? Is the site busier or quieter at certain times of day (eg are you near a school where access is tricky at drop off times?)
- Offloading – do you have a forklift on site? Is the surface suitable for unloading with a pallet truck (ie relatively flat, no loose gravel, sticky mud, steep slopes, steps etc)
- ALS Can organise a lorry with forklift offload – talk to us if you would like this service
WHAT TO DO IF YOU CAN’T LAY TURF STRAIGHT AWAY
If things don’t go to plan and you’re not quite ready to lay your turf when it arrives there are some simple steps you can take to help extend the shelf life for a couple of hours.
These tips also apply to sedum matting and to wildflower turf.
- Store rolled turf in a cool shady spot
- Good ventilation and air flow are key – DO NOT cover turf with a tarpaulin – it will cook!
- Re-stack onto several pallets. The smaller the stack, the longer the shelf life will be extended.
- If possible, unroll turf and keep it watered
- NEVER water turf in the roll – it will generate steam and cook itself
SIGNS OF OVERHEATING IN TURF
Turf that has been damaged by overheating. Classic signs are whole turves that have not survived (typically these would have been in the middle of the pallet), also horizontal stripes across the width of turves - usually the bottom of the roll heats quicker than the top.
Check stored turf frequently and be ready to react if you spot any of these signs
Typical signs of turf that has been under-watered. Big gaps between turves, fine grasses have died out leaving only the toughest, most drought tolerant species.
- High temperature in the middle of the stack (please don’t push your hand in to test this, you could get burnt. Yes – it really does get that hot!
- Grass sward changing colour. At the slightest sign of yellowing, start unrolling your turf immediately. If the sward is grey or black you’re too late – it’s already dead and probably cannot be revived.
- Steam – a really bad sign, work fast to get those rolls out – start with the middle of the stack because these will be the hottest.
- Smelly. Turf should smell sweet – like earth. If there is any hint of a sour or acrid smell the product needs to be laid out, cooled down and watered well.
CARING FOR NEW LAID TURF IN HOT WEATHER
Water turf as soon as it has been laid – you might even want to have somebody watering as you are installing.
The key to successful turfing in warm weather is hydration. Keep that turf really well watered and never let the soil beneath it dry out. That could mean irrigating twice or even three times a day. Lifting a corner of one turf will allow you to check if the soil beneath is moist.
Please ensure that your clients fully understand the importance of watering (and the consequences of not watering enough)
Once roots are really well established (ie you can tug on the grass sward without feeling the turf lift up) then you can start to reduce the amount and the frequency of watering.
For sedum matting on an extensive green roof, water to the point of runoff as soon as installation is complete. Repeat daily for 2-3 days and then repeat once a week until the hot weather subsides. Too much water on a sedum roof will encourage grass to grow.
Turf shrinkage and/or brown edges to turves indicates a lack of water. Increase the irrigation and consider using a wetting agent
Yellowing grass will usually recover and green up once the roots are in contact with damp soil and the sward can see the sun. Take photos so that you can check progress in a couple of days. Do NOT skimp on the watering. If you have applied pre-turfing fertiliser, recovery will be quicker.
Discoloured bands across the middle of turves is a sign of burnout. The grass may not recuperate sufficiently fast to satisfy your client – it’s worth over seeding and keeping the area well-watered to speed up the recovery process.
Grass is straw coloured or brown – lack of water! Overseed and increase the frequency and duration of irrigation.
PREPARATION AND ORGANISATION
The ALS team are here to help you get the best possible results from you turfing and green roofing projects. Need advice? Just ask - there are no stupid questions and at least two of my team are highly knowledgeable in the fields of turf, lawns, wildflowers and sedums.
Our service includes really clear communication so that you know when to expect your delivery and can be 100% ready to recieve your products. 99% of our turf orders are delivered before 10.30 am at no extra expense to yourself. That way you can make headway before the sun is at it's highest. Plus of course, your turf will be just that little bit fresher. In hot weather, every minute matters!
Don't forget - if you need a forklift offload to speed things up, or if there are any special considerations for you site - the sooner you let us know, the better we'll be able to help you.
You might find these links helpful
Where to buy good quality topsoil
Plant and machinery hire - including turf cutters, rotovators, motorised barrows and other time saving tools
Email The Landscape Industry Specialist with your turfing and green roofing questions
Buy lawn turf online
Buy Wildflower turf online
Buy Sedum matting online