How To Water Brand New Turf Grass | Maintaining Lawns and Gardens

How To Water Brand New Turf Grass | Maintaining Lawns and Gardens

  • Watering to establish turf

    Turf is a natural product, that has been ripped out of the ground via a harvester, stacked on pallets, and then delivered within around 12 hours of harvest. Sometimes as late as 24 to 36 hours. It’s then laid on the ground, usually on hot dry ground that tends to suck the moisture out of the turf.

    If it’s a windy hot day, the turf dries out quickly. Is it any wonder turf sometimes gets transplant shock? Some parts of the turf get holes or thin out and leave bare areas. What you’re really doing when you transplant turf is helping it recover.

    Think about it, plant cuttings and transplants need misting in a green house, whilst the turf you lay is simply asking to be kept moist for the first week or two after it’s laid. The key to a successful transplant, is not to let the turf dry out for at least the first 10 days

    In some cooler conditions this may just mean 1 water every day or so. In a hot dry windy 40 degree day, it may mean up to 6 waters per day for the first week. When I transplant turf, I simply water it if the turf even looks like drying out. I’m particularly fussy until I see little white roots shooting from the turf.

    To check this, simply lift a section a few days after laying the turf, and keep an eye on it until you see them. Once you see lots of white roots, you can reduce watering slightly, and then once it is difficult to lift the turf up, you can reduce watering even more. Always be a fussy waterer when you first lay turf.

    If you can’t water to these requirements, due to water restrictions, try lightly top dressing the turf at establishment time. This should halve the amount of water required to allow the lawn to strike. Only do this for warm season grasses, and not cool season lawns such as Fescue and Rye.

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