5 Reasons why Autumn is the Best Time of Year to Lay Turf
Why Autumn is the best time of year to lay turf
Summer is officially over. The weather is getting cooler and the evenings are getting shorter. But there is good news for anyone planning to lay a new lawn. Autumn is the best time of year to lay turf.
5 reasons why it’s good to lay turf in autumn
The weather is ideal for working outside
The one thing we always tell people to do when laying turf is to look after themselves. Laying turf is hard physical work. In hot weather its easy to become dehydrated and sunburnt. In winter your muscles are cold and it’s easy to strain yourself.
Laying turf in hot weather it's harder to keep yourself hydrated and it's definitely much harder to keep newly laid turf hydrated. In autumn however, British weather is kinder to newly laid turf and to the turfers themselves
In autumn, the temperature is more clement and so you can work more efficiently. You don’t need bulky coats to keep you warm and restrict your movement, neither do you risk suffering from sunstroke. It’s perfect.
Turf shelf life is longer
All through the summer we worry that rolled turf will lose its condition before it can be installed. Summer shelf life is very short indeed and for an inexperienced turf-layer it can be hard to work quickly enough.
Don’t be complacent though. Autumn turf must still be laid within 24 hours of delivery but there’s less pressure than in summer months.
Wet weather helps prevent turf drying out
Everyone grumbles about rain showers, misty mornings and dull days in autumn but they’re great for newly laid turf. While those tiny roots are pushing into the soil they MUST be kept moist. If the soil beneath new turf is allowed to dry out, the plants will die and you won’t have the lawn you wanted.
Freshly harvested turf must be laid and watered within 24 hours of delivery (never water rolled up turf). In high summer, that timespan is reduced to less than 8 hours.
Higher humidity, lower temperatures and more frequent rain showers mean that you might be able to water your turf less often than in summer. However, it’s vital that you do water your turf immediately after laying and check every day for the first fortnight that soil is moist.
Warm soil encourages strong root growth
The air may feel cool in autumn but soil temperatures are usually balmy. Just the right temperature in fact for turf to want to grow roots. Warm roots, gentle sunshine and damp soil provide the perfect conditions for establishing new turf.
Your lawn can settle before it needs to cope with summer shenanigans
Admit it – you are tempted to step onto your new lawn and do a bit of a happy dance. It’s lush, it’s green, it’s inviting and who wouldn’t want to enjoy it to the full? But too much foot traffic before it is properly rooted in can slow turf establishment.
Newly laid turf needs time to settle and establish before it is played upon.
Luckily, it’s autumn and soon it will be winter. The outside looks inviting, but only through a window. We Brits prefer to spend cooler days indoors by the fire. With our woolly socks and our hot chocolate, we’re not going out unless we have to!
While we’re cosied up indoors ordering seeds for spring sowing and keeping our fingers crossed that the daffodil bulbs will grow, the lawn is developing a robust root system that will support in almost all circumstances. The less we walk on a new lawn, the stronger it will be.
Ordering new turf in autumn
At Wimborne Turf we supply Dorset-grown turf all year round. It’s available for delivery to your door or for collection from our farm. All you need to do is call us a couple of days before you’d like to receive your turf and we will harvest it nice and fresh for you.
If you would prefer to have your lawn laid by professionals, we do offer a supply and lay service. Phone us for a quotation.
- Teresa Flower