11

There are many books & websites which will tell me the optimal time of year to lay turf.

However, laying turf requires all kinds of preparation, plus you've got to coordinate obtaining the stuff and using it promptly. It's not an item that can sit around. So you can't do half the job one weekend and finish off the following weekend.

So you need to set aside a big old chunk of time. In my case that might be a time of the year when it's not optimal but still viable.

So my question is which months of the year are optimal, which are viable, and which are forget it. I'm in the south of England.

6

I have only ever laid turf once, so I'm no expert, but this is how I interpret the advice from Dr. Hessayon ("The Lawn Expert") which seems pretty sound:

  • Optimal months in the UK are (in this order) early or mid-September, when the soil is still warm but there is little chance of a water shortage, October and November

  • Viable months are December to February, provided the ground is neither waterlogged nor frozen; also March and April, but this may involve regular watering when the weather is dry to prevent the turves from shrinking and the roots from dying

  • 'Forget-it' months are May to August - newly-laid turf would require frequent watering in the summer heat and would struggle to establish itself.

  • thanks, answers my question to the full, and now i know that now is just about the right time, and i've got at least a couple of months to slot it in – Tea Drinker Aug 28 '11 at 15:20
8

I know we're told to never question a doctor, but I'm going to disagree a little bit with Dr. D. G. Hessayon advice.

I'm definitely no doctor, nor do I consider myself a "Lawn Expert", as I'm learning new things about lawns all the time, but with that said, the below is based on my personal experience of lawns in the UK and my personal experience with lawns in general...

  • Best time to lay turf (sod) in the UK is:

    • The month of September (the earlier in September the better IMHO) and during the first 2 weeks of October.

    • The ground is fairly easy to work with at this time.

    • The ground is still warm enough to encourage good root growth and give the roots enough time to establish themselves before the colder months arrive.

    • Should be enough rain at this time to keep the newly laid turf moist enough without the need to get the hose/sprinkler (too much).

  • The 2nd best time to lay turf (sod) in the UK is:

    • From mid March to the end of April.

    • The ground is starting to warm up and is workable.

    • Should give the roots enough time to establish themselves before the heat (and dryness) of Summer arrives. Yes, I know the UK had the driest April on record this year (2011), but I think it's "generally" accepted that was an extraordinarily freaky, strange April in the UK.

    • Should be enough rain at this time to keep the newly laid turf moist enough without the need to get the hose/sprinkler (too much).

  • The 3rd best time to lay turf (sod) in the UK is:

    • I don't believe there is such a time.

    • From mid October through to the end of November the ground is really starting to cool down... the roots won't have enough time to establish themselves before the Winter months arrive.

    • From December through to mid March the ground is too cold and working the ground during Winter isn't easy, nor is it "generally" advisable to-do-so.

    • The month of May through to mid June doesn't give the grass long enough to establish itself before the heat (and dryness) of Summer arrives.

    • From mid June through to the end of August is too warm and dry for the roots (grass) to establish themselves.

Below is some information on UK lawns that may prove helpful/useful.

From BBC Gardening Guides:

From Royal Horticultural Society:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.