Can You Lay Turf in Autumn?
Autumn is the best time of the year to complete any lawn projects, including installation of turf rolls. Due to the warm weather, it is often thought that summer is the best time to replace lawns. This isn’t true! Turf rolls can be laid at any time throughout the year, which includes Autumn. When temperatures fall below freezing and there is ground frost, it is not a good idea to lay turf. You can lay turf all year round, provided there is no snow or frost.
Autumn is a good time due to the cooler temperatures and more rain. The cooler temperatures are preferable, as you have less risk of your new turf overheating or drying out. You still have to water regularly, but there is less intense heat from the sun drying out your turf. So you can be less diligent with your watering and maintenance.
Timing Is Key
Timing is a bit more crucial in colder months than in the hot summer months. Turf roots can take up to 6 weeks to develop a strong root system. It takes around 2 weeks for the shallow root system to form. This means that you need to stay off the grass during this time to give it enough time to form its root system. You will need to give the turf at least 6 weeks to grow before the first frost. Once the ground is frozen, the grass will not be able to continue developing its root system. It will become dormant.
Take Extra Time And Care
Plan ahead to ensure that your turf is able to take root before the ground freezes. Follow the same steps as you would when installing turf rolls in the warmer months.
Laying Turf in September
September is the best month in the UK to lay turf. The soil is easy to work with at this time. The topsoil is warm enough to encourage optimal root growth and it gives the roots enough time to establish themselves before the winter months arrive. There should be enough rain in September to keep the newly laid turf moist enough without the need to use a hose or sprinkler. In a dry spell you should give the lawn a deep watering.
Laying Turf in October
The first two weeks of October is a great time to lay turf, only beaten out by September. The soil is easy to work with at this time. The topsoil is still warm enough in the first few weeks to encourage optimal root growth and it gives the roots enough time to establish themselves before the frost and snow arrives. There should be enough rain in October to keep the newly laid turf moist enough without the need to use a hose or sprinkler.
Laying Turf in November
As the colder weather starts to creep in, it becomes less than optimal for laying turf. The soil is cooling down and as winter approaches, morning frost can halt development of turf growth. Keep off the grass when frosty as you will cause footprints. You can still lay turf - unless frosty - but you would probably be better getting an expert to ensure the turf has the best chance over Winter.
Remember these turf needs:
- Lay on the day of the delivery, or the day after.
- Minimum 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
- Requires water for roots to grow deep.
- Roots establish within 6 weeks - so keep off the grass during this time.
You can lay turf all year round, many of our customers do, provided the ground is free from frost or snow. If you have any questions, please email us and we'll be happy to answer.