The answer is YES, you absolutely can. It's a common misconception that you cannot or should not lay turf during winter. Providing that you have properly prepared the soil and the ground isn't frozen, there's no reason why you can't. There are even a number of advantages to be had if you decide that now is the right time to lay new turf. As with laying turf at any other time of the year, there are always a few key points that you need to think about ahead of time and we have explored these below.
Frosty Weather? Not A Worry
Frosty mornings are pretty much a guarantee at this time of year, with the cold temperatures often lasting throughout the day. Believe it or not, frost doesn’t actually cause long-term damage to turf. Turf can keep for several days longer than normal during the winter months, owing to the 'defrosting' process which is similar to that of your freezer at home. It can then be laid as normal once thawed. Although you cannot lay turf onto frozen ground, frosty weather once turf has been laid isn't a problem and will not cause any lifting or damage to your new grass. The advantage of cold weather is that prior to laying, the turf rolls actually last longer than during the summer months so you are under less of a time pressure to get them down. Cold snaps and frosty temperatures will not have a detrimental effect on your turf once it has been laid so there is nothing to worry about there. It is important to note that newly laid lawns may struggle more with snow mould because they have not had the time to build up a resistance against lawn diseases.
Handle With Care
It's important to ensure that you are handling your new turf carefully, especially if it has recently thawed. The defrosting process may cause the turf to be damp and heavy so make sure you are lifting, carrying and laying it carefully so as not to cause any damage. When laying the turf make sure you are lifting it into the correct position, not dragging it. If any rips or damages occur, it should be fairly easy to press the relevant pieces into place, especially if it's slightly damp - once it’s established, you won't notice any difference.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when thinking about laying turf at any time of year, but especially during these colder months, is the condition of the condition of the ground where you want to lay the turf. Make sure that your ground has adequate drainage - poor drainage and compacted soil are two of the biggest hurdles you will face. In order to achieve the best results, your soil should ideally be damp but still crumbly, not sludgy or too stodgy. You can always mix in some topsoil to help dry the existing soil out. Use laying boards to ensure your feet don't create dips or dents in the soil and try to do as much soil preparation as you can from the edge of the area.
There are several positives if you choose to lay new turf at this time of year. First and foremost, your turf will be well established and (hopefully) thriving by the time spring rolls around. There are plenty of other gardening tasks to complete during the warmer months so having your lawn all ready to go will be one thing ticked off the list and you will definitely be thankful for that. You may also be very happy to hear that laying turf during the winter months means little watering is necessary, especially compared to the warmer weather. This is not to say that you can ignore the watering side all together, just make sure that it is watered after laying and that it doesn't dry out afterwards. Keep a close eye on this during windier weather. Make sure that you don't walk on frozen grass as this can be damaging. There will of course be some pitfalls when laying turf at any time of the year, and it’s important to understand and prepare for these so you aren't caught out. The low maintenance element of later turf laying is a sure fire positive point - laying turf during winter will save you both valuable time and money, so it’s a win-win situation.
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Here at George Davies Turf, we take great pride in delivering fresh, quality turf, whether it’s for a domestic property or a major commercial requirement… we guarantee a speedy delivery of your turf and in perfect condition, ready for immediate transplantation right where and when you need it.