February 09, 2018
Here in the UK we’re no strangers to an exceptionally wet forecast, whether it be the grey days of winter or the height of summer, and it can often come out of the blue. The problem with an unexpected downpour – which, let’s face it, can and does happen more frequently than we would like and usually at the most inopportune of times – is that it can often scupper your plans to be out working in the garden to start getting it summer-ready. Whilst a nasty rainfall doesn’t provide the greatest motivation to actually get stuck into the gardening, it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t do anything out there.
It’s a common misconception that turf cannot be laid during wet weather – this is absolutely not the case. Providing you have prepared the ground properly, turf can be laid in pretty much all weathers. It’s best to get turf laid as quickly as possible once it has arrived, especially during warmer months as it can dry out and become much poorer in quality as a result. So what do you actually need to keep an eye on if you’re looking to try and lay some turf during or after a rainfall?
The key thing to look for is the consistency of your soil. Basically, if your soil feels sticky or squelchy then it’s probably best to leave laying your new turf for another day; the ground is too moist and it will prove difficult to lay your turf well. If you are able to work your soil over and prepare it to take the turf then you’re ready to lay. Although you should be using them anyway, it is even more important to use laying boards when the ground is wet. Wet soil is a lot easier compacted and will do so when walked on, which could lead to dips, uneven patches and even damaged rooting. Make sure that you use laying boards to walk over and alleviate the risk.
Another really important point to consider when laying turf in the wet weather is watering your turf. Now, this may sound silly – surely the rain water should be able to provide enough moisture to help establish your new turf? Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Once laid, you should check that the water has seeped through to the soil underneath. If it hasn’t, you know you need to water it as well. Annoying as it is, rainfall cannot be relied upon to keep your new turf freshly watered, and this needs to be done thoroughly each day for the first few weeks.
Drought can often be a big problem for newly laid turf, so laying it during rainy periods can actually be a really good thing. It will also help with your water bill – whilst you will probably still be watering it a little each day or every other day, this will be considerably less than if it was consistently dry weather!
So, yes, you definitely can lay turf during wet weather, but preparation is key. If your soil is too wet to properly prepare to take new turf then you shouldn’t try to lay on it as this will prove difficult to manage and the end product will definitely not be the beautiful lawn you were hoping for. Providing the soil is okay, laying turf during wetter weather can actually be beneficial as you don’t have to worry so much about the prospect of it drying out and you have a little longer time to lay it.
If you have any queries regarding laying your turf and the best time in which to do this, please do not hesitate to contact one of our fabulous team members who will be able to advise and guide you to the best solution.