Hi all, this is my first post, so be gentle!
I moved into my first home in August 2005 and the garden was a concret
jungle - paving slabs etc. so I decided that as well as planting som
flower boxes I would lay some turf. I know nothing about gardening bu
wanted to be a bit more green.
I took up an area 3m x 5m of paying slabs to find about 8 inches o
sand underneath. Because I live in a town house, it wasn't practical t
dispose of the sand so I simply visited B&Q and brough enough turf t
cover the area of, now levelled, sand.
The next day I spoke to a friend who said there was no chance of th
grass surviving on sand. I was a bit upset by that notion but hav
continued to water the lawn and today have cut the now very thick, lon
and green grass (it's been 2 months since I laid it). It appears to hav
knitted together very well and looks healthy (although I know littl
about these things). I have not fed it yet as the plant food labels ar
against this for the first 6 months of laying the turf. I have tried t
uproot the turf on a corner to see if it has rooted - the result i
that I actually can't pull up the turf easily becuase it has rooted s
When I cut it today I left the cuttings on the lawn (this is calle
"mulching" so I understand and helps?).
My question is 1.) do you think it will survive all year and, 2.
should I feed it now? Any tips would be brill.
Anyway, guessing that you are in the UK, say near London. I recommend
a light feeding with a "starter" fertilizer. You don't want to have
the lawn trying to grow fast during the hot summer months. Be sure to
water it. You can read up on that numerous places on the web. It's
fine to leave the clippings on the lawn unless they are so heavy that
they smother the lawn.
You won't have to worry about crabgrass because you don't have any bald,
unshaded spots. Hopefully the dandelions and other broad leaf weeds
haven't taken hold yet. Good luck.
I think it's doubtful this sod, laid on only sand, will survive long
term. Turf needs some amount of decent topsoil and all this has is the
tiny amount that came with the sod. Even if it does survive, it will
likely present future problems, like needing a lot more water because
the sand will drain quickly. And grass in less than optimal conditions
gets stressed easier and hence becomes more prone to disease and
I'd would definitely fertilize it now and using a starter fertilizer is
a good idea too, though not critical.
Are you referring to how golf course greens are constructed and
suggesting that they are built on 100% sand? I believe the soil used
is not pure sand, but in fact a mix of sand and organic material. And
that is a very special application optimized to unique requirements,
chief among them is needing it to drain very fast. To support that,
they have the ability to closely monitor it, water very frequently,
apply fertilizer frequently, chemicals at the first sign of trouble,
Here's an excerpt from Turfgrass Producers Intl, an organization that
should know something about growing turf and also of interest because
sod is what the OP put down and that's exactly what they produce:
"Grass obtains three of these four essential factors (air, water and
nutrients) from the soil, but many soils are less than ideal for
growing grass. Some soils contain too much clay and may be very
compacted... great for roads, bad for grass, because air and water
aren't available to the roots and the roots can't grow. Other soils may
have too much sand... beautiful on a beach, but difficult to grow grass
because water and nutrients won't stay in the root zone long enough for
the plant to use."
"Brill" = short for "Brilliant".
Thanks to all your comments, which I have read with interest, but i
appears the argument for my questions are two sided.
As I am in UK (Colchester) we have fairly decent weather and a mix o
sun and rain I'm able to water it every night (or at least every othe
night) when there is a lack of rain, but will probably reduce this t
once every 3 nights with a heavy dousing of H20. I'll also give it som
food and will make a point in the winter of laying some of my home-grow
compost to increase the soil composite.
Thanks for your help.
What type of grass did you plant? Some have deeper roots than others.
Given your climate, I imagine you'll get enough rain to allow the sod to
survive. The key to long term success for you is infrequent, deep waterings.
The idea is to get the roots to go deep. Frequent waterings will encourage
shallow roots, which is what you'd like to avoid.
Feeding is good. Use a fertilizer with a medium to low nitrogen content and
high content of the other components. Again, this will promote root growth
over blade growth.
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