Would you like to have a lawn that looks like a bowling green? Laying a new turf can greatly invigorate and improve your garden. Budget turf is £2 – £3 per square metre. Mid-range higher grade turf is £5 per square metre. Premium turf is £7 per square metre. Labour charges on top are approx. £200 per day but larger projects can take several days. £450 – £600 for a medium sized garden approx. 20 square metres including turf and labour. Extra costs to consider are removing the old turf, hiring a skip to put the old turf in, and the cost of adding new soil.
Section 1: The Various Options
There are three distinct ways to make a new lawn. The first and most common is the traditional pre-made turf. If you live in a warmer climate and can’t lay grass, then a second way is to lay artificial grass. It has similar aesthetic properties to the real thing, can last for years, is relatively inexpensive, and can be installed quickly. Artificial grass can be laid in large areas at once, or alternatively, over smaller areas, and can be played with by children.
The third and most modern way of making a new lawn is to lay it with existing turf. In this method, the existing turf is left un-treaded, and the new turf is installed on top.
What Are the Costs?
The total cost to landscape your garden can vary quite considerably depending on the size of your garden and the type of material used.
Budget turf includes just turf and nothing else. Some also include fencing, lighting, compost or other garden accessories. Fencing is a separate purchase and will vary in price depending on its location and purpose. Turf prices may be higher in winter. Bags of frozen turf may be a great way to get all the turf you need for £50.
Most home owners know about patio doors, doorbells and alarm systems. The same is true for fencing. Using fencing from a DIY store can save on labour costs but may not be what you want. However, if you can fence it in, this will also save you on labour costs. Fences come in two main types: recessed and concealed. For security reasons, recessed fencing is usually a good idea for your garden.
The mid-range premium turf is high quality, sturdy and durable. The materials used are recycled and sustainable and it is best to have a look at what else is in the area. It has the look and feel of real grass, is guaranteed for one year, and the colours are consistent and a great option for colour coding your garden. It comes in various colour options, like white, red, blue, lime green and yellow.
Mid-range premium turf is popular because it can also be laid over concrete and that looks great, especially if you want a little heat action for colour contrast.
This is the highest grade of turf available to the general public. It is in fact quite a scientific process for creating premium turf. It is mainly made up of natural materials that exist in the grassland that surrounds your home. These natural materials are selected from a list of fifteen colours, and mixed together to create your very own microclimate turf. One example of a premium turf is Pineland, a beautiful double rosette turf which can be created at the same time you lay a new turf.
What You Need to Know
Good quality turf. You can buy at the garden centres or online. “Ultra high performance” (UHP) turf offers high drainage and water retention properties, and is suitable for harsh climatic conditions (typical UK winters!) . A properly maintained turf will look healthy for many years.
Compost, both topsoil and amended compost, with which to turn the soil over. Add a mixture of one part ordinary brown topsoil to one part amended soil.
Compost ready for use (some people also use a spinner to mix the compost with the topsoil) to amend the soil.
There are various specialist composting systems available from specialist suppliers, some of which may be better for your garden. The good advice is to buy a quality top soil and add to this with compost.
We’ll need to remove the old turf before laying new turf
The old turf which comes out of the roller bag weighs around 250 – 400 pounds. If it is heavy, then the ground underneath is too. It’s quite an effort for one person to carry this. What about you? I’m going to come over and help, but I’ll need some help. You’ve got plenty of neighbours, surely?
We’ll make a start on removing the old turf in a few weeks when the ground has warmed up.
Labour charges are usually £200 per day but can increase if labour is not available in your area
A Tipper lorry may be needed for heavier loads and as the turf needs to be hoisted into place.
You can save money if you can buy new turf from your local garden centre as they often have large stockpiles left over from the previous season.
The best method for cutting the root balls is to go slowly using a level when you make your cuts.
Only cut the root ball in half or thirds to minimise damage to the roots and ensure there are no large knots or splits. Also, keep an eye on your surroundings as you proceed. Grass will quickly grow up around a section that has been cut.
With a sensible budget, planning ahead and careful selection, you can have a beautiful vibrant garden that will be fit for the party season and beyond.