That’s a difficult question because although we understand that sometimes turf cannot be laid as soon as it arrives, we really don’t recommend that you try to store turf.
Keeping turf alive
Turf is a living, breathing thing. To keep it alive, the roots need to have access to water and the leaves must be able to see sunlight.
From the moment it is harvested and rolled up, turf starts to deteriorate. So, if it is to thrive, turf needs to be laid into its permanent position within 48 hours or less. Consequently, the warmer the weather, the quicker it loses condition.
If you really do need to store turf, even for a few hours, here are some tips that will help to preserve quality.
Four golden rules if you need to store turf
1: Don’t try to store turf in warm weather
On hot days, rolled up turfs will start to compost and die within hours. So lay and water your turf as soon as it is delivered.
Keep rolls in the best possible condition while you are working by stacking them in the shade.
2: Never water rolled up turf
Watering rolled up turf actually speeds up the decomposition. It creates a hot steamy atmosphere inside the roll that the plants just can’t tolerate. Do not water your turf until it has been unrolled
3: Good air circulation is vital
Keep as much air circulating around turf rolls as possible.
- Don’t store it indoors or in a shed,
- Avoid standing the pallet right next to walls or fences
- Break the pallet down into several smaller stacks
- Try to stack onto pallets so that the air can get underneath
4: Let the grass see the sun
If you have room to do so, unroll each turf so that the leaves are exposed to sunshine. Unrolled turfs should be watered.
It’s OK to unroll turf for a couple of days, keep it watered and then re-roll it to move it. This is a good strategy for garden centres who want to extend shelf life; and for landscapers who have turves left over from a job and want to use them somewhere else.
Storing Turf in Winter
Never try to lay turf onto frozen ground.
If you should experience a really cold spell after your turf has been delivered and before you can lay it, don’t panic.
Frozen turf can safely stay rolled up for up to 5 days. It won’t come to any harm at all. Neither will newly laid turf.
If you are at all worried, get in touch with your turf supplier who will be able to give you advice and reassurance.