Can I lay turf in the rain?

3 min read

laying turf in december

Can I lay turf in the rain – 07.09.22 – I’m writing this blog post on just about the hottest day we’ve had this year. It’s humid, it’s sticky and there’s thunder in the air. It’s going to absolutely throw it down any minute now.

So what about all of those people who are having Turfland Turf delivered tomorrow? Can they lay turf in the rain?

The answer is “yes”

It’s fine to lay turf in just about any type of weather – just so long as you can prepare the ground properly. In summer time, it’s vital that turf is laid as soon as it arrives, never mind that you might get a bit wet – you’ll soon dry off again.

If you can work your soil into a nice friable consistency without making a soggy mess, then yes, it’s OK to lay turf in the rain. If the soil is sticky, squelchy and unworkable it’s best to postpone your turfing until things improve.

Why it’s good to lay turf in the rain

Drought is the biggest killer of newly laid turf. When you lay turf on a rainy day, the water evaporates from the soil a lot more slowly and the plants can get a good drink before the soil moisture disappears.

The leaves are less likely to wilt on a rainy day – even if the air and soil temperatures are still warm. This puts a lot less stress on the grass plants and helps them to establish quicker.
Mother Nature is giving you a hand with your water bill – make the most of it! Choosing to lay turf in spring or autumn, a little bit of rain goes a long way towards saving water.

You might not enjoy getting soaked yourself but getting a bit damp is far easier to recover from than getting heat stroke on a hot day. On a cool day you can wear a raincoat – no problem.

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Things to look out for when turfing in the rain
Poor preparation:

You can’t lay turf on something that has the consistency of cake mixture. Your soil should be prepared before your turf arrives. If rain postpones rotovating and raking, talk to your turf supplier and try to delay delivery. Please give at least 48 hours-notice if you want to change your delivery date as turf is cut to order – a last minute cancellation might not be possible.

Soil compaction:

Wet soil is easily compacted when you walk on it and this can result in dips in your lawn and/or slower rooting. It’s easily avoided – just use laying boards to spread your weight.

Lack of water:

Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean your turf will get enough water. Immediately after laying your turf, be sure to check that water has soaked through the grass into the soil beneath. If it hasn’t, then use a hose-pipe or a sprinkler to irrigate. Check back at least once a day to make sure that the soil is still moist. Turf needs to be watered thoroughly every day for the first 2-3 weeks. Don’t let the weather make you complacent.

Slipping and Sliding:

Make sure you wear sturdy shoes and watch your footing, it’s easy to slip on muddy laying boards.

If you need advice on turfing in the rain

Most turf suppliers are more than happy to reassure and advise you. At Turf Online, we’d rather you contacted us about any turfing worries than make mistakes and end up disappointed with your new lawn.

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