Is it the wrong time of year to lay natural turf?

Author: Stefan Palm   Date Posted: 27 July 2021 

Is it too cold to roll out turf during winter? - In a word, No. In most circumstances, turf can still be rolled out now and all through the colder months.

It really is an ideal lockdown project. Even under the toughest level 5 restrictions, turf can still be delivered to homes for customers who intend to roll it out themselves. That's something to keep in mind now and into the future as we struggle to come to grips with Covid-19. 

It is true that most varieties go dormant through winter (and stop growing) however that doesn't mean that you can't lay turf. When it comes to rolling out turf in Adelaide, cold weather can't kill it so the question isn’t so much, “Can I plant a lawn in winter?”, it’s more like, “What measures should I take and what should I look out for when laying a lawn in winter?

Minimise usage because it is dormant. If you plant a lawn during winter it’s usually for cosmetic purposes only. Because it’s dormant, it won’t do much growing or establishing so try to stay off it. Keep in mind that if it gets damaged or worn, it won’t repair itself till spring.

If it doesn’t rain, you’ll need to regularly water it – right through winter. Just because it's winter it would be easy to think that you don’t need to water your new lawn. Remember that because it's dormant, it won’t be sending any roots into your topsoil till spring. This means that it can still dry out reasonably quickly. It’s not a big deal because it will usually rain enough to keep the lawn happy but it’s something to keep your eye on just in case there is a dry spell.

What to expect. The reality is that your lawn is going to sit there (quite happily) all winter doing nothing in the establishment department. You’ll still see the join lines all winter and you’ll have very little root activity but don’t be surprised or concerned by this.

The exception…. The exception to this rule is that I would avoid laying turf in frosty areas or in and around the Adelaide hills during winter due to the extreme cold nature of those areas.

If you’re in a position where you are considering laying lawn during the winter months you’re probably just looking for ways to make that muddy area look good, or to reduce water erosion or stop mud being tracked into the house. In our experience, Adelaide winter weather won’t kill your lawn, so although it’s not the best time to do it, it can be done with confidence knowing it will establish properly when spring arrives.

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