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

Author: Stefan Palm   Date Posted: 24 May 2019 

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

It is true that most varieties go dormant through winter (and stop growing) however that doesn't mean that you can't lay it. When it comes to rolling out turf in Adelaide, cold weather in Adelaide can't kill turf 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 its 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 top soil 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 hills areas 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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