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Returfing

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smallwren | 14:20 Sat 13th Aug 2005 | Home & Garden
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Our back garden is in a terrible state. 90% weeds and 10% grass! Our land lord has agreeded to re-turf it for us if we rotivate it first.

My question is when is the best time to returf a garden and what should we do before laying the turf to make sure the weeds don't just come back?

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dont do it if we are due a heatwave or a prolonged dry spell the man next door to me laid a lawn when it was hot the other week and its threadbare..the best time is really in the spring when its wet and growing season..but you should be okay to do it late september weather permitting..if its dry water it thoroughly at least once a day..when the sun isnt blazing down on it..unfortunately everyone gets weeds you will either have to dig them out with a little knife making sure you get the root..or buy some feed and weed when the lawn gets established..
I generally agree with the good advice from mullein 1, but would add;  Once the plot is rotovated (rototilled, here in the U.S.) rake in a pre-emergence weed killer.  This stops the weeds before they germinate.  It won't get them all, but it will certainly lessen the infestation.  Late fall i.e., mid-September to late October is a good time for starting a new lawn here, at least.  As mullein 1 says, watering is important.  You really can't over water new turf.  It's my assumption you are talking about laying down sod... if not and you intend to seed in a new lawn, be sure to wait at least a week after the use of the pre-emergence weed killer.  If you are seeding in the lawn, I've had excellent luck with mixing in about 1/3 by volume some common oat seed.  The kind farmers grow for feed.  This germinates more quickly than grass seed, grows rapidly and acts as a nurse crop for the new grass seedlings.  It provides shade and draws water to its root area, providing water to the nearby grass.  Once it's mowed for the first time, it simply disappears.  At any rate, best of luck!

If you rotovate it, all the annual weed seeds will germinate as they are exposed to the light  and you may find any perennial nasties like bindweed nettles and dandelions will get chopped up into small pieces and regenerate also.  so If you rotovate then make sure you pick out every little piece of root left behind. I would buy some glyphosate, spray it , wait until everything dies then rotovate and spray off or hand weed the annual weeds. then when its clear put down your turf.  I have never seen a pre-emergence weedkiller on sale so I think thats available overseas only. Glyphosate does at least break down on contact with soil and is ok with pets according to the label . You need to make sure its all flat too!

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