When selling your property the positive impact of a good first impression cannot be overstated, and a good lawn is the obvious place to start. The fast and easy option to improve a very poor lawn is simply to returf it, using rolls of turf. Whilst more expensive than seeding, this does give instant results and can be done before your first buyers come round.
Turf can be laid at most times of year, as long as the site is not waterlogged, frozen or during a drought, so check the weather forecast before you start. Autumn is ideal.
First, remove any existing grass by under-cutting with a spade or, for larger areas you could hire a turf stripper. Then dig over or rotovate removing large stones, weeds etc.. Rake over the ground and firm down the soil either with your feet, or using a roller (you may already have one on the back of your lawnmower). The ground should be firm but not compacted.
Then sprinkle granules of pre-turf fertiliser over the area and lay the turf using staggered joints as with brickwork. Stand on a plank placed over turf you have just laid to avoid indentation, although if you do spot a hollow, simply peel back the turf and fill with topsoil. Trim off excesses with a long-bladed knife. Always keep the level of turf above any paving so you can mow up to the edge.
Fill any gaps between turfs with fine topsoil and brush over with a broom. Then roll once more and thoroughly water with a sprinkler. You should then water once a day for at least two weeks, during which time you should not walk on the grass.
Mow the new lawn using a high blade setting when the turf has rooted, i.e. once it cannot easily be lifted. Thereafter, mow regularly, each time removing no more than one third of the grass height until well established and fertilise after eight weeks from Spring onwards.
Your new lawn should look so beautiful that you may decide not to sell after all – but if you do, you know who to call!