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There is a good reason garden lawns have been a popular amenity for centuries. These multifunctional living surfaces can host a range of activities from games to picnics. Their lush, green surface is self regenerating and relatively easy to maintain.
Very often however garden lawns can become over compacted, nutrient poor and overrun with weeds. Areas around trees become dry and sparse while shady moist lawns form a mat of moss. Very often these issues can be reversed with vegetation clearance and some tentative ground works.
However the only sure and quick way to get a perfect lawn in 2022 is to start a fresh. There are two main ways to replace an existing lawn seeding and turfing. Turfing is the fasted method resulting in instant impact but is more expensive. Seeding is cheaper but takes time to establish and can be tricky to do correctly.
The question is how much does it cost to install a new lawn in 2022? How much does seeding cost and how much does laying turf cost? We will break down all the associated costs with installing a new lawn for both seeding and turfing.
We will also include an average landscaping labour rate for method in 2022. This will help you to decide if you want to hire a company or complete the work yourself.
Our 100 square metre lawn case study
We will price up a hypothetical new lawn project of 10 x 10 metres or 100 square metres. We will include all variables including, waste, machine hire, materials and labour.
We will set out all of the data so you can adapt our figures to your project. Our aim is to calculate an average price per square metre of laying new turf and seeding.
Economic factors in 2022
The last couple of years have seen some very unusual distortions in the economy. The pandemic which started in 2021 has led to supply chain issues and material shortages. With forced savings due to lock downs the landscaping industry has seen an economic boom.
Low interest rates and reduced travel has meant more spending at home. This has combined with an aging workforce and a shrinking labour market. Skilled manual labour is in short supply across the western world.
Consequently labour rates for landscaping projects have increased up to 20% over the past year. Consumer price inflation is now at a 40 year high raising company running costs and material prices.
However with gradual interest rises in 2022 and a normalising economy these factors should subside.
What does a new lawn cost to install with turf?
The chart below prices a hypothetical lawn laying project of 100 square metres
Project specification for self installation
Chip off the existing turf with a sharp spade of turf cutter; Make sure you dig out prominent perennial by the roots. Also dig out any unwanted bulbs, saplings and shrubs and dispose of in a skip. Loading skips with loose green waste is much easier with a pitchfork and wheelbarrow.
Do you need to rotavate the soil?
You do not have to rotavate and till your soil but in a perfect world you will. Rotavating is essential if you want to alleviate compaction and improve lawn drainage.
If you rotavate make sure you dig out perennial weeds as the machines blades will fragment and spread them. However as long as you spread an inch of good quality topsoil over the lawn it will thrive.
Rotavating can lead to settlement after a couple of seasons which is not ideal if you want flush mowing edges.
Whether rotavating or not, move high areas of ground into low spots to create a level sub-soil, base. Supply and spread an inch of good quality topsoil to the lawn and rake to a consistent level.
Supply and lay the amount of turf you need, typically one turf is one square metre. Lay the turfs out flat and butt them in tightly and neatly to adjoining turf. It is important to lay turf with a staggered join like brickwork for extra bonding.
When a section of turf is laid make sure you water it well with a sprinkler. This is especially so if it is a warm, sunny day! If the turf is drying out or turning yellow you must lay it as soon as possible.
Water it well and make sure you board it in with scaffold boards or long planks of straight timber. This is to make sure turf has good contact with the ground. Walk up and down the boards applying your body weight to the lawn.
Water well and then don’t walk on it for at least two weeks while the grass is establishing. During hot and dry weather water the lawn for the first two months.
How much does it cost to seed a new lawn?
The chart below prices a hypothetical lawn seeding project of 100 square metres
Project description for self installation
In the same way as laying new lawn turf, chip off the existing lawn and dig out weeds and shrubs. Whether you are rotavating or not dig down high areas and spread them into low areas.
When you have as level subsoil as possible take some measurements to quantify how much topsoil you need. If you have mowing strip edging run a tight string line from edge to edge at multiple points. Take an average depth measurement and times it by the lawns area.
Supply and spread your topsoil evenly and using a landscaping rake work it to a perfectly level surface. With your bag of grass seed walk up and down scattering the seed as evenly as possible. Try to make the sure sowing density as consistent as possible. If you do not feel confident doing this you can use a rotary seed spreader.
When you have spread the seed, gently run the fine rake or pitch fork through the surface. This will help to lightly cover the seed and assist in germination. Water the seeding area with a sprinkler or complete before a forecasted heavy downpour.
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It got me when you said that starting with a new lawn would be the quickest way to get a perfect lawn as soon as possible this year. Since I will be hosting a party for Christmas, I should hire a sod installation company to work with us in November. It would probably be enough to ensure that the front lawn and backyard would be appealing for guests.
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Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire