Making improvements to your garden can contribute greatly to injecting a new lease of life into your home. Whether you are installing decking or simply laying new turf, these changes can pay dividends towards giving your garden a fresh new look.
Laying new turf will certainly make your outside space look neat and tidy and if you are thinking about installing decking or a new patio, for example, your garden will have a more welcoming, sociable feel.
You may decide to take on your planned alterations yourself and if so, it would be useful to have some DIY experience, or someone with the experience to give you a helping hand!
Whatever changes you are thinking of making, you can be safe in the knowledge that you will not only add significant value to your home, but also achieve a look that you can show off in those summer months and gain a usable outdoor space for your family and friends.
If you are determined to lay the turf yourself then the perfect time to lay a new lawn from scratch is early autumn, when the grass can root easily. Before you begin, you must make sure that the area to be treated is prepared correctly.
You will need to ensure that all weeds, large stones and non-organic waste are removed from the surface. If you are replacing an existing lawn, dig off the existing grass to about two inches.
The next job is to create a completely even surface to lay the turf upon. Have a garden fork, spade and a rake handy to help you with this. Firm the soil by walking across the entire area, treading down the whole surface and then rake for a fine finish.
Once you are happy that you have a clean, flat surface, sprinkle granular fertiliser over the soil (this is available at your local garden centre and will help the new turf to root) and then lightly rake the surface once more. Finish preparing the soil by watering it. Your turf is now ready to be laid!
It is important that you lay the new turf within 12 hours of delivery to avoid deterioration. Start by laying your first row along a straight edge and ensure good contact with the soil by pressing down firmly with the back of a rake. Lay the next row, making sure the pieces of turf are pushed right up to the first row. Subsequent rows should be laid in a brickwork pattern until the area has been covered.
You will then need to water the whole area; it is best to use a sprinkler to avoid walking on the turf. Try to refrain from walking on your new lawn for a few weeks while the turf roots into the soil and trim it lightly with the mower blades set high.
And that is it! All you need now is a bit of luck with the weather and to keep the turf watered.
The process of constructing a patio or decked area in your garden is a little more challenging than laying new turf, but if you feel comfortable with a bit of DIY then this project can prove very rewarding!
It is important to plan, even before you have bought the kit, the location of your proposed patio/decked area. Think about the parts of your garden that catch the sun for extended periods of the day/evening or that give you a little privacy from the neighbours.
There are various designs for decked areas (for example low level or elevated decks) so you will need to decide which design you prefer or which would be best suited to you garden. If you opt for an elevated deck, you may need some professional help to install the foundations and supports for your decking.
You might also want to consider the purpose of your designated area and what you envisage having on there, to get some idea of the amount of patio slabs/decking you will need to purchase.
Before you begin installing your decking, it is a good idea to remove any turf or plantation that may grow up between the deck boards, and also to make sure that the area drains water effectively.