Weekend Work: Time to lay new turf

What to do

Lay new turf now so the grass can settle during the winter. Dig over the ground, get rid of all weeds and rake the tilth so the surface is even. Use a line to keep the turves straight and lay them so the joints are staggered, like brickwork. Sift soil into any gaps and firm down the turves by banging them with a rake head.

Bare patches in lawns can be repaired either with turf, or with lawn seed. Choose a mixture with ryegrass where lawns get heavy wear. There are also seed mixtures which contain slow-growing grasses. These are especially useful for steep slopes or for using in wild flower meadows.

Fill some containers outside with plants for winter interest. Heathers such as white 'Lyonesse' and pink 'St Keverne' flower through the autumn. White 'Springwood' and pink 'King George' pick up the baton in December. Use a compost suitable for acid loving plants. Variegated ivies and dwarf hebes will provide good foliage contrast.

If you are going for wallflowers, look for plants that are bushy and compact, with their growing tips pinched out. Wallflowers have done as much growing as they are going to – a plant that is scrawny now will still be scrawny in spring.

Moss growth accelerates as grass growth slows: if you don't like moss in the lawn, treat it now with a residual killer.

Divide and replant clumps of chives and mint. Rake up fallen leaves. If you have room, stack them in a separate compost heap to rot down over winter. Leaf mould makes an excellent mulch.

Lift dahlia tubers after stems have been blackened by frost. Cut dahlia stems back to about an inch and leave them to dry for a week or so. Then dust them with a fungicide such as flowers of sulphur and pack them in boxes of damp compost or sand. Store them in a place that is free from frost.

What to buy

Keep topiary in order with top-notch Tobisho clippers (£65), made by a small family firm in the Yamagata mountains in Japan. Hand-forged, beautifully balanced, but not to be used as secateurs. Available from Niwaki, Harvard Farm, Halstock, Yeovil BA22 9SZ, 0845 116 2372, niwaki.com

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect