Going from a patch of sand to having a lawn sounds like the type of magic dreams are made of…

Instant lawns are a great way to transform your garden without waiting for your grass to grow from seed to lawn, which takes weeks and isn’t completely foolproof.

Having an instant lawn may be easier than growing your grass from a box of seeds, but you do need to put some work into to it if you want to keep your lawn looking healthy and green.

Related: 10 tips for a healthy lawn

Lay down the groundwork

Laying down instant lawn is a lot like planting a grown lawn in your garden because that is exactly what it is. Before you lay your grass, you need to prepare the ground and the soil so that it is fit for growing your grass.

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Make sure the ground is even and as flat as possible, remove large rocks and stones and finally prepare the soil for growing grass. Depending on the type of grass you choose, your soil doesn’t need too much attention; however, it should be moist and nutritious so your grass can root and grow well.

Choose the right type of grass

Choosing the right type of grass is very important because while your instant lawn will give you a lawn instantly, it is not guaranteed to last and grow forever.

When choosing your grass, you need to consider the area in which you are planting, whether there is enough sunlight, how much traffic the area gets and whether your grass will get the water it needs.

Most South African homes have Kikuyu grass, which is also what you are most likely to get from street vendors. Kikuyu grass is hardy, fast-growing and cheap, but it doesn’t do well in winter and may appear to die until spring when it starts growing back again.

Buffalo and golf green grass are more specialised and need consistent and frequent watering, but they do have their charm and are worth looking into if you’re looking for a specific and distinct type of lawn.

Related: Maintaining a lawn or getting an artificial lawn 

Planting an instant lawn

Planting your lawn is the easiest part. There is no need to dig or cover up the lawn in any way; laying the lawn on your prepared soil is just about it. The lawn should take root on its own with only a little encouragement.

After your lawn has been laid, you need to roll it down to encourage it to attach to the ground. Gentle stomping could work too, but be careful not to damage your new lawn


Now that you’ve got your new lawn, there are a few things you need to do to make sure you keep it.

It’s important to water your lawn daily in the first week to support rooting. Thereafter you can slowly decrease watering to every second day and eventually twice a week. Using fertilizer every 6-12 weeks will also help your grass stay green and healthy.

Related: Lawn care: Why you should go organic