Turf laying – the basics

Although it can be laid at any time of year, it’s best to lay turf in the autumn, as the temperature will be just right and your freshly-laid lawn will be regularly watered naturally. Springtime is fine too – provided you’re not in a hosepipe ban area, since new lawns require plenty of moisture.

As well as picking the right time of year, pick the right raw materials by choosing the best quality turf that you can afford from a renowned turf supplier (our Premium Grade turf is an excellent choice if you need a good all-rounder). Order your turf so that it can be layed as soon as possible when it arrives – within 24 hours is a good rule of thumb. When it arrives, put it in a shady spot while you prepare the ground.

Skim off any existing grass by undercutting it with a spade, remove weeds, roots, large stones and any debris, then dig over the ground to a depth of about 15cm (or use a rotovator), roughly levelling as you go. Then rake the soil to produce a smooth surface, and firm it down by either treading it with your feet or using a roller, before repeating the raking and firming process until the area is even, level and firm. Sprinkle pre-turf fertiliser evenly across the entire area, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and water it in well. This will help the grass to root in and establish more quickly.

Starting with a straight edge, lay your first row by slowly unrolling the turf, then, kneeling on a board to protect the new turf underneath, work forward from this first row. Make sure you butt each piece up closely to the last without stretching it, and always ensure there’s a good contact with the soil by tamping each piece down firmly. It’s also important to stagger the joints, in a ‘brickwork’ pattern.

You’ll probably notice one or two dips in your newly turfed lawn, but these can be easily rectified by peeling back the turf and putting in some topsoil before tamping the turf back down. Gaps between turves should have fine topsoil sprinkled into them, and a soft broom used to ensure an even finish.

After a light roll to bed the new turf into the soil, tidy the edges of your new lawn using a half-moon edging iron or a long-bladed knife, and (unless rain is imminent) give the whole area a good watering. Keep your lawn well-watered and try to avoid walking on it until it is established – you can check this by trying a corner to see if it will lift.

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