Thinking about laying a new lawn? Then you’ll need to know everything about preparing ground for turf installation. Ground prep is just as important as laying the turf itself if you want to achieve a level, attractive lawn. Find out how to best prepare the ground for laying new turf, with advice from Essex turf grower and supplier, Paynes Turf.

Preparing ground for turf

It’s essential to carry out good ground preparation in order to avoid problems which will be difficult to correct, such as a lumpy, uneven lawn, once the turf has been laid.

Preparing ground for turf

  • If you already have a lawn, you’ll need to remove the old turf first. To do this, use a spade to undercut the turf, and remove. Depending upon the size of the area to be turfed, you may wish to consider hiring a turf cutter from a local hire centre to make the job easier and faster.
  • Once all the old turf has been removed, use a garden fork to turn over the soil to a depth of around 15cm. Make sure that you remove any debris including stones, weeds and roots. If the area to be dug over is too big a job to do manually, consider hiring a powered rotavator to help make it easier.
  • Next use a garden rake to even up the level of the ground: run the rake backwards and forwards over the surface of the ground until it looks level and free from lumps and dips. If the soil is of poor quality then now is a good time to lightly rake in a layer of fresh quality topsoil over the entire area.
  • Using your feet, tread over the ground lightly to firm the soil down, but try not to be too heavy-footed as you may compact the soil.
  • Assess the level of the ground and add or remove soil to even out the ground.
  • Repeat the raking and treading process until the ground is perfectly level, as this will give optimum results when laying the new turf.
  • Depending upon the time of year, it may or may not be necessary to water the ground. Generally speaking, between October and March it should not be necessary to water the soil unless it is unusually dry.
  • Order the turf. For best results, always lay the turf on the day of delivery.

Find out how to lay turf here.

Preparing ground for turf