How to Lay Turf
Turf Laying is not as difficult as you may think, just follow our simple step by step turf laying guide and you will have the lawn of your dreams!!
Remember to measure the area you wish to turf accurately, try to measure it in meters as most turf is sold by the square meter (m2), use our Turf Calculator to help work out the area or call us if you need any assistance.
Also remember that turf needs laying within 24-48 hours (depending on the weather conditions) of delivery, so get your area up to step 2 before your turf arrives.
Step 1 - Removing Old Turf & Digging Over the Soil Bed
This is the most important step and will be the most time consuming, the more effort you put in here the better your lawn will look.
- Strip off any old grass / weed by digging underneath the turf to lift off the grass plus about 1.5 inches of soil. This can be done with either a spade or for larger areas you can hire a turf cutter from you local hire shop.
- Discard the weed and turf top (you can shake out the soil from the roots if you wish).
- You should now be left with bare soil, this can now be dug over with a spade to a depth of around 3 to 6 inches, breaking the soil up as you go, this will air-ate the soil and improve drainage as well as root establishment. For larger areas the soil can be rotivated with a mechanical rotivator (available from hire shops), but digging over with a spade is just as good.
You should now have a rough but broken up soil bed.
Step 2 - Raking and Leveling
The soil now needs compacting and raking level with a wide turfing rake, this is a very important stage as it will break up the soil clumps and lumps, making leveling much easier.
- Compact the soil by walking on it with your heals then rake the soil several times in different directions dragging soil into any low areas to level the whole garden (discard any stones or roots that you rake off the surface).
- If you need to build up levels or add topsoil this is the time to do it.
- Repeat the compacting stage and then re-rake, repeat this process until you have a firm and level surface (the more level your soil the more level and better the finished lawn will be).
Once you are happy with the level and the firmness of the soil surface you can give it a final rake over.. you are now nearly ready to lay turf.
Step 3 - Turf Laying - Easy bit!
You should now have a nice smooth and level soil bed and your fresh turf should have been delivered. You can now apply any pre turfing fertilisers if you have / need any.
- Start at a point furthest away from you as you dont want to have to walk over your newly laid turf to lay the next row down, you may need to rake again before you lay the roll down to remove foot prints etc.
- Take a roll of turf and unroll it along a straight edge of the garden to start, then take the next roll and butt it up to the end of the first roll and roll that one out. Do this until you have rolled out a row of turf the length of the area you are covering (its like rolling out a rug or carpet). Then start the next row by taking a roll and butting the edges up next to the last row and roll it out in a parallel row, try to stagger the joints (like brick work) and make sure the edges are tight to each other.
- Tamp the turf down with the back of the rake or a board as you go especially along the joints, this will ensure the roots are in contact with the soil.
Repeat the turf laying and tamping process until you have covered the area you are turfing, shape the edges and cut turf where necessary with a sharp spade or an old kitchen knife., use off cuts to fill in gaps etc.
Step 4 - Watering
Once you have finished laying your turf you will need to give it a good soaking with a hose pipe, your turf will now need watering daily and try to keep off the turf until the roots and bedded into the soil.
After about 10 days you should check to see if the roots have bedded into the topsoil, to do this just lift a corner of a roll of turf, you should be able to see fresh white roots extending down from the turf into the soil, once these are established properly you can reduce the watering frequency and start walk on the turf.