Turf Laying Guide

The secret to creating a strong and healthy garden lawn is thorough preparation of the area that is to be turfed. Do not order the turf until preparation is complete.

01. Preparation

Start by removing the existing turf. This can be done with a spade or a turf cutter hired from a local hire firm. Remember that plants grow above and beneath the ground so remove any roots that you find. Once the turf is removed you can begin to prepare the soil. The aim is to achieve an even, firm and flat turf laying area of fine tilth, free of weeds, stones and clods. Start by digging the entire area over with a fork down to about 150mm (6 inches). A rotavator can be useful to break the soil down, however with a little more effort the same result can be achieved with a spade, fork and a rake.

If you have poor quality soil our blended topsoil can be used for ease of working, and will provide the perfect turf-growing medium. Use our topsoil calculator to work out how much you need. The end result should be a firm level surface free from any soft or hollow areas so that the newly laid turf can knit quickly into the prepared soil.

To give your lawn the best possible start, apply a suitable starter lawn feed and rake it in to the prepared area.

02. Measuring

If the area to be turfed is a square or a rectangle simply multiply the length by the width and add an extra 5% to allow for cutting in.

For more difficult shapes try drawing a plan. Start by drawing a rectangle that best fits the prepared area. Continue to add rectangles that butt up against each other until your series of rectangles best represent the unusual shape. Now measure the area of each rectangle and add 5% to allow for cutting in. This will give you your approximate requirements.

You are now ready to place your order with Tolleshunt Turf.

03. Turf Laying

The longer turf is left rolled up the faster it will deteriorate so you need to start laying your new lawn straight away. If this is not possible make sure the turf is stored in a cool shady place - this will slow down (though not stop) the deterioration process.

Start by laying a line of turf from one end of the prepared area to the other along a straight edge. Butt the ends of the turf up against each other taking care not to leave any gaps. Do not walk on the turf as you lay it, instead lay a crawling board on top of laid rolls and work from this. This will eliminate footprints and keep the surface smooth.

Lay the next row of turf against the first but stagger the joints (as in brickwork). Gently tamp down the turf as you go ensuring contact between turf and the prepared soil. A sharp knife can be used to cut or shape the turf to suit the contours of your garden.
During dry periods your turf will need to be regularly watered in the weeks after laying. It is best to water each evening to minimise evaporation. A sprinkler is the best option as it can provide a constant gentle delivery - similar to rainfall.

Check the progress of your turf by gently lifting a corner of a laid roll. After a week or so you will start to see the new roots developing. You will need to continue watering during dry periods until these new roots have firmly rooted into the soil below.

For further advice on post laying turf care please see our lawn turf care guide or contact us by email at enquiries@tolleshuntturf.co.uk