Wednesday, 13 July 2016 09:11:16 Europe/London

How to lay turf

How to Lay a Lawn Using Turf

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Making your own lawn from turf is incredibly satisfying and you can be proud of the results for a very long time.

It’s not difficult either

Here is the Stewarts Turf Guide to Laying Turf:

1. Clear the area completely

Remove every last piece of plant debris – including the roots.  Take out any big stones, any buried treasure, anything that will prevent you from making a nice level, evenly textured bed to lay your turf on.

If you have a large area to clear, it’s well worth hiring a turf cutter for the day.  It will save you a lot of time and a lot of backache.

If you decide to use weedkiller, allow 3 weeks for it to work before moving on the next stage of the process.

2. Loosen the soil

The soil in your garden needs be dug or rotovated to a depth of at least 15cm – deeper if you can.  I’m a big fan of mechanising this stage.  A garden rotovator is easy to find in most hire shops and it does a really good job of opening up the soil structure and breaking down big clods.

3. Rake and level

raking and levelling soil for turfing

Level the soil with a rake, taking out any big stones as you go along.  As a rough guide, anything bigger than a matchbox needs to be taken out of the lawn area.  Not only are they uncomfortable to sit on, but big stones can affect the way roots grow and you may see a permanently discoloured patch in the lawn where they are lurking below the surface.

4. Settle the soil

So that your lawn won’t sink in places after the turf has been laid, the soil needs to be firmed and settled. 

treading the ground to firm the soil for turfing

Make your way across the lawn doing the “gardeners shuffle”.  Wearing sturdy boots with a low heel (walking boots or wellies are good) take tiny steps from one side of the lawn to the other, treading the soil down as you go.  This is great exercise for the quads and glutes.  Even if it does make you feel like a fool.  Treat the whole area in this way – then do it a second time at a different angle.  Just to make sure you haven’t missed a bit.

When the whole area is firm and all “puffiness” is gone.  Check the levels and rake the surface again to loosen it a bit.  You are aiming for a light, even textured soil with no big lumps – kinda like the topping on an apple crumble.

If you are using a pre-turfing fertiliser – and I highly recommend that you do – now is the time to apply it.  Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Lay your turf

It’s important that turf is laid the same day as it’s delivered.  Ideally, you will have finished the soil preparation before the turf rolls arrive.

laying turf

There are several schools of thought on how to start turfing.  Some say start at one edge and work backwards.  Some say lay turf all the way around the edges and then methodically fill in the middle.

You work how you feel most comfortable but remember – if you end up with small pieces of turf at the edge of the lawn, they’re more likely to dry out and shrivel up.

Always work from laying boards to spread your weight, at lay the turves in a brickwork pattern.

They must be butted up really close to each other so that you can barely see where one piece ends and the next one begins.

If you need to trim pieces to fit, they’re easily cut with a sharp knife or with a lawn edging tool.  I like to use an old bread knife for this.

6. Watering

When the whole area is covered with turf, stand back, admire your work, then water the grass thoroughly.

You will need to water your new lawn every single day for the first fortnight and then gradually decrease the frequency until the grass has rooted firmly into your soil.

Make sure that you add enough water for it to soak through the turves and into the soil below.  Once you can tug on the grass and no longer feel the turf roll lifting up, you can be confident that your turf is well on the way to getting established.

If you have any questions at all about how to lay turf, the staff at Stewarts Turf will be only too happy to answer them.

Simply drop us an email, or call the office.

 

More turf laying articles

 

Turfing tools and where to find them

The best time of year to lay turf

Preparing the site for new turf

 

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