Saturday, 21 May 2016 19:58:39 Europe/London

When to lay turf

When to lay turf

Traditionally, gardeners have laid new turf in the autumn time but with modern day grass varieties and landscaping techniques, that particular unwritten rule no longer applies.

You can lay turf at any time of year

Yes, that’s right, turf can be laid in spring, summer, autumn or winter provided you can prepare the soil properly.

When is the BEST time of year to lay turf?

If you’re canny, you’ll lay turf in either spring or autumn.  Why?  Because there’s more chance of Mother Nature watering it for you – that’s why.

unrolling turf

Newly laid turf needs plenty of water. Lay turf during the wetter months of the year can save you time and money on irrigation

Here are the pros and cons of laying turf in spring or autumn

  • The soil is warm enough to stimulate root growth – so your turf will establish quicker. 
  • It rains frequently – and it’s not so hot that the rain evaporates straight away
  • It’s not so hot as you’ll get sun stroke while you’re laying the turf.  Neither is it so cold that you need to be bundled up in hats, scarfs woolly gloves and thick coats.
  • The soil is easy to work with; crumbly and friable.  You can soon make a nice level bed to lay your turf on.
  • You will need to work quickly though – in warm weather, turf quality deteriorates fast.
  • This is when everyone lays turf – the garden centres will run out of stock quickly
  • Autumn is the traditional time to lay turf so that the roots have all winter to get established before the lawn is used and abused in summer.

The pros and cons of laying turf in summer

laying turf in summer

This large project in Glasgow Green was completed in July with no problems whatsoever

Laying turf in summer means that:

  • The soil is warm and easy to work with
  • It stays light until later in the evening so you can water your newly laid turf after tea and as the sun is setting.  Lovely.
  • Turf kept rolled up will lose quality faster in summer than at any other time of year.  No dilly dallying – get it laid as soon as it is delivered.
  • You will probably need to do a LOT of watering, especially in hot weather
  • You will need to drink a lot of water yourself whilst laying your turf – and you’ll need sunscreen.  It’s hot thirsty work and you MUST look after yourself.
  • Not all garden centres stock turf during the summer months

The pros and cons of laying turf in winter

  • Cold wet soil is very difficult to turn into a suitable bed for turfing
  • Cold wet hands are inevitable
  • Roots take longer to get established
  • If the producers’ fields are frozen, your turf can’t be harvested
  • Turf will stay fresh in the roll for longer than in the warmer months.
  • Freshly harvested turves may be very wet and therefore heavy.
  • Turf is rarely found in garden centres once the Christmas decorations start appearing – but you CAN still order online.


There is no reason why you can’t lay turf on midsummers day or on Christmas day if you really want to.  If you can prepare the land and buy the grass, it’s OK to be turfing at any time.

Stewarts Turf supply lovely quality turf all year round.  You can order online and have it delivered to site the very next working day – except for Christmas Day and Bank Holidays – even we’re not that passionate!

If you have any questions at all about turf or turfing, please do feel free to phone us, we’d be pleased to hear from you.


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