Online Turf is situated in the village of Aughton in West Lancashire, just twelve miles north of Liverpool. Our busy office and yard are located together on one site, with the office and yard teams working together to fulfil all of our orders, ensuring that they always meet our high standards. Situated just five minutes from the M58, our freshly lifted turf is then quickly and easily on route to customers all across the UK.
Our Turf Fields
We grow all of our turf ourselves on land around our farm and on specially chosen fields in the surrounding villages of Bickerstaffe and Burscough. In total, we have around 600 acres of turf fields. Being in close proximity to the coast, the land in West Lancashire is nice and flat. The soil is a black, sandy loam and is full of nutrients, making Lancashire one of the best locations in the UK for turf production. Also taking into account our weather conditions, with lots of rainfall even through the summertime (which isn’t appreciated by everyone!), the climate and land in West Lancashire allows us to grow and supply turf of the highest standard.
Lots of preparation and planning is put into the sowing, maintaining and harvesting of our turf, ensuring that once one field is harvested, the next field is mature enough and ready to be moved on to. It is important to sow the seed at the right time of year for germination to take place, and once germinated a careful programme of mowing and fertilising keeps the turf in pristine condition. We even vacuum the clippings after mowing to keep the turf healthy and strong! After 14-18 months, the turf is beautifully dense and lush and is ready for harvest.
The Turf Harvester
Andrew and Phil are our trained harvester operators. Each day they go out harvesting turf from our fields for all the orders that are due for delivery the following day. Harvesting to order each day ensures that all of our turf is lifted and delivered as fresh as possible. In spring 2015, the farm saw the arrival of a brand new Trebro Autostack Turf Harvester. This was imported over from the USA and allows us to meet demand with high quality harvested turf. As the harvester lifts the turf, it rolls and stacks the turf neatly onto pallets which we then collect and transport back to the yard on a tractor and trailer.
The Turf Yard
Once harvested, the turf is transported back to our yard in Aughton. Here the team has a list of orders which they carefully stack onto pallets and shrink wrap so that they arrive at their destination safely. A label is then stuck onto the pallets and our haulage company send in wagons to collect the pallets and the orders start making their way to our customers. The labels are scanned at various points as the order travels across the country, so we can keep an eye on where our orders are up to.
The office team are based on the farm in Aughton and are available on the phone and through our online support facility to help with any customer questions and queries you may have. They work closely with our haulage companies arranging for all our orders to be dispatched and delivered efficiently. We also have local landscapers popping in throughout the day to collect turf from the yard. We have a busy marketing team upstairs who are constantly working to improve our website, to make it user friendly for customers and provide all the information you need to get your new lawn off to the best start, including handy how to video guides.
A Look Back
Online Turf hasn’t always looked like the photos above. Originally the farm started life as a traditional family farm, a part of the local farming community since 1933. It was in 1987 that directors and brothers Andrew and Ian Mercer decided to diversify into turf production. Although quite a brave decision at the time, Online Turf has since gone from strength to strength. Despite the growing business and expanding team, Ian and Andrew still maintain a hands-on interest in every part of the business and still uphold the values of a family business that first made it a success.