How to Improve Clay Soil

When it comes to laying turf, clay soil can be a bit of a hurdle. The dense and compact nature of the soil can prevent roots from growing and water from draining, making it an unsuitable base for laying turf.

However, with the right tools and methods, you can improve your clay soil into a fertile area perfect for thriving turf.

Understanding Clay Soil

Clay soil is identified by its claggy, dense and sticky nature. It often forms hard clumps that are difficult to break apart and, if wet, can become slippery and clay-like (hence the name).

If you have existing grass in your garden, you may be able to see signs of poor-quality clay soil underneath. 

You may see water puddles forming due to poor drainage, or areas of dead / damaged grass from roots not being able to grow into the ground below.

If turf is laid on top of untreated clay soil, it can lead to several issues such as compacted, shallow and poor-quality roots, nutrient deficiency and increased susceptibility to disease and damage.

These issues can stunt the growth of your turf, making it difficult for it to establish and thrive.

Clay soil signs

Improving Clay Soil

Improving your soil quality takes a few steps but is worth it in the long run to ensure you’re laying turf onto the best quality ground possible.

You should start by thoroughly aerating your soil with a garden fork to allow airflow and oxygen into the ground and to break up any compacted areas of soil.

You should then add in a mix of good quality, fresh topsoil.

Avoid using sand-containing mixes, as they can affect root growth. We recommend using a good quality natural topsoil blend.

Your new mix should not be claggy or clay-like but rather light, fluffy and easy for turf to root into.

Improving clay soil

Once raked in, levelled and firmed, this should create a new, better-quality topsoil mix for you to lay turf onto.

For more information on how to prepare your ground for turf, follow our handy turfing tutorials.

What Turf is Best for Clay Soil?

When you’re laying turf onto a clay-like soil mixture, you’ll need a tough, resilient turf that can endure challenging conditions.

We’d recommend using our premium grass grade, Rye Gold Turf.

Rye Gold turf is our most hard-wearing, aesthetically pleasing and durable turf that’s suitable for areas with substantial foot traffic, pet use and suboptimal conditions.

It comes highly recommended by homeowners and landscapers alike and is the perfect choice to ensure you're getting the best lawn possible. 

Rye lawn

Following these techniques to manage clay soil will result in a superior base for root growth, drainage, and nutrient intake, leading to a healthier, more luxurious lawn.

Live Support