Preparing your Ground for Turf

The first and most important step of laying turf is preparing your ground. The key to a thriving turf is to have a good, nutrient rich base for it to root into- you should aim to have a level, firm area of good quality soil before you begin to lay your turf. 

Exposing Soil

Inadequately prepared ground will never produce the best results, so it is worth ensuring extra effort at this stage to ensure you’re getting the most out of your new turf.

If you have a pre-existing lawn, we’d recommend removing this as you cannot lay turf on top of already established grass. You can remove existing turf by slicing beneath the turf with a spade & digging it up. For larger areas, you may want to consider hiring a purpose-designed turf cutter. Once the turf has been removed, you should turn over the soil to a depth of 15cm.

Soil Quality

Once the soil is exposed, you should assess the quality. If there’s a lot of large debris like stones, weeds etc, you will want to rake the lawn to bring this up and then remove this debris to the best of your ability. Having some small stones leftover is fine, as this can help with turf drainage. 

You can also check your soil PH if you want to test the nutrient levels. This means you're able to invest in some fertiliser that is specifically tailored to what your soil may be lacking, e.g. nitrogen boosting fertiliser. The more tailored you can get the care, the better. However, if you want a generalised fertiliser, your best bet would be getting a slow-release, balanced nutrient one which will increase all levels in your soil giving it an all-around boost.

You should make sure your soil is not claggy or clay like but rather light, fluffy and easy for turf to root into. You can add fresh topsoil to help level out areas that are uneven, or to mix in with the clay soil to make a new, more suitable mixture. Rake this evenly across the garden so that it is level with any surrounding pathways/edges.

Raking & Firming

Before laying turf, the ground needs to be level and the surface should be firm but not compacted. You should rake the soil to produce a smooth, level surface with no large visible debris.

To firm the soil, you can use a garden roller or lightly tread over the surface by foot. Treading will reveal any soft/uneven patches which can then be raked level. This process should continue until the whole area is firm and level.

Your area should now be all prepared and ready for your turf to be ordered.
If you’re unsure on how much turf you need or how to lay it, you can follow our handy turf tutorials.

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