Turf Laying Guide

Are you unsure on how to lay turf? Thankfully it is a fairly straightforward and simple task, just follow the step by step guide below.

Laying purpose-grown cultivated turf will enable you to enjoy a fine lawn of instant beauty and maturity without the inconvenience, wastage or delays associated with seeding. To ensure that the turf you buy and lay is of the highest quality, always insist on turf produced by a member of the Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA) which has a quality assurance policy. 

To help ensure optimum results and a quality finish to your lawn, the TGA recommends that you follow the guidelines given below. Always remember that turf consists of a mass of living, breathing plants. Applying appropriate care and attention to your new lawn will enable it to grow to its full potential and provide you with many years of enjoyment. 


How To Lay Turf

Prefer a more visual way to digest information? 

Why not take a look at our Turf Laying Guide Infographic? It's a step by step guide taking you through:

  1. Ground preparation
  2. Raking
  3. Ordering your turf
  4. Laying the turf
  5. Watering
  6. Mowing

Ground Preparation 

Proper ground preparation is essential for the establishment and future well-being of your new lawn. Inadequately prepared ground with never produce the best results, so it is worth putting in a bit of time an effort at this stage. 

  • Remove existing turf by slicing beneath the turf with a spade. For larger areas, consider hiring a purpose-designed turf cutter from a local tool hire.
  • The soil then needs to be turned over thoroughly to a depth of 15cm using a spade or a powered cultivator.
  • Clear the area of stones, weeds, old turf and other debris. 

Raking

Before laying turf the ground needs to be level and the surface should be firm but not compacted.

  • Rake the area to produce a smooth, level surface. 
  • Lightly tread over the surface by foot to reveal any soft patches which can then be raked level. This process should continue until the whole area is firm and level. 

Ordering

Your area should now be all prepared and ready for the turf. Be sure to visit us again when you are ready to order your turf

  • Firstly measure the proposed lawn area accurately in square metres. If you need some guidance on how to do this, see our lawn measuring guide
  • Choose a type of turf that suits your garden needs, and place your order.
  • Turf needs to be laid as soon as possible after it has been delivered, ideally within 24 hours. Therefore order you turf for delivery on the same day, or one day prior to when you plan to lay the turf.
  • In hot weather, keep delivered turf in the shade and remove any film wrapping from the pallet.

Laying the Turf

Now that the hard work has been done to prepare the ground, you are ready to lay your new turf. Use turfing boards or planks to work from and walk on, to avoid walking directly on the new lawn.

  • Some turf suppliers may provide you with a pre-turfing fertiliser to help the turf get off to the best start. Sprinkle this onto the prepared ground, following the advice on the pack.
  • Start by unrolling one strip of turf around the perimeter of the lawn. Avoid using small pieces at the edges as these can dry out and perish. Ensure that the underside of the new turf is in full contact with the soil below.
  • Lay the next strip along the longest straight run and continue to work across the lawn, strip by strip producing a pattern similar to brickwork.
  • Butt adjoining edges and ends against each other, but avoid stretching the turf.
  • Overlapping pieces and ends of rows should be cut off neatly using a sharp knife or a half-moon lawn edger.

Watering

Newly laid turf needs watering well to root in and get off to a good start. The amount of watering will be dependent on the time of year that you lay the turf, with much more water needed during the summer months.

  • Water your new lawn well immediately after laying using a hose pipe or sprinkler. Continue until the water has soaked through to the soil beneath the turf layer. 
  • For the following week to two weeks, water your lawn well every evening (unless the rain does it for you!) The hotter, drier and windier the weather, the more water will be needed. 
  • Water immediately and profusely on any sign of the turf drying out for example gaps, lifting, browning or curling. 

Feeding

A healthy lawn is a well-fed lawn! 

  • As a rule of thumb, a balanced fertiliser containing similar levels of Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P) and Potassium (K) should be applied every four to six weeks during the growing season. 
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations with regard to the quantity, timing and method of application. A policy of ‘little but often’ will help maintain your lawn in peak condition.
  • For more information on feeding you lawn throughout the year, see our fertilising guide.

Mowing

Depending on the time of year that you lay your lawn the time of the first mow can vary, but the turf should be ready for its first mow around two weeks following laying. 

  • Resist the temptation to make the initial cut until your new lawn has rooted. This can be easily checked by lifting a corner to see if the roots are attached to the soil layer below. 
  • For the first mow, set the lawn mower to its highest setting to avoid stressing the grass.
  • Mow regularly, each time removing no more than one-third of the grass height. 
  • When the lawn is fully established, the height of cut can be reduced gradually to an optimum height of between 15mm and 35mm. Do this gradually to avoid scalping.
  • For more mowing tips, see our mowing guide to help look after your new lawn throughout all the seasons. 

Turf Laying Demonstration Video

We have prepared a handy video that demonstrates how to prepare your ground and lay turf. Watch it here to get your new lawn off to a great start. 

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