Laying Turf FAQs

A well laid lawn, that enhances the appearance of your garden and home, is the ambition of many gardeners. There's still time to lay turf before any hot dry weather arrives and Andy Taylor answers some of the questions that are most frequently asked on this subject.

Created by Andrew Taylor on Friday, 8th of April, 2016.
Updated on Thursday, 9th of February, 2017.


Laying Turf FAQs

When is the best time of the year to lay turf?

Autumn is the most favourable time, as the earth is still warm and plenty of rain will normally fall over the winter. Spring is an alternative but, if there is a lack of rain, have a hosepipe ready.

Does the type of soil matter?

About 6ins of good quality top soil is required, and if this is lacking you should consider buying top soil, preferably sandy loam that offers effective drainage and nutrients, from a reputable supplier.

What preparations are required?

Preparation is very important. Any existing grass and weeds should be removed, either by hand or the application of weedkiller.
Dig the earth over, removing any large stones and breaking up clods. Then level by raking and lightly firm the surface by walking over it.
Water before the turf is delivered to settle the surface and provide moisture for the roots. Then rake again adding a granular fertilizer. 

What type of turf should I choose?

Good quality turf raised from seed is best, choose the type that most suits your usage and location. For example, hardwearing turf will contain ryegrass to cope with high traffic, other turf is much finer   purely for landscaping. If you live in area where rainfall is low, choose turf which has greater drought tolerance.

How do I calculate the amount of turf I need?

Most standard rolls of turf will cover one square metre. So multiply the length x width of the location and add about 5% to be sure.

How quickly do I need to lay the turf?

As soon as you can. When the rolls arrive store them in the shade and make sure they do not dry out. If possible lay on the delivery day.

What's the best way to lay turf?

It's always best to lay the first rolls along a straight edge. Firm down with a rake and make sure the ends of the rolls are butted up against each other but don't stretch them. Stagger the rolls like brickwork. Cut the turf to size with a utility knife and then trim the edges with a half moon. 

After laying the turf, does it need watering?

Definitely, and for a further few days. Make sure the grass does not dry out until it is established.  

When can I mow the lawn for the first time?

Mowing will help the lawn become established. So cut the grass within the first week but keep the blades fairly high, low them with each cut and alternate the direction in which you cut each time.

Turf and topsoil can be bought from GardenSite

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