How do I lay turf?

How do I lay turf?

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How to lay turf: a step by step guide

Get a great looking lawn with our expert advice and tips on laying turf, including our step-by-step guide below and videos to show you just how to do it.

Step 1: Plan your yard

How do I lay turf?

Step 1.A

When it comes down to landscaping your backyard, always be sure to leave turf until last. This way, you won’t have to work over your fresh new turf whilst tending to other jobs.
Make sure the area you are looking to lay turf on is suitable. Think shade, mowing and access to good quality water.

How to lay turf

Step 1.B

Make sure the area you are looking to lay turf on is suitable. Think shade, mowing and access to good quality water.

Step 2: Choose a suitable grass type

How to lay turf

Step 2.A

Now it’s time to choose your turf type. It is critical you do your research as different varieties of turf perform very differently from one another.

How to lay turf

Step 2.B

Make sure you seek professional advice on which grass variety suits your situation. Be sure to factor in future shade, wear and tear and access to water.

Step 3: Check your turf underlay soil

How to lay turf

Step 3.A

Conduct a pH test on your soil using a pH testing kit. You want to have a pH between 5.5 and 7. Don’t worry if it is either side of this, as pH can be adjusted with some treatment.

How to lay turf

Step 3.B

A sand-soil base is always preferred. If you have a clay base you will need to de-compact this and add sand soil. If your base is already sandy, look at mixing in some organics to boost nutrients.

Step 4: Measure how much turf you need

How to lay turf

Step 4.A

Measuring for turf is easy! Simply find the square meterage of your yard by breaking it up into geometric shapes which are easy to find the area then add these shapes together – use our online turf area calculator to do this for you.

How to lay turf

Step 4.B

After you find your total, add 5% to this to factor in for cutting around odd shapes and objects such as trees. 

How to lay turf

Step 4.C

Now it is time to ring us and order some turf! Try to order the turf for the day you are able to lay it. 

Step 5: Prepare the underlay

How to lay turf

Step 5.A

Kill off any existing vegetation using glyphosate or a similar non-selective herbicide. You may need 2 applications to ensure all existing vegetation is completely eradicated.

How to lay turf

Step 5.B

Hoe in and turn over the existing base and remove any excess vegetation that has been sprayed out.

How to lay turf

Step 5.C

Depending on your existing base, add in any soil required to make sure you have the appropriate base for turf. Always be sure to double check pH to ensure it is in the appropriate range of 5.5 – 7.

How to lay turf

Step 5.D

Finally, its time to get your levels correct. When looking to lay turf flush with an edge, keep your soil about 30-40mm below this height to allow for the thickness of the turf. Smooth out the rest of your soil, remembering to factor in drainage as you do so.

Step 6: Lay the turf rolls or slabs

How to lay turf

Step 6.A

Spread a starter fertiliser such as Lawn Launcher to the base and rake in lightly. Ensure all soil is smooth and ready for turf and remember to keep in mind drainage and water flow.

How to lay turf

Step 6.B

When your turf arrives, try to get it laid as soon as possible. If it’s a hot day, make sure you water each section as you lay it to avoid drying the turf out.

How to lay turf

Step 6.C

Start laying turf on a straight edge at the furthest point to your access and lay back towards the exit, so you are not working over fresh turf. Lay turf in a brickwork pattern, butting edges together. If you are working on a slope, lay turf across the slope.

How to lay turf

Step 6.D

Use a spade or shears to shape turf around edges and trees. Do not throw away excess pieces until you are satisfied you have covered all areas.

How to lay turf

Step 6.E

Once complete, roll the turf to ensure good contact with the soil. Give the fresh new turf a deep water immediately.

Step 7: Aftercare in the first 6 weeks

How to lay turf

Step 7.A

You have just laid your fresh new lawn, now its time to look after it! The most crucial aspect in the first month is to water your lawn well so it can establish and remain healthy. Depending on the time of year, you should be watering deeply every day for the first 3 weeks or until your first mow. Don’t be alarmed if the corners and edges of the turf pieces begin to yellow slightly, this is pretty common with new lawns.

How to lay turf

Step 7.B

Try to keep traffic off your new lawn as much as possible until it has rooted in. After about 4 weeks (depending on the time of year) your lawn will be ready for its first mow. Before doing this, ensure you can not lift any of the slabs up to ensure they have rooted into the soil.

How to lay turf

Step 7.C

When you are mowing for the first time, mow on a slightly higher setting than normal then slowly bring it down to your preferred height over the next 2 or 3 mows. Continue watering a couple of times per week over this period to ensure the turf doesn’t dry out.

How to lay turf

Step 7.D

After about 6 weeks your lawn will be due for a fertilise to really finish the establishment period off. This should be done with an NPK fertiliser and watered in well after application.V

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Step 7.E

Now, it’s time to get out there and enjoy your lawn! Remember to fertilise every 8-10 weeks and water as required. Don’t be afraid to contact us if you have any questions along the way!

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