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How To Lay Turf? The Ultimate Guide

10 min read

How To Lay Turf The Ultimate Guide

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Lay Turf?

As long as the soil is not frozen, waterlogged or extremely dry, turf can be laid at any time of the year! However, the biggest factor that affects the growth of new turf is not the time of the year, it is actually how well the area is prepared for a new lawn.

In terms of the optimum season to lay turf with regards to weather, we would strongly recommend Spring or Autumn. The reason for this is, the soil is at the perfect soft texture that makes digging easy. On top of this, there is usually the correct balance of sun and rain in these seasons.

Tips For Laying Turf In Spring

If you’re looking to lay turf in Spring, we would recommend checking the soil. If it has not rained recently, you should water the soil before starting. As the weather in April/May can be temperamental, you will need to ensure that the turf does not try out during the initial growth.

It is important to avoid mowing the new turf during the first month of growth in order for the roots to settle into the soil.

Order your Spring lawn feed here.

Tips For Laying Turf In Summer

Although summer months do not present the most ideal of the year to lay turf, it is still possible. It is important that the soil is well watered before the new lawn has been put down in order to make sure there is lots of moisture to help the grass grow smoothly.

During summer, laying turf requires a great amount of care due to the heat. It is imperative that, while the turf settles into the soil, you should avoid walking on and using the grass. If you have children, pets or hopes of a garden party, we would recommend restricting access to the new lawn until autumn. Read our guide about laying turf in July.

Tips For Laying Turf In Autumn

Autumn is known as the best time of the year to lay turf, specifically between  September to October. This is to take advantage of the perfect balance of heat and rain in these months. Depending on the weather in November, you can still lay turf in this month, as long as the frost has not settled in yet.

Laying your turf in Autumn is beneficial as the lawn will have had a solid six months to settle in and grow healthily before the next summer!

Order your Autumn/Winter lawn feed here.

Tips For Laying Turf In Winter

Winter is the same as Summer. It is possible to lay turf during these seasons, however, due to the extreme weather conditions leaning to one side, the growth can be held back. This is especially true if not properly and consistently maintained.

We would suggest waiting to lay your new turf once the winter frost has passed in March/April, giving the lawn more than enough time to establish ready for summer.

How To Measure Your Garden For New Turf?

Many experts will come and measure your lawn for you, but it is simple to do yourself. In order to measure a square/rectangular lawn, you will need to measure the width and the length. You should then have two numbers. Next, in order to calculate the area of your lawn, multiply the two numbers together.

When it comes to measuring a circular lawn, we would recommend using this online calculator to help find the area of your project.

If you have an irregular shaped lawn, it may be difficult to know where to begin. We would suggest splitting the area into smaller squares. That said, in some cases, you may need to make a generous guess.

While using our project quote system, we would strongly advise adding an extra 5% of turf to ensure complete coverage.

How To Choose The Right Turf For Your Garden?

To make your choice easier we offer three principal varieties of ornamental turf and the fourth option for shady areas. Each choice offers excellent performance.

  1. Jubilee –
    Developed for the finest landscaping projects, golf tees and tennis courts, this luxury lawn turf is a superb choice for any garden. Attractive and easy to maintain, Jubilee turf contains a carefully blended mix of fine-leafed perennial ryegrass, slender creeping red fescue and smooth-stalked meadow grass.
  2. Garden Lawn
    For sports areas, general purpose landscaping and low-budget projects, our Garden Lawn turf offer great value for money. Additional resilience comes from the blend of dwarf perennial ryegrass, slender creeping red fescue and strong creeping red fescue.

Products that can help…

laying boards shade tolerant turf

What Do I Need To Prepare Before Laying Turf?

Laying a new lawn is not difficult – but preparation is everything! The aim is to remove stones, weeds and roots from the site and to improve the condition of the soil.

Step 1: Digging Using a fork or a rotovator, dig the soil well, removing all large stones, roots and other debris. If possible, leave the soil to settle for a few days – you can also remove any weeds that appear during this time.

Step 2: Levelling and improving the soil by raking it (shallow dips and rises are fine but steep ones will make the lawn difficult to mow). Remove any additional stones that come to the surface; and if you are adding topsoil, do this after raking.

Step 3: Treading! It’s now time to walk slowly up and down the area, letting your heels press down on the soil. This firms the surface but without compacting it. If you can get a friend to help it will save a lot of time! However, if it’s very wet you’ll just create mud, so wait for it to dry off a little first.

Step 4: Final raking. Go over the area once more with a rake, working from different directions to create a smooth flat surface. If you’re adding a pre-turf fertiliser, do this now and then rake it gently into a depth of a few millimetres.

vivid green sprinkler

What Tools Will You Need To Lay Turf?

We stock most of the products you need to lay turf, to view our range click here!

How To Lay Your Turf?

Laying turf is easy as long as you follow a simple logical process, starting at the edge and working inwards.

1: Start from an outside edge – and lay the first strip widthways slightly overlapping the boundary (you can trim this back when you have finished). Press carefully to make good soil contact but without squashing the turf.

2: Continue lying adjacent pieces until you have completed the first row of turf along an entire edge.

3: Now start the next row. If you need to stand on laid turf, use a plank to avoid denting or squashing it. It is important to stagger successive rows so that the short edges do not line up (they should alternate like the vertical joints in brickwork).

4: Continue like this, butting and pushing the edges for a tight join but being careful not to stretch the turf.

5: Finally you need to trim any untidy edges with an old wood saw or sharp serrated knife – but remember to use the planks to avoid walking directly on the turf.

6: Newly-laid turf must be watered well enough for the water to penetrate the soil but without turning it into a mud bath. You can gently pull back a piece to inspect the soil. In hot weather, be sure to water as soon as you have laid your lawn.

How Often Should You Water Your New Turf?

Your new turf must be kept moist until it has fully established. If it’s not raining you will need to water it yourself. In hot, dry or windy conditions you may have to water twice or even three times a day; and water immediately at any sign of the turf drying out or shrinking.

If you do find you haven’t given enough water and gaps appear in between the rows and joins of turf, then fill those gaps with soil/seed mix available from our website.

Eventually, you will see healthy new white roots when you carefully lift a corner of turf, and you know these are established when it becomes difficult to pull back the turf.

To view our range of watering products to make sure your new turf is kept healthy, click here!

How Often Should You Mow Your New Lawn?

In spring and summer, your new turf will be ready for its first mow in 7-10days. But make sure it’s a gentle cut! You just want to level the top of the grass, so raise the cutting height and use a grass box. Then continue to cut (twice a week in spring or once a week in summer), never removing more than one-third of the current height.

If you have laid turf in autumn, follow the spring guidelines. But for winter-laid turf, mow only if it is still growing. Otherwise, leave it until spring. And remember – always make sure your mower blade is sharp!

How Often Should You Feed Your New Turf?

If you have used pre-turfing fertiliser, your new turf will be happy for at least two months. After that, follow a regular feeding regime using the correct seasonal feeds (caution – applying the wrong nutrients can damage your lawn.

We have a range of fertilisers and turf feed perfect for certain seasons and lawns. To view the full range To view the full range click here!

How To Troubleshoot Your New Lawn?

Grass is a very robust plant, and if you have prepared the site properly and followed our laying guidelines you shouldn’t have any problems with your new lawn. Nevertheless, you may notice a few natural phenomena in the first few weeks while it establishes into its new environment.

After a few weeks, it’s not uncommon to notice toadstools popping up in the new lawn. This is nothing to worry about! It is particularly common in autumn, or warm and wet conditions, and will soon sort itself out.

All soil contains dormant fungal spores. These can lay inactive for years and years – but when the soil is disturbed they can spring back to life and grow into toadstools. You don’t need to remove them – they will disappear after a couple of mows without doing any permanent damage.

There are different types of toadstool and most have been tested and shown to be non-toxic. However, we advise you take normal precautions to ensure that youngsters (and inquisitive adults) don’t eat them, just in case.

Your new lawn might also develop flowering seed heads. Grass produces these naturally although they are more prevalent in the late spring/summer especially it the weather turns hot and dry (drought conditions).

When turf is harvested, the majority of the root system is cut off. This is stressful to the grass plants and they produce seed heads as a means of self-preservation. The seed heading will reduce once the new turf has established a new root system, which can take 6-8 weeks. Seed heading will also reduce if the new lawn receives adequate nutrients and is mowed regularly with a sharp blade.

Talk To The Turf Experts

At Turf Online, we have a large team of turf experts to help during your shopping experience get in touch.

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