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TV presenter Monty Don – turf laying step-by-step

2 min read

how to take off old grass

A hark back to when popular BBC show ‘Gardeners World’ featured presenter Monty Don’s step-by-step guide on how to lay a lawn.

Long-running BBC show “Gardeners World’ is always packed with ideas and expert advice to ensure viewers get the most out of their gardens, whatever there size or type.

In this  edition, first broadcast on BBC Two on Friday 6th June 2015, host Monty Don re-laid a grass path in his orchard at Longmeadow. You’ll be surprised, with good quality fresh turf, just how quickly and easily it can be done.

Monty Don’s advice for laying turf

It was great to see Monty stressing that turf is not a cover up. You simply can’t use it to mask faults in the ground. At Turfonline, we’ve seen several people whose lawns have failed simply because of inadequate soil preparation. Monty takes pains to stress that preparing the soil for turfing is much the same as preparing it for planting a flower bed.

Using the right turf for the job is vital according to Monty and everyone in the Turfonline team wholeheartedly agrees. Shadesman Turf would be ideal to use beneath the trees in the video clip.

Using laying boards

Notice how once the ground has been prepared and levelled, our celebrity gardener is at pains to avoid walking on it. He uses a series of laying boards to spread his weight and avoid compacting the soil.

Avoiding gaps between turves

The technique used in the programme was excellent. It’s vital that individual turves are butted up tight together.

I also loved Monty’s demonstration of trimming and fitting smaller pieces of turf. It’s almost as though he’s been doing it for decades!

What to do if you do manage to get gaps between your turves

A step by step guide to laying turf

I’m not going to repeat Monty’s instructions for laying turf, but here’s a summary:

  • Prepare the ground really well before turfing. Dig it over removing large stones, weeds and roots.
  • Make sure the soil is firm and level. Use a rake to break it down into a fine tilth.
  • Rake in pre-turfing fertiliser (Monty Don forgot this stage when he was filming!)
  • Be sure to lay turf as soon as possible after it is delivered. So that you can avoid sod heating.
  • Always use laying boards – not just for installing your turf but when you are watering it too.
  • Butt pieces up really close together
  • If necessary, trim to size with a gardeners knife or a half moon edging tool
  • Water well and keep irrigating once or twice a day until the roots are well established.

Watch the programme

If you missed it, check out the relevant 7 minute clip here.

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How to lay turf properly

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