Pre-Turfing Fertiliser, Do I Really Need It?

3 min read

handful of pre-turfing fertiliser

When it comes to laying turf, the secret of success lies in preparing the ground properly. Applying pre-turfing fertiliser is an important part of that preparation and here’s why…

Helping plants overcome the stress of being transplanted

Less than 24 hours before your turf was delivered to you, it was happily growing in a field. The grass plants (and there are thousands of them in each roll of turf) had been sown there as seeds 12-18 months earlier. And their roots had grown deep into the ground in search of water and nutrients.

turf stacked on a pallet
Rolled turf has had an extraordinarily stressful journey to reach your garden. Make sure it has the food it needs to help it recover.

Harvesting & transport.

Along came a turf harvester and sliced off the roots that were deeper than about 25mm into the ground. Considering some of the roots will have gone down as much as a metre, that’s a lot of roots for the plants to lose!
Next, the harvester rolls the turfgrass up so that the leaves can no longer see the sun. Plants need daylight and sunshine for sustenance. From that moment until those turves are laid in your garden, they won’t have had any food.
Now the turves are stacked on a pallet and loaded onto a lorry for transportation to your home. Turfonline use pallet couriers for some deliveries which means that your turf will probably be transhipped onto different lorries at least once during the journey. Possibly twice.
By the time it reaches its destination, the turf and all the grass plants within it will be under stress and will be in need of food and water.

Food and water…..

As soon as your turf is laid it will use the water you’ve irrigated it with to start extracting nutrients from the soil. The sooner the plants find the right balance of nutrients, the sooner they’ll recover from the stress of being harvested, transported and transplanted.
Pre-turfing fertiliser contains all of the right nutrients in the right proportions and will help your grass plants enormously.

Nutrients for healthy establishment

Preturfing fertiliser contains all of the macro and micro nutrients that grass plants need to re-grow the roots they lost during harvesting. Once they have established a strong root system they can thrive and flourish in your garden soil.

granular fertiliser
Granular fertiliser is easy to store, easy to apply and can be raked into the top layer of soil before turf is laid

Think of it as an insurance policy. Your own garden soil may be depleted in some nutrients. Only an expensive soil test will tell you if it has the right balance of minerals in it, and if those minerals are actually accessible to the plants. (Some soil types have a novel way of locking up plant foods so that they can’t be dissolved in water and are therefore useless to our little green friends.)

Formula for pre-turfing fertiliser

A good pre-turfing fertiliser will go easy on the Nitrogen and contain plenty of Phosphorus, Potassium and minerals.
Nitrogen is important for plant growth but at this stage you need to avoid having fast but weak growth. What you need to promote is strong roots and healthy growth.
Phosphorus and Potassium are the elements of plant nutrition that help fight disease. Newly laid turf is vulnerable to common lawn diseases in the same way as you or I are more likely to catch a cold when we’re stressed. Phosphorus will promote strong root growth.  Minerals, or micro-nutrients are equivalent to our vitamins; needed in tiny amounts but absolutely vital.

Where to buy pre-turfing fertiliser

Turfonline have formulated a pre-turfing that is perfect for the grass species within our most popular turf grades. It can be ordered online for delivery with your turf.
Available in an easy-to-apply granular form, our pre-turfing feed can be used at any time of year and on any soil type.

Related articles

How to lay turf
What will my turf cost?
When should I feed my new lawn

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