If you want your lawn to be the best it can be, you need to lay your turf (or sow your grass seed) on to the best topsoil. So what is the best soil for turfing?
Well drained soil is essential
Grass plants don’t appreciate sitting in soggy soil. Yes, they like to have good access to water and they need to be able to put their roots down at least 15cm. But boggy conditions are not for lawns.
If you have a clay soil, it’s a good idea to incorporate lots of grit and organic matter into the soil before laying your lawn.
Remember! Lawns are not like flower beds – you can’t do too much to the soil once the grass has established so make sure it’s right from the start.
Nutrient rich soil will get your grass off to a good start
Left to its own devices, grass isn’t a greedy plant. But we’re talking about a lawn here. Just as the plants begin to build up a store of food in their leaves, somebody comes along with a mower and removes it. The plant has to then replace that food store – only for it to be mown away again.
It’s important then, that the plants can have quick and easy access to lots of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and micro-nutrients. That way they’ll stay strong and healthy.
Lay your lawn on good rich soil and replenish it with lawn feed on a regular basis.
Pre-turfing fertiliser will certainly help to get your lawn off to a good start
Plenty of organic matter means healthier soil and plants
Organic matter breaks down to create plant nutrients. It also sustains millions and billions of mini beasts and microbes that work in tandem with each other to support healthy plant growth.
Earthworms are the gardener’s friend. If you have worms, you have healthy soil.
Within the soil are bacteria that actually fight plant diseases, there are miniscule fungi that feed nutrients into the plants’ roots and there are earthworms that start the process of turning dead roots and leaves into plant food. Earthworms are also pretty good at aerating the soil so that roots can breathe and water drains away.
Without organic matter, your soil would effectively be sand. Have you ever seen a lovely lawn growing on the beach?
Soil that’s free from pernicious weeds will ease lawn care nightmares
Most weeds won’t survive in a regularly mown lawn. Some however are a nuisance. Things like nettle roots, dock roots and – heaven help us – Japanese knotweed need to be removed from soil before a lawn is laid.
Careful preparation is essential. And if you’re buying in topsoil, make sure it’s from a reputable supplier – not from the builder down the road who was left with a heap of soil after digging out someone’s foundations.
Products that can help…
Best soil for turfing – Stone-free – because nobody wants a lumpy lawn
Have you ever fallen over on the lawn and landed on a big stone that was hiding in the grass? I have. I wouldn’t recommend it. Neither would my neighbours who learned some new words that day.
I’ve also been called out to look at lawns where the householder had spotted mystery pale patches in the sward. Sure enough, a bit of investigation revealed bricks and other debris just below the surface of the soil.
Screened topsoil doesn’t have many big stones in it at all. Turfland’s topsoil is sourced from sustainable sources where stones don’t occur naturally.
Sustainability – thinking beyond your own back yard
It’s always good to know where your landscape supplies are coming from. Topsoil is a precious resource. Some wildlife habitats depend on having undisturbed soil and/or very specific types of soil. Please don’t buy topsoil from just any old where.
Turf Online recommends
Our beautiful, nutrient rich soil with a crumbly texture and lots of organic matter. Created on our farm by composting the waste turf, this is sustainable, virtually stone free and is the ideal top soil for lawns.
Also very good for improving the soil in beds and borders and for growing fruit and veg.