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Top Tips On How To Lay Turf

Unsure about how to lay turf but DIY is your thing? Let’s take a look at some top tips on how to lay turf so we can change that!

What turf should I use?

You’ll want to lay purpose-grown turf, this will provide you with much quicker results and a healthy-looking lawn from the very first day of installation. By opting for fresh turf rather than sowing seeds and waiting for the grass to grow, you can save yourself time and wastage that’s usually associated with seeding your own lawn. 

Tools you will need:

  • Fertiliser
  • Gardening knife
  • Hose
  • Rake
  • Spade
  • Turfing boards / wooden panels

Prepare the ground 

To ensure the best turf installation results, you will want to prepare the ground first. 

  • You’ll need to remove any existing turf. You can do this with a spade for small to medium grounds but for more expansive areas a turf cutter might be the way to go to avoid a labour-intensive job. 
  • After you’ve removed the old turf, aerate the lawn by turning over the soil about 15cm down. Again, for this job, you can use a spade or a powered cultivator to speed up the process.
  • Strip the area down of dead leaves, weeds, stones and other debris that will prevent you from achieving optimal results.

Level the ground with a rake

To ensure the ground is level before installing your new turf, you will need to firm up the soil – but avoid compacting. 

  • Using a rake, smooth the soil’s surface over. 
  • Walk over this area afterwards to find any soft patches that require attention.

Order the turf

When ordering your turf, make sure you’ve measured the area you wish to apply fresh turf to, do this in square metres. This is because most suppliers, like here at Neil Sullivan, we cut our fresh turf rolls into square metres, to make it easy when you order. 

  • Once you’ve measured the area, choose your preferred type of turf and order the quantity required over the phone or online with your turf suppliers.
  • When your turf arrives, you’ll want to work quickly, so prepare the ground before its arrival.
  • If you are unable to install the turf on the same day as its arrival, place it in the shade and remove the film sheets so it can breathe.

Lay the turf

During the laying of the turf, you will want to avoid treading on this area, so use turfing boards (or smooth planks of wood) to walk on instead.

  • Apply pre-turfing fertiliser onto the prepared ground (always follow the suggestions on the back of the solution).
  • Unroll one strip of turf at a time and lay them along the perimeter of the prepared, fertilised ground, be careful doing this and make sure that the bottom of the turf is positioned well across the soil. 
  • Next, you’ll want to fill in the middle, so place a strip along the longest stretch of soil and repeat strip by strip, like you would when building bricks. Do not be tempted to stretch the turf and be vigilant with the turf edges to ensure a seamless installation.
  • After you’ve laid your new turf, check for overlapping areas and cut cleanly with a sharp gardening knife.

Turf aftercare 

Water your turf

To ensure the new roots anchor in well to the soil, it’s important to water the freshly laid turf. Be mindful of the time of year; if it’s summer, you’ll want to use much more water that you would in the colder months. 

  • Use a hose pipe or sprinkler to soak the new turf, enough so it can drain through to the soil below.
  • Do this once a week for a couple of weeks and stick to doing this in the evening unless there’s a belt of rain, in which case you won’t need to water. 
  • Should you see any gaps, browning, lifting or curling in the turf, you will need to water the lawn. 

Feed your turf

During the growing season (April-September) is the best time to use a balanced fertiliser to keep a well-fed lawn. 

  • Use the turf fertiliser every four to six weeks – little and often is the best way to ensure a happy and healthy lawn. 

Mow your turf

Wait at least two weeks after a fresh turf installation before mowing it. A new lawn needs time to knit together and anchor its roots. To check for this, gently lift up a small area of the corner – where you will hopefully see countless roots. 

  • On your first mow, raise the mower to the highest setting, this will keep the grass long and will prevent disruption to the new lawn.
  • As time goes on, reduce the setting bit by bit on your mower – the recommended height of your grass should fit nicely between 15mm and 35mm. This keeps it looking lush but prevents you from accidentally scalping it. 

Be sure to remember that your freshly delivered turf is living and breathing and therefore does require a little tending to every now and then to ensure it maintains its lustre for years to come. 

So if it’s quality products you’re looking for, turn to Neil Sullivan & Sons, we supply and deliver first-rate turf, aggregates, topsoil, and concrete to you on-site or straight to your door. Contact us today for a swift delivery.