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How to lay lawn turf

Overview

Laying lawn turf is one of the simplest ways to remedy a tired, shapeless patch of grass or to create a new lawn. It may be a little more expensive than sowing grass seed, but the benefits outweigh the cost - you'll have an instant, usable area of lawn with no weeds or moss to spoil the effect. The best time to do this is during a warm spring or autumn when plenty of rain will help the new grass establish roots in time for summer sun or winter frosts.


How to do it

1

Prepare the area, levelling the ground and removing big stones. If the surface is uneven, wheelbarrow in some topsoil, pour it on top and even it out with a rake.


Firm the soil surface by walking up and down on it taking small, heavy steps. Fill any freshly-created dips with topsoil and compress again with your feet. Give the surface a final rake over.

Lay the turves on the soil, staggering the joints like brickwork and overlapping them slightly. If it's a big area, work off a plank of wood to avoid walking on the turf. 

To create a clean edge, cut off any excess turf with a spade or sharp knife. Bang the turves all over with the back of the rake to ensure they make contact with the soil before giving the whole area a good water.

It will take a few weeks for your lawn to establish and in that time it's essential you don't let the turves dry out; so water them regularly. Start mowing when the grass is 2.5cm - 5cm high, never removing more than one third of the total height of the grass at a time.

Our tip

Spread a general-purpose fertiliser over the ground one week before laying the turf.




Discuss this project

Talkback: How to lay lawn turf
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sykesj 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I have a very uneven lawn. I am thinking of using a glyosphate weedkiller to till the existing lawn and weeds, then rotovate the area, level it and then lay new turf. Would this work? And how long do I need to leave between using the glyosphate and laying the new turf? Any responses would be gratefully received.

maxandben 24/11/2011 at 15:30

I have laid new turf lawn, it is only seven days ago, it is groing very rapidly, is it too soon to mow it.

Peter Tunbridge 01/06/2013 at 13:17

Dear Adam
I wish to lay turf up to a patio or drive on two sides,
to join up with existing grass and up to a fence on the 4th side.
Should i allow 4 the thickness of the turf when making my levels of soil or make it level with the patio and then lay the turf on top.
Many thanks
Peter