How to lay lawn turf

Find out how to lay lawn turf, in our practical how-to guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Laying turf is the easiest way to create a new lawn, giving you a lush new lawn in just a few hours. Rolls of lawn turf cost just a few pounds each and usually comprise a mix of hard-wearing perennial rye grasses.

How to lay turf

The best time to lay turf is during spring or autumn, when rain will help the new grass establish roots in time for summer sun or winter frosts. Prepare the ground by removing weeds and raking it level, then lay the turf so it overlaps slightly. Water it well and keep watering every few days so it establishes well.

Watch Monty Don and Chris Beardshaw’s practical video guide to laying turf, above.

Follow our step-by-step guide to laying a lawn, below.

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You Will Need

  • Turf
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Garden spade
  • Loam topsoil
  • Garden rake
  • A sharp knife
  • Watering can

Total time:

Step 1

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

How to lay turf - raking the soil level
How to lay turf – raking the soil level

Step 2

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.

How to lay turf - firming the soil with your feet
How to lay turf – firming the soil with your feet

Step 3

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.

How to lay turf - laying lawn turf
How to lay turf – laying lawn turf

Step 4

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.

How to lay turf - cutting a clean lawn edge
How to lay turf – cutting a clean lawn edge

Step 5

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.

How to lay turf - mowing your new lawn
How to lay turf – mowing your new lawn
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Got some spare lawn turf?

Got some lawn turf left over? Don’t waste it – find out what to do with spare turf in our Quick Tips video guide

Roll of turf