Top tips for laying turf


It helps to plan ahead, turf needs to be laid the day it arrives, so ensure you have planned and prepared the area in advance.  Firstly work out how much turf and topsoil you may need, if unsure you can use our online quantity calculator, if  you need to clear the area you are wishing to turf it’s best to do this prior to having your new turf delivered.  

Recommended tools for laying turf

Wheelbarrow, Rake, Long knife or old hand saw, Spade or fork, wooden plank to work on, garden hose and sprinkler.


 Do not rush this stage as it will be time well spent to create a beautiful lawn.

Remove an existing lawn – If you have an existing lawn this has to be removed first, we do not recommend laying turf on top of existing grass.   Doing this can stop the new lawn rooting well and may also create an uneven lawn,  plus you don’t want any existing weeds can growing through the new turf.

Remove the old lawn using turf cutters which can be hired from a reputable hire shop or you can use a weed killer with a non-selective weed killer suitable for killing grass.  Using the weed killer will prevent weeds, but be aware you must leave the area for a minimum of 14 days before laying the new turf.   Always read the instructions on the bottle.

Depth of your topsoil – Once the area is prepared ensure you have a minimum topsoil depth of between 100-150mm which needs to be levelled and raked to a fine tilth.

Levelling the ground – Put the effort in now and this will make a lovely looking lawn which is easy to mow and maintain.

Walking over the area gently you will be able identify irregularities through your feet.

  • Begin by digging or rotavating the soil to loosen it up.
  • Remove any stones, clods of soil, perennial weeds and any other debris.
  • Lightly compact the soil by walking over the area and then again at right angles to the first direction.
  • Fill in any dips and lightly compact 
  • Rake the surface to a fine tilth and make sure it is level.
  • Do not use heavy equipment on the prepared soil as this will compact it too much.
  • Ideally water the soil a couple of days before your turf arrives. Ensure the soil is moist to a depth of 75mm, this will provide water to the roots of the turf.

Laying the turf

Turf needs to be laid the day it comes or unrolled and watered if unable to lay on the same day.

  • Start laying the turf along a straight edge, butting closely end to end
  • On subsequent rows stagger the joints in brickwork fashion
  • For circular area start in the middle and work outwards
  • Lightly firm down the turves with the head of a rake or piece of wood so making contact between the turf and the soil
  • For cutting or shaping of the turf use a knife or handsaw
  • Where the outer edge of the turf is exposed cover this with a soil to prevent them drying out. 

Points to remember

  • Planks should be placed on the new lawn for working and walking on to ensure the soil remains level
  • Always push the turf into the joints. Do not stretch the turf
  • Do not let the turf dry out when warm, start watering areas already laid first prior to completing the whole area, then water regularly.
  • Keep off the new lawn as much as you can for approx. 6 weeks, but you will need mow the grass when the blades are 6-7cm long – do not have the mower blades set low – don’t leave the grass to grow above this height.


Over time the appearance of your lawn will be affected by environment and treatment. 

A healthy lawn requires air, food, water and light. Use a lawn feed to keep the lawn feed and water the lawn according to weather conditions

We can also offer a supply and lay service.  For a free no obligation quote please contact Julian 

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