How to Lay Turf

Turf is pre-grown grass seed that’s been cut from the ground with a slice of top soil. It’s like a grassy carpet that can be laid to create a new lawn from scratch or to fix patchy areas in an existing lawn. You can lay turf throughout the year, as long as the soil isn’t waterlogged or frozen or the sun too hot. However we recommend spring and early autumn as the best times.

Preparing the Ground

Remove vegetation, roots, plants and stones ready to prepare the soil. Vegetation may need to be treated with a suitable weedkiller to avoid it growing up through the new turf, if you use a herbicide, we recommend waiting at least 10 days before laying your new turf.

The ground needs to be made ready to lay the turf on top. There needs to be a sufficient quantity and quality of top soil to nourish the grass roots and to level to the desired slope, flatness or other contour. We advise 5-15cm (2-6 inches) of topsoil is needed for grass to thrive. However, this does depend on factors such as the drainage and aspect of the land.

To prepare the soil, rotivate then roll and rake over the surface. Rotivating will ensure the ground isn’t too compacted, which is bad for drainage. Grass needs well-draining soil otherwise moss is likely to take over. Rolling the loose soil will speed along the process of settling it to its natural level. Use your feet to firm down the soil if you don’t have a roller. Then finally, raking it will make it easier for the growing roots to take hold into loose soil.

Laying the Turf

Start laying from a position where you won’t need to stand on the prepared soil. Then continue by placing a plank on the first rolls to spread your weight evenly.

Lay the turf rolls in a brick bond pattern and push them together as close as possible. This helps to avoid the joins being noticeable. In warmer weather some shrinkage is normal after laying so these steps help to make the newly laid lawn look as good as possible. Where this happens, the effect will disappear as the grass grows, you can sprinkle some fine soil or sand into any gaps to help.

At the end of a row of turf where a piece is cut to fit, it is best to avoid finishing with a very small piece. If necessary, cut the previous piece and use a longer strip to finish. Again, this reduces the problems of shrinkage.

Curved and slanted lines require the turf to be cut to fit. You could use an old kitchen knife to do this. DON’T do anything else to your lawn until it can no longer be lifted at the edges. Once you can no longer lift up the corner of a turf it has grown in and it’s ok to give its first haircut. The general rule is only ever cut off one third off the length. So if it’s growing very fast you will need to be patient and take a few mows to get it down to the length you want it. Leave 7 days between each cut. By doing this you’ll avoid the grass looking yellow.

Turf from St Bridget

We get our turf rolls in freshly cut on a Friday from fellow Exeter business HCT. Because we want turf to be laid fresh, we don’t overstock it and typically our turf is all sold over the weekend. To avoid disappointment, we strongly advise pre-ordering your turf from us to ensure it is reserved for you. Sadly we are unable to deliver turf.

Each roll of turf covers 1 square metre and weighs 15-18kg per roll on average.

To reserve your turf please call the garden centre on 01392 876281.