How To Lay Lawn Turf

Are you looking to quickly and easily create a beautiful and inviting lawn?

A lawn turf could be the perfect option for you! Turf, which arrives as a surface layer of the earth already containing grass, is a speedy alternative to grass seeds for those looking to transform old, worn-out lawns.

If you’re considering lawn turf, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Gardener’s Dream, we’ve put together the ultimate turf guide, detailing all the advantages of turf, and how to lay and maintain your new lawn.

Garden is a sunny day

Why pick turf?

There are a number of benefits to both turf and seeds, so it’s important to think about which is right for you and your garden. One of the main benefits of laying turf is time — unlike growing grass from seeds, the turf will provide you with instant results. Because of this, you also don’t have to worry about that awkward period when a seeded lawn must be left alone to grow. If you have pets, or if it’s the height of summer and your garden is constantly in use, turfing may be the perfect option for you.

There are also aesthetic benefits to laying a turf rather than growing your lawn from scratch. A turf will offer a smooth, evenly coloured option that will take a little less upkeep in the first couple of months.

If you’ve decided a turf is a right option for you, read on for everything you need to know about laying and caring for your turf.

When to turf a lawn

One of the advantages of using turf rather than seed is that you have a much bigger window of opportunity when it comes to laying it. There are, however, optimum times to ensure the best possible results.

Mid-autumn provides great conditions for turf, as does spring — although spring-laid turf will need a little more attention during any hot and dry spells in summer.

While summer turf-laying is not necessarily recommended, it can be done — just be sure to keep on top of your watering!

Grass in a macro shot with rain droplets

Preparing your soil

Where possible a new turf should be laid within 24 hours of purchase or delivery. However, preparation should begin a few weeks ahead of time, so it is important to be organised!

Ensuring your soil is in the best possible condition is as important with turf as it is with seed, as your turf will need to establish itself in your existing soil. To begin, you need to ensure your soil is completely free of weeds, or any existing grass. Remove weeds by hand, and dig up any with thick roots. For existing lawns, use a weed killer specialised for killing grasses: ensure you do not use a residual weed killer, as remnants in the soil with stop your turf from establishing. Alternatively, you can hire a turf cutter to remove your existing lawn.

For full information and advice on how best to prepare your soil for turf (and seed!), check out our previous post on Preparing Soil and Seeding Lawns.

How to lay turf

When it comes to laying your turf, we have a few top tips to ensure optimum results:

  • Begin on a straight edge, ideally next to your garden fence or wall, and work inwards so you aren’t disturbing the already laid turf as you work.
  • Lay the turves on the soil. You should aim to stagger the joints of the turves as you would with brickwork, and overlap them slightly to ensure no gaps as your turf grows.
  • Place planks over newly laid turves for walking along while you are working — this will reduce footprints and indentations in your new turf.
  • To neaten up around corners or edges, use a spade or large knife to neatly cut away the excess turf.
  • Use your space to gently press down the turves — this will ensure they make good contact with the existing soil underneath.
  • Once you have finished laying the turf, water the whole area.
  • Try to leave your turf undisturbed for the first few days. This period is the most important for root development, and heavy use of your turf may cause dips or uneven sections.

Water irrigation system

How to care for your turf

While the watering and maintenance routine isn’t as strict with turf as with grass seeds (as you are dealing with already-established grass) it is still important to ensure your turf is regularly watered and looked after.

Your turf will need to be kept moist to ensure it establishes well with the existing soil underneath. The exact routine will depend on when you lay your turf — naturally, it will need more watering in drier periods. In a dry season, it is recommended that you water your turf every 5 to 10 days. In less dry periods, once every 14 days should suffice.

Once you have the perfect new lawn, you need to keep it in the best possible condition. Be sure to explore our full lawn care selection to keep your outside space looking healthy and bright all year round.

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