Laying a new lawn doesn’t have to be a turf decision…

A fantastic way to get a new lawn in an instant is to lay one from scratch using turf. Although it can be done by professional contractors, giving it a go yourself is not beyond the realms of possibility. With a little time, effort and the right tools you can achieve amazing results – you can get all of the products you need to create an amazing new lawn from The Lawn Store.

If you do decide to lay your own lawn, here is our foolproof guide on how it’s done:

Tools & materials you will need: rotovator, garden fork, garden spade, shovel, wheelbarrow, soil rake, turfing boards (or scaffold planks), knife, pre-turf fertiliser, lawn turf, weed killer and applicator, sprinkler, garden hose.

Step 1: Choose the right turf

Visit our dedicated page on how to choose the right turf for your lawn.

Step 2: Kill existing vegetation

Kill-off-turf
Kill off any vegetation such as weeds and grass with Glyphosate herbicide or similar systemic herbicide or thoroughly dig out the unwanted vegetation. This will make life much easier for rotovating and will prevent unwanted weeds growing through the new turf.

Step 3: Rotovate

rotovating-before-laying-turf-1024x768
Rotovate or dig through the area to a depth of approximately 100mm deep to relive compaction and to create a workable tilth. Several passes with a rotovator may be necessary.

Step 4: Rake

raking
Rake the soil down to create a fine smooth tilth to remove stones and particles which are larger than 20mm in size. Firm in the soil by treading up and down the area in between passes with the rake. Scrape off high points and fill in low areas with a shovel. Carry out final tilth with a finer rake. Contractors may use powered rakes and other specialist machinery. Remove all arising’s such as stones and debris from site. Remember it is crucial to get the soil as smooth and even as you want the final lawn to be because turf will not even out any imperfections. Always bring soil right up to the same level as any adjoining paving or edgings.

Step 5: Fertilise

Spreader
Apply pre-turf/seed fertiliser @ 35 grams per square metre, available from The Lawn Store

Step 6: Laying boards

turf boards
Lay a row of turf boards or scaffold planks along the entire length of the lawn. You will stand on these to lay the first row of turf and then lay the boards on top of the turf to proceed further.

Step 7: Import turf

turf pile
Try and get the turf as close as possible to the lawn that you are laying. 50 square metres of lawn turf weighs approximately 1 tonne so be prepared for plenty of lifting and shifting. (A full selection of lawn turf delivered nationwide is available at The Lawn Store)

Step 8: Lay turf

turf_laying
Lay the first row of turf from one end of the lawn to the other in a straight line and butt each turf so it is touching the other. Start the second row with a half turf which will create staggered joints. Continue to lay the turf whist standing on the boards so you do not make the soil or new turf uneven.

Step 9: Cutting-in

cutting-in-turf
Eventually you will have various small areas to cut in. Do not put small cuts of turf on the edges of the lawn as they will dry our easily and die, simply use larger pieces and cut further back into the lawn. Use a large knife or the blade of an old wood saw to cut the turf patches to the correct size.

Step 10: Watering

Lawn-sprinkler
Newly laid turf must always remain moist and unless conditions are very wet it will need watering twice per day for approximately 3-4 weeks. Lift a piece of turf to make sure the water is penetrating all the way through to the soil underneath. If turf becomes too dry it will turn brown and shrink and gaps will appear between the rows of turf.

Step 11: First mow

Mowing
Carry out the first mow on a high setting approximately 3 weeks after it is laid once the grass is about 3 inches long. Before mowing check it is well rooted by trying to pull up a corner of the turf. If the turf lifts it is not ready. Visit our mowing page.

If all this seems a little beyond your skills, a professionally laid lawn from turf is not as expensive as you might think. Professional landscaping companies such as Hewlett Turf can provide you with a tailor made new lawn that any gardener would be proud of.

You can then maintain the lawn yourself or get a professional lawn care company to take care of all your lawns needs from one-off treatments to a full, year round annual lawn care programme.