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Your Step-by-Step Guide to Laying Turf

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Your Step-by-Step Guide to Laying Turf

New turf is an easy way to freshen up your garden and revitalise an outdoor space. What’s more, laying turf is a simple process that anyone can do, allowing you to achieve a professional-looking finish without expert help. 

In this easy-to-follow guide, we describe how to lay turf to ensure a flawless finish for your new lawn.

How to lay turf

How do you lay turf?

Before Laying

  1. Order the turf from a high-quality supplier to ensure the best health and performance from your turf. Select a time and date when you’re certain to have enough time to lay it. It’s generally recommended that turf is immediately unrolled in spring and summer, and within 24 hours in autumn or winter.  
  2. Next, you need to prepare the ground. This is arguably the most important step, as the good condition of your new turf depends on groundwork being done correctly. 
  3. First, remove the current turf with a spade or similar object. 
  4. Get rid of any noticeable weeds, leaves, twigs, debris or rocks. You may unearth more that need to be removed as you go along. 
  5. Then you’ll need to turn over the soil to a depth of 10-15 cm. This should be done thoroughly with either a garden fork or a rotovator, if you can hire one. If your soil is of a noticeably low quality, you may want to consider improving or replacing the soil in some way e.g. adding organic matter or compost. 
  6. After turning over the soil, rake it in several directions to break up any lumpy areas.Apply pre-turfing fertiliser if you feel it needs it, or if it has been recommended. Then, rake the soil again to ensure it’s incorporated. 
  7. Finally, you need to level it off. This can be done with your feet, pressing down or ‘shuffling’ across the whole garden. Take care not to apply excessive pressure as this may lead to overly-compacted soil.  
  8. Once you have a thoroughly turned and level soil surface (so there are no bumps or dips) it’s time to start laying. 


During Laying

  1. First, find a straight edge in your garden. Perhaps you already have some architecture or a border around your garden? If not, create a temporary straight edge yourself using a piece of wood or similar. Lay the first turf roll against this line, and then unroll along that line and gently flatten down. For circular lawns, it’s wise to start from the middle and work your way out. 
  2. Unroll all turf close together with minimal gapping. With a gentle pressure, push turf into joins and smooth over to create a seamless appearance.
  3. When it comes time to lay the second row, roll it out so the joints are staggered – much like brickwork.
  4. Throughout the laying, avoid walking on the fresh turf and instead go round or, if you need to, lay something light down to walk over.
  5. Once turf is laid, you need to ensure it’s in contact with the soil. You can firmly pat it down with a piece of wood or other implement. 
  6. You may come across features in your garden, such as fountains or other architecture, that turf needs to be laid around. In these cases, lay the turf over the curved edge and use a knife or saw to carefully cut the turf into shape. 
  7. To finish, make sure the outer edges of the turf don’t dry out. Popping a bit of soil over them for a few weeks is recommended. 


After Laying

  1. Ensure that your newly-laid turf gets the right amount of watering for its turf type and for the season you’ve laid it. Ask your supplier for guidance if you’re unsure. 
  2. The first few weeks are critical, so regularly inspect your turf for any curling, browning or any signs of drying out at the edges or joins. If so, give it a thorough water and maybe add a bit more soil to these areas. 
  3. Add some fertiliser to ensure healthy growth, as per manufacturer/supplier instructions. 


Here at Naybur Bros, we supply natural lawn turf of the highest quality to suit your aesthetic and functional requirements. Simply discuss your ideas with our friendly experts who are happy to advise and arrange delivery of your turf at a time that suits your project. We’ve served the local area of Barnet, Potters Bar and Enfield for over 70 years – get in touch to discover more. 

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