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Diy turf laying: how-to guide

4th Jun '19 • By

Does your lawn need a little love? Does it look a little patchy and past its use by date? Do you want to have your very own beautiful lawn and admire it like the guy in that Sir Walter Ad on television?

DIY turf laying: how-to guide

Even if you don’t have a big garden, with some simple DIY skills you can lay instant turf yourself to create your dream small garden. In this way, you can really save plenty of money by doing the soil preparation and laying yourself.


Several things should be remembered, before you engage in your own turf laying project. The task itself does require a fair bit of effort, time and care. Despite this, surprisingly you don’t always require professional assistance to lay turf.

With this being said, here are a few tasks that need to be remembered, when you engage in your own turf laying project so you can decide if this is the best method for you, or if you would benefit from getting turf laying quotes from a professional Landscaper to find out the cost of laying instant turf.


Preparing the soil for turf laying

Soil differs across different parts and regions of the country. This is why the turf you lay has to be matched carefully to where you live. So how do we start this project? The first thing you have to do is prepare your soil. Whilst doing this, you should take the following steps into consideration:

  1. Test the pH level of your soil with a testing kit (easily purchased from you local hardware store or nursery).
  2. Try and remove all weeds, rocks, rubbish and unnecessary plants or vegetation from your intended area
  3. Turn the soil more than once to a precise depth of 150 mm or more.
  4. Be prepared to purchase more soil and mix with the old to satisfy soil requirements.

The pH level of your soil should rest close to 7 (1-14 scale). Once you have tested your soil, you should decide whether it has to be increased or decreased.

If the soil pH level is below 5, you should add lime or wood ash. On the other hand, if the soil pH is above 7, you should add sulphur or peat moss. After you have completed these steps, the soil will then need to be tested again.


Best time of year for laying turf

There is a right time to lay your lawn and not surprisingly, it isn't Summer. Try and do it in mid-Autumn, but any time between mid-Autumn and Winter is ideal. This is so because the soil won't be too wet or frosty.

Also, it won't need to be mowed so frequently and can be left for some weeks at a time. Compare this to Summer, where the lawn seems to grow overnight, especially after rain or late afternoon thunderstorms.


Removing weeds before laying turf

When it comes to removing weeds, the process can be much more complex and arduous than simply pulling them out. This is especially true if you have a large yard. You should really need to eradicate any weeds that are visible and apply a grass-friendly weed killer until they are dead. Consider using a natural pesticide; if you have pets, ensure it is pet friendly and not poisonous.

You should leave a gap of two weeks between the applications of weed killers, in order for it to take full effect. If you decide to use one that is not pet friendly and you do have pets, make sure they do not have access to the grass for at least 24 hours.


Once weeds have been removed, you should turn the soil over several more times. This helps the new turf root deeply below the surface. Whilst turning the soil, you should continue to remove further debris and small stones. Also, consider spreading a clean layer of fertiliser across the surface, to promote growth.

The kind of turf you decide on plays a very important role in the entire process. Approach a local nursery or turf supplier and ask them for their advice if you are unsure.

Turf is generally sold in slabs and rolls. Some turf suppliers will sell it by certain dimensions. You can always measure the area first and pick turf that best fits your garden size and budget.


DIY vs professional turf laying

If you’re unsure of the type of grass that will thrive best in your garden or the whole process in general seems a bit daunting, you should consider hiring a turfing professional who does this for a living.

For example, if your grass receives a high volume of traffic you should consider a tough and durable type of grass like Couch. Similarly, if your garden is in a shaded area you should opt for a type of grass like Buffalo, that thrives in areas that don't get full sunlight.


Either way, once it's done take the time to pull up a chair and admire this great landscaping idea. Better still, lie down and experience the texture of your brand new turf!

Need some professional advice for your turf laying job?

 Get Turf Installation Quotes Now 

Further reading:
7 ways to spruce up your backyard on a budget
6 best backyard trends of 2019
New homeowner backyard inspiration
The 10 best luxurious driveway designs

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