Preparing to lay turf

New turf grows best when the topsoil is prepared to encourage deep, rapid rooting. Unfortunately, just buying excellent quality turf is not enough to ensure a beautiful lawn so you must prepare your soil well. Poor soil and poor soil preparation will cause the turf to decline and may even cause it to perish. Mixing in a pre-turfing fertiliser and watering your soil prior to laying the turf will ensure successful establishment.
Rolawn Turf & Lawn Seeding Topsoil provides the ideal base on which to lay turf. It is blended with Rolawn GroRight® Lawn Establisment Fertiliser to help ensure a lawn gets the best possible start.

Alternatively, Rolawn Soil Improver can be used to enhance existing soil.

How much turf should I order?

  1. Draw a sketch of the area you want to lay turf on to, following our measurement guide.
  2. Draw rectangles over your sketch (they should not overlap). Do this even if your lawn is a circular or oval shape.
  3. Whilst standing in the area due to be turfed, mark out the corners of your rectangles on the ground. In the case of an irregularly shaped lawn, adapt the rectangles as closely as possible to the shape of the lawn.
  4. Measure and record on your sketch, the lengths and widths of all your rectangles.
  5. Calculate the area of each rectangle: length (metres) X width (metres) = area (sq. metres).
  6. Add the areas of all rectangles. This is approximately the amount of turf you will need.
  7. Add 5% extra for shaping, cutting, waste etc. Use our Turf Calculator to help you work out how much you need.

How to prepare soil for new turf

Your soil should be turned over or cultivated to at least 100mm deep, ideally 150mm. It is best to do this when the soil is fairly dry. Rake over to obtain a fine tilth. This will ensure good contact with the turf when it is laid. ‘Heel’ in well and repeat 2 or 3 times.

  1. Apply a base starter fertiliser to the soil. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. As a general guide, look for a fertiliser containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, for example, a 7:7:7 formulated fertiliser. Rolawn GroRight® Lawn Establishment Fertiliser is ideal. Rake or till the fertiliser into the top 25mm of the soil.
  2. Rake the soil smooth and remove all stones and other debris (greater than 6mm) and any perennial weeds.
  3. Two days before the turf is to arrive, water the soil to a depth of 75mm to make the soil moist.
Raking topsoil - preparing to lay turf

Further guidance

Further lawn care advice can be found in our Information Centre. You can also sign up for lawn tips to receive regular lawn care advice, news and promotional offers by email which will help you get the best from your lawn.

For more techniques to help you establish a healthy lawn, explore our other lawn preparation advice pages.

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