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DIY turfing tips and tricks

Updated on October 14, 2013

Turfing really doesn't have to be hard work. It can be done in very simple stages, and you can avoid all the usual errors easily.

Buying your turf

The best turf is thick, luxuriant, and has a wet base. Low quality turf tends to look like compressed dry hay, or seagrass mats. Avoid the low quality turf at all costs.

When to do your turfing

Early autumn, spring or late winter is best. Other times of year tend to be growth-negative.

Preparing the ground

You will need:

  • Prepared soil
  • The right amount of turf
  • Fertilizer

Soil preparation

If you're working with a large space, you need to do this very efficiently.

  • Remove existing ground cover: Get rid of everything you actually don't want. Keep any healthy lawn, if you want to, but remove dead patches, weeds and any unwanted growth.
  • Rake the area to a depth of about 1 inch: This helps prepare the soil for the grass roots. It also allows you to work the turf into the ground, giving it a common level.

How much turf do you need?

It's a good idea to measure the area accurately. Allow about 5 to 10% more than you actually need, to fill in gaps and to replace turf that doesn’t take.

Fertilizer for turfing

The best fertilizers are liquid seaweed fertilizers, broad spectrum fertilizers which provide all the nutrients your turf needs.

Laying your turf

Best practice is to start from the edges.

  • Lay your turf squarely against one edge, and make sure it sits squarely.
  • Roll the turf out patiently. You can actually damage the turf and create more work for yourself.
  • Try and keep the edges of each role of turf as close together as possible. The fewer gaps, the better.

After laying your turf

Now look at the turf:

  • Do any parts of the turf look ragged?
  • Are there any gaps between the rolls of turf?

The gaps are potential problems. They let in air, which can dry out the roots and kill the lawn. Use your spare turf to fill gaps and any tears or rips that may have been present in the turf or have resulted from laying process.

Watering in your turf

Your turf needs enough water for the roots to establish themselves and for the turf to take root. A good soak with a hose will do most of the work, or alternatively a drip system, which is very economical with water.

The fertilizer trick

As mentioned, there are natural gaps in turf after laying. The easy way to fix that is to encourage the grass to knit itself together, providing fertilizer at the joints of the rolls of turf. Grasses do this naturally, as a protective measure to prevent other plants from invading their space.

Now the really easy bit – Just leave your turf alone for a few days. Spend those few days figuring out how to enjoy your beautiful new lawn.

Good turf is solid, consistent and healthy
Good turf is solid, consistent and healthy


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