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How To Lay A Lawn For Dummies

Updated on June 20, 2010

Starting Out

When deciding to lay a nice new lawn in the back garden of my flat i had a few questions that needed answering,number one was although quite a keen Gardner i have never layed or looked into laying a new lawn and wanted to make sure that i layed it correctly,secondly i had no idea what turf to buy or even weather to buy turf or to lay it using seeds.All i knew was that i had in a mad moment of sheer determination i had ripped up all the old dead and dying turf and dumped it at the end of my garden,and was now left with a brown patch of earth and loads of dead turf.This was the way it stayed for about a year,as i kept making excuses not to do it,eventually i took some time off work and got to it.The thing i found most annoying was that no matter how hard i tried i couldn't find any decent information on laying a new lawn and this is why i am writing this,to help others.The first thing to do is measure the area to be made into a lawn and decide weather to use seeds or turf,i chose turf as it seemed the easier option.

When opting for turf the same rules apply pretty much as if you were buying seeds,you need to work out the area of soil that you want to lay your turf on to and mark it out with string or as in my case i used half log rolls to create a border,Measure it in metres and times it together and you have the square metres you require.Now before buying any turf you need to prepare the area and this is the bit that takes the time,especially if you have a big garden,now mine is only 12metres squared so not that big,yet it took me a whole day with two of us to prepare it for the new lawn.The first bit of preparation is to turn over the soil,so using a spade you need to dig down about 8-10 inches and lift the soil right out and turn it over,now do this throughout the whole site,this is hard work and took me a good 2 hours.

The Next Step

Once you have dug over your lawn the next step is to rake it through and then pick out any stones and other debris you find,this can be a bit of a painstaking task and to be honest it bored me silly but it has to be done.Once you have picked out any large stones you can see then rake it through again and start from scratch picking out the stones again until you are satisfied that the area is fairly clear.Once this has been done add some good quality topsoil,a whole bag should be good and turn the earth over again.Rake the lawn then add another bag of topsoil,turn this over once more and you are ready to begin levelling the ground.


My lawn area definitely needed levelling as it was very bumpy and uneven,but even if yours isnt you will still need to level it to get the best result possible.The way i did it was to put four stakes in each corner of the area due to be levelled and tied string to each corner and put a spirit level across the string to ensure it was as accurate as possible.This certainly helps when using the naked eye to see if its level.Then you just need to rake it through and use the rake to add soil from high areas to areas where it is lower.repeat this process and then walk the area flat when you are happy with it,once walked flat if not completely level then repeat the process.Next you are ready for your new turf.

Laying Your New Turf

Where you buy your turf from is entirely up to you but pick wisely and don't buy the cheapest as you certainly get what you pay for.I personally brought mine from rolawn but like i said it is up to you.Make sure you lay your lawn the same day that you get it as leaving out will make it dry and not so pliable to the earth beneath.When you get back with your turf,water the earth very well and then starting in one corner roll out a section of turf and make sure that you push the edges down firmly,then keep going across making sure that the turfs are pushed together well.Kneel on a board on the first layer so that you keep even pressure across the turfs.When laying the second layer stagger them like a brick wall so that the turfs are not matching from layer to layer,If the earth dries out beneath then re water before laying the next layer.Once the turf is laid then water thoroughly and keep watering every day for at least 3 weeks,i tended to water mine in the morning and again after work in the evening.After 3 weeks you can cut if for the first time but make sure it is a high cut,then on the second cut after another couple of weeks you can cut it as per normal.remember if laying in the hot months then you will need to water it every day to allow it to become established.


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    • warchild75 profile image

      lee 7 years ago from Lancing, West Sussex, England

      @georgee whoops sorry,u could always start again!

    • profile image

      georgee :) 7 years ago

      i recently replaced a part of my lawn with new turf a few weeks ago, i didn't prepare much and to be honest it is quite a shambles. one of my dogs(jack russell) is really obsessed with stones and loves to chew on them. he is always digging at the new turf because i didn't remove the stones from the soil. silly me! shame you didn't post this earlier.