How To Prepare The Ground For Laying Turf: A Step-By-Step Guide

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“A beautiful lawn doesn’t happen by itself”. 

You probably have heard this before. As a homeowner, you have to invest some of your time and money to build and maintain a gorgeous-looking lawn. This is where turfing comes into play. Turfing a garden is one of the most popular techniques to develop a lawn that inspires. Now if you’re looking to lay the turf, you need to prepare the ground first, and this is where we’re going to make your life easier. 

The quality of your lawn largely depends on how much attention you pay to the ground preparation process. So, get ready to prepare your soil for turf the right way. 

In this post, we’ll identify and explain the steps you need to take to prepare the ground for laying turf.

Can you lay new turf on top of the existing grass?

We do not recommend laying turf on existing grass. This can prevent the new turf from rooting well. Weeds can also grow through the new turf. Therefore, remove the existing grass as a first step towards preparing and cleaning your garden.

5 steps to prepare the ground and soil for turf

The process to prepare the ground and the soil for turf is quite similar. However, there’s a slight difference when it comes to leveling. Let’s take a brief look at the steps you need to go through before laying turf: 

1. Clear any plants, weeds, and debris

The first step is to get the soil in good shape and get rid of all the plants, weeds, and debris. Before you start the prep work, read the weather report to make sure rain wouldn’t interrupt. 

To clear your garden of all the plants, twigs, leaves, and other objects, you need some tools. While you can clear leaves and debris with some cleaning tools, a gardening tool such as a mechanical rotavator or garden fork will make it easier to clear all the weeds and rubble. 

You don’t want weeds to show up again after your new turf settles down. Do you? For this, you have to remove as many weeds as possible. There shouldn’t be any signs of plants and weeds. Consider moving plants to a different part of your garden. 

Pro tip: consider using a weed killer. If you want to do so, you have to wait for two or three weeks because killing the roots using a solution takes time. 

Dispose of all the debris and concrete in a responsible way. The remains of concrete can lead to a poor drainage system which means more moss growth. 

You might find it hard to do all the hard work. In that case, you can always hire a professional to prepare the ground for you. Whether you’re doing it yourself or have some assistance, be sure to dig down at least 15 cm. 

2. Improve your soil quality

Adding a good amount of organic matter is one of the ways to improve the quality of your garden soil. You can easily find several soil enrichment products in the market. However, make sure to use the right product that fits your soil needs. 

The question is how would you know the quality of your soil in the first place? It’s quite simple! Carry out a soil test to get a better understanding of the current nutrient levels in your garden. It would be great if you let professionals conduct the soil test and advice based on test results. 

Obtaining valuable insights into your soil’s composition will help you determine what additional nutrients are needed to prepare the soil for new turf. Improving the soil quality prior to turfing a lawn will make your grass and plants grow stronger. Besides, adding the right amount of organic matter improves the soil’s capability to store and accept water. 

3. Level, rotavate, and flatten the soil

Your garden soil is almost ready now but it’s not even yet. So, it’s time to level your uneven garden. Have you ever leveled an uneven piece of land before? If you don’t have a rotavator, you have to hire a turfing laying service or garden rotavator service. 

If you own a rotavator, get ready to flatten your sloping garden. Start moving in strips across the garden to break up the dirt. Move back and forth at least two or three times over each strip. Cover the entire area and repeat the same at a different angle. 

Rotavator is a great tool when it comes to dealing with lumps and bumps. You can move some soil from one part of your garden to another. It’s a back-breaking job. Isn’t it? Try to reduce slopes as much as possible. This will make it easier for you to cut and water the lawn down the road. 

4. Wait a few weeks and get rid of weeds

The next step is pretty simple and easy. Just wait for a few weeks to make sure there are no active weeds in the soil. If you see any weed showing up, kill them with a strong weed killer. If you hate using chemicals on your soil, remove the remaining weeds with your hands. 

Related: Here we present you with the most common turfing problems and questions.

5. Add Pre-Turfing Feed

The final step is to apply a pre-turfing feed to the soil. Not sure how to apply it? Read the instructions on the pack and follow them. Applying pre-turfing feed will give the new turf nutrients it needs to root in and grow quickly. 

Final thoughts 

It’s not a simple process to prepare your garden for turfing especially if it is in bad shape. From removing weeds to levelling the ground, you have to work pretty hard to get your garden ready for turning. 

Consider hiring a professional turfing service to save time. If you live in London, Pi Gardening has the best turfing services in London and surrounding areas. We have years of experience, advanced tools, and passion to develop stunning lawns for homeowners. Feel free to contact us or request a free quote today!

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