Ground Preparation - Prior to Laying Lawn Turf

Published: 12th July 2010
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Turf growers and turf suppliers now sell their products online which can include cultivated lawn turf, topsoil, barks and mulches. You can order from the convenience of your own home, choose a delivery date, sit back and wait for your new turf to arrive.

However, don't get too comfy as the work isn't quite done yet. Laying lawn turf is relatively easy and your retailer will be able to offer advice on doing this but you need to ensure your ground is prepared for the turfs arrival.

The following article will walk you through the stages of ground preparation prior to ordering your new turf.

Remove Old Lawn

First off your old, worn lawn needs to be removed. This can be done by slicing underneath the grass, ideally with a turf spade, but a regular spade will be ok. For larger gardens you can hire a turf cutter from a local hire shop, this will also save some energy. The old lawn should be removed to a depth of around 25mm and the pieces of turf can be rolled up and disposed of into a skip. If you have space in your garden the old turf could be stacked grass side down to eventually make a great compost or soil improver.

Cultivate Soil

The turf less soil should now be cultivated or turned over to a depth of around 150mm. This can be done manually by digging with a spade. For a less labour intensive approach and more thorough breaking up of existing soil you can hire a powered cultivator, or rotivator. Speak to a local tool hire shop or garden centre about this. Once cultivated remove any visible weeds, stones and debris from the soil.

If you are unable to cultivate due to a lack of rotivator or wish to improve the quality of poor soil then new top soil can be ordered from your turf supplier. This can be wheel barrowed onto the garden into piles and roughly levelled with a shovel. By adding new high quality top soil you could add much needed nutrients to the existing soil and make the final preparation stage easier.

Final Ground Preparation

It's now time to create a firm level base for laying turf. This is the most crucial stage in ground preparation and time and care should be taken here. Roughly rake the top soil level, working backwards to avoid walking on the already prepped area. Following this shuffle over the whole area using your feet to the tread the soil in. Re rake the soil and tread in once more. This process will remove any soft patches that could cause the turf to sink and will help to remove any humps and bumps to give your lawn a more level finish.

To test the firmness of your ground, when pressing with your foot only a light footprint should be visible. Once you are happy with the levels and firmness then give one final rake to create a good tilth to lay your turf on.

Pre Turf Fertiliser

It is recommended at this stage to add a pre turf fertiliser to the topsoil to provide additional nutrients and aid the growth of new turf.

For more information visit Garden Lawn Shop, suppliers of garden products including turf, topsoil, lawn seed and bark. Buy turf online, delivered to your door. Our advice centre also offers hints, tips and guides to create and look after your new garden.

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