UK gardening help and assistance

Buy turf from turf suppliers or turfing services - a guide

If laying a lawn from turf there are two key points to get right, buying the right turf is one of them and it will set your lawn off with a great start and should help make lawn maintenance easier. The other key point (for those left wondering) is preparing the soil for laying turf.

Preventing turf degradation

When buying turf you should make sure that you have completed the soil preparation work before your turf arrives. Turf arrives in rolls and so apart from the grass at the edges the turf does not come into contact with the sun. This means the grass will rot if left for extended periods. The longer the turf is stored in rolls the less vigourous the grass will be after the turf is laid. The moisture content of the turf soil will also be lost over time. If storing turf longer than overnight then covering the stack of turves with a plastic sheet can help prevent moisture loss.

How much turf should I buy?

Turves normally come in lengths of around 3 feet to 1 meter per turf with each turf being around 1 to ½ feet long. Check with your turf supplier what the size of the turf is and calculate the area in sqare feet.

e.g. for turves that are 3ft in length and 1 foot wide each turf is 3 square feet.

A lawn site that measured 20 feet wide by 20 feet length = 400 square feet

200 / 3 = 133.3 turves needed to cover the area.

Be sure to order a few extra turves as you should allow for more than the minimum in case of the odd turf being of poor quality or cutting the turves to fit non standard shapes.

Taking delivery of turf

Allocate some free time for laying the lawn and then arrange the delivery date for this date or the day before depending on the time of delivery.

When your turf is delivered ask for it to be placed as close as possible to the lawn site. Turf is a lot heavier then it looks and lugging a whole lawns worth of turves the length of the driveway and garden is a task that should be avoided if possible so saving energy, muscle ache and time.

Make sure that you determine any delivery costs before you order your turf.

Buying the right turf

The quality of turf you buy will obviously have a huge impact on the quality of your finished lawn. You should always request that a sample be sent to you so you can assess it and be sure of what you can expect.

You should look for turf that has an even depth so that if your prepared lawn site has an even surface, your finished lawn should have an even surface after laying the turves. Hopefully you will have selected turves that have a uniform even depth, if not however this can be remedied by ‘boxing’ the turf. Boxing turf involves placing the turf upside down in a wooden box (with no lid) around 1 ½ inches (or whatever the depth of your desired turves are) deep and then removing the soil from the turf that protrudes out above the box edges. Use a cutting wire or a knife with a long bladed to cut off the excess soil.

The opposite of boxing is necessary when you find a turf that has a smaller depth than the others, in this case pre-fill the site the individual turf is to be laid on with the unbalanced depth of soil before laying the turf.

You should also examine each turf for weeds and if found then the turf can be cut so that the weeds are removed now. This should prove a lot less hassle than trying to remove weeds from an established lawn.

Buy turf checklist

  • Contact Turf supplier – ask for sample turf and dimensions of turves, ask how turves are cut – looking for uniform even depth. Ask about suitability of grass types to your region
  • Check if delivery costs are included
  • Ensure soil prepation is complete before delivery
  • Calculate number of turves needed to lay the complete lawn
  • Receive sample, if ok order turf