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5 steps to prepare your ground for laying new turf

5 steps to prepare your ground for laying new turf

Preparing the ground is the first step to getting the garden and grass you want! When the ground isn’t prepared correctly the turf will not flourish. This can prevent that rich green glow you are looking for. Here are 5 simple steps to prepare your ground for laying new turf:

Raking over soil, to prepare the ground for laying turf
Prepare the ground for laying turf

Prepare the ground for laying turf

  1. 1 – Remove old grass
  2. 2 – Turf over your soil
  3. 3 – Level and rake
  4. 4 – Final Grading
  5. 5 – Order your turf

Remove old grass

If you have grass already, you will need to start by removing this grass. There are two ways to remove the old turf.

The first method is quite labour intensive. You will need a good spade, time and a lot of elbow grease! Dig the spade into the ground, cutting your turf into easy liftable sized pieces (10inches x 10inches works well), and slide the spade under the edge of the turf to lift it away from the ground.

However, if you are looking at a larger area you might want to look at hiring a turf cutter. These will cut along the top of the turf, in the same way, the spade did but without the physical labour.

Turn over your soil

The soil will now need to be turned over. While doing this you need to remove any rocks or weeds. There are two options for doing this and again it might depend on the size of the area you are laying the new turf on.

One way is to manually dig it over with a fork, it should be to the depth of 15cm. Or you can hire a rotavator which is a bladed machine that will mechanically loosen the soil. If fertiliser is to be applied now is the time.

Level and rake

We know what you’re thinking, but I just dug it all over. Yes, but unless you want a lumpy lawn you need to make it all smooth again. It may well be the case you need to add some topsoil if the ground is uneven or perhaps the soil is high in clay content. We provide top quality topsoil if you need it!

Now that the ground is nice and even, it is time to tread the soil down. This will remove any air pockets and it should make it easy to see if any areas are a little lower or higher than others before you get to laying.

The best way to do this is with a little shuffle. With your feet together shuffle your feet along in a straight line from side to side of the area you are working in. You should have a firm and flat finish once this is complete.

Final grading

You will be pleased to know that we are onto the final step. Now is the time to remove any remaining footprints or wheel marks. In small areas, you can often do this with light raking. For larger areas, use a long straight plank to check if the soil is level. Followed by dragging a ladder or the plank along with the soil, to give it some texture to help the roots of the turf to establish.

Order your turf

This might seem a little odd to wait until the preparation is complete before ordering your turf, but we say this with many years of experience. The preparation time always takes longer than you think!

As turf is living, it needs to be laid the same day or the day after delivery. If you end up needing extra topsoil or the ground is too wet to turn over the new turf won’t wait.

Now you have prepared the ground for laying turf, it's time to order your turf.
order your turf

We’re here to help

Hopefully, this has all helped you know how to prepare your ground for laying new turf and once you are ready you can order your turf here on the website, or by calling our team on 01952 510386.

If you have now read this and though I am not sure I can take this on myself, don’t worry. Here at Shropshire Turf and Soil, we offer the full package. We send one of our experts to your garden, at a convenient time for you to discuss your options to get your dream garden. Call us today on 01952 510386, to organise a free no obligations quote for your new turf.


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