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Laying Turf – Helpful Tips

One way to beautify your home’s exterior is by laying turf. This seems like a simple enough task, but there are a few things you should be aware of before you start. Take all the points into consideration and you will be successful and have a yard that demands respect from the neighbors. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Topsoil and Turf

The first thing you need to think about is when you will actually do the work. You don’t want to let the turf mildew before you unroll it. Your turf will probably come in rolls for ease of installation. You will want to unroll those rolls of turf as soon as possible.

How soon? It depends – if you are doing this in the fall or early winter, unroll the bundles within 24 to 48 hours of getting them. If it is summertime, don’t wait more than 12 to 24 hours. The reason is that the grass will start to mildew as it sits all wrapped up. When it is hot outside this happens faster, hence the urgency in the summer months.

Before you start laying the turf, water the topsoil lightly. This helps the new turf seek out new roots and embed itself properly. Also you will want to ensure that the soil is somewhat loosened up, but not too loose. Just turn it over once, water and start the work.

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New pieces of turf should be laid approximately 12 inches apart. This allows the new material to expand and remain level after seating. Remember that the turf is part soil and part grass. The soil portion of it will want to spread out a bit, so 12 inches is appropriate.

If you are laying turf on a hill or a graded landscape, always unroll it across the grade, never downhill. This helps the new turf find its new seat in a uniform manner. The weight of the piece in front of it will help hold it in place. If you roll it downhill, the tendency is for it to slide because of its own weight, especially if it rains heavily soon after you finish.

Water After You Lay the Turf

Now we come to the care after the laying is done. This is vital to your success. After the new turf is in place, it needs to be watered and watered well. Immediately after the turf has been put down, water it. Do this daily but be careful not to over water it. The water will assist the turf in finding its new home and taking root effectively, but too much water will be counter-productive.

The suggested time to water is in the evenings after the sun has gone down, especially in the summer months when it is very hot or humid. If you water in the morning, the sun comes up, reaches its highest (hottest) point and dries the turf out for the day. But watering in the evenings, like at dusk, prevents this from happening. The turf then has a chance to effectively use the water you give it.

Pull up the corners of the new turf and make sure the water is getting through to the underside. This is called “percolation” and is important to the growth and development of the new grass. If you are not getting water where it is supposed to be, the chances for dry or, even worse, dead patches increases greatly.

You should pay proper attention the first few days after laying the turf, since during this time it will either take root or take up roots.

Related Resources:

Wikipedia on Sod

Dummies – How to Lay Sod for New Lawn


3 Responses to Laying Turf – Helpful Tips

  1. wann rasen vertikutieren on June 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

  2. Bill Hubert on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I would love to re post this entry on my own website will that be okay

    • Bob on June 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Bill,

      Maybe, tell me what post and what site and we’ll see.

      All the best,