Lawn Turf Buying Guide
We are aware it can be confusing to know what is best when buying turf so we have created this guide to help you get the best from your new lawn, and to ensure that you are happy with the product you buy from us, and that you are aware of all the steps required for your new grass to thrive.
We hope you find this guide useful, but we are also aware that every customer requirement is different, so if you are ready to take the next step, please give us a call and we can find the best solution for you.
What is Turf?
This might seem like a question with a fairly obvious answer, but the term ’turf’ is often used casually to describe lawns, grass, football pitches alongside many other ‘grassy’ surfaces.
In the simplest terms, turf is actually grass which is grown as a crop to be harvested. The turf is harvested in 1m2 rolls and can be moved to the desired location and laid out giving you an almost instant lawn.
Pros of Turf
- Instant good looking grass!
- It’s undoubtedly the quickest way to lay a lawn
- No need to worry about choosing the right seed variety!
- Once your lawn has rooted in, you can start using immediately
How much does turf cost and how much do I need?
High quality turf is definitely an investment, but it is also one of the most cost-effective ways to transform the look of your garden.
When you have measured the square meterage of your space, we will advise you how many rolls you will need to buy, we always recommend ordering an additional 5% to allow for leftovers and offcuts to fill in any small or awkwardly shaped spaces. Any other left over can be easily composted.
What kinds of turf can we supply?
Our flagship product is our Don Valley GP (General Purpose) turf which is grown and cut on our farm at Inverurie – it is hard wearing and ideal for front and back gardens, golf tees and fairways, and it is our most popular product. Our GP turf is grown for approximately 14-18 months before being harvested, so is ideally suited for conditions in the local area.
We are members of the Turf Growers Association in the UK, ensuring that we grow grass to the highest standards, and it can be used for a variety of requirements including domestic lawns, commercial areas, golf courses and sports fields. All of the grass seed used in our turf is BSPB listed (British Society of Plant Breeders). We are also able to supply non rye turf which is ideal for ornamental lawns and green quality turf for golf and bowling greens – however, please be aware that a cylinder mower would be required for cutting this type of product, and therefore is not recommended for casual gardeners.
If you would like to discuss a specialist turf product for a particular use, get in touch with us to chat through what you are looking for and we will do our best to utilise our nationwide network of partners to try and find it for you.
Preparing your ground for turf and when is best to lay
Like any DIY job, the preparation you put in ahead of time will have a massive impact on the end result and, in the case of your lawn, this can make the difference between lush and healthy grass or a patchy and bumpy garden.
The time of year is also important as initially you want to avoid the risk of frost or drying out the turf. Therefore, the best time is generally Spring or Autumn, when rain will help the new grass establish roots in time for Summer sun or Winter frosts. However, it is perfectly acceptable to lay turf throughout the year, so long as consideration is given to weather conditions at the time.
If the area to be turfed, is an existing lawn, this must be removed ideally using a turf lifter before using a fork or rotovator to turn over/rotovate the soil, removing the larger stones, and any other debris/organic material. This includes, but is not limited to, twigs, stones, weeds, and buried litter. This also improves aeriation in the soil. Depending on the quality of the soil, you may decide to add in some additional good quality screened topsoil, and we would recommend at least a depth of between 10-15cm of topsoil.
For an area of ground that is bare ground rather than an existing lawn, if there is a large amount of weeds, a weedspray will firstly require to be applied to the area, please follow application guidelines, as products can vary greatly. If the weeds are not killed, it is more likely that weeds will be an issue in your new lawn in the month ahead. As above, a rotovator or fork can then be used to turn over the soil, aeriating it in the process, and removing all larger stones and debris.
Next, level the ground using a rake, firming it down using either wooden boards or on a smaller area, simply by stamping on it, the surface should be firm but not compact. At this point, any pre-seeding fertilisers can be applied before laying the turf.
What about Fertiliser?
Fertiliser is a blend of chemical and natural substances which is spread over plants to help them grow. They provide essential nutrients to the plants to help with their development in a similar way to how you might take multivitamins or other supplements to help nourish your body.
For more information, and to see the fertilisers we have on offer in our online shop, read our Fertiliser Guide by clicking the button below.
When should you take delivery of turf?
The simple answer is to lay the turf the day it is delivered. However, there are some important considerations to make before arranging for your product to be delivered.
The weather forecast should be your best friend in the run up to laying your lawn. As laying turf in the pouring rain, placing it on saturated, uneven soil will make laying the turf more difficult. Conversely, while there may be a temptation to choose a day with glorious sunshine and high temperatures, this is also unwise as the turf will require intensive watering to avoid it drying out and dying in the heat. We would recommend choosing a dry day with relatively mild temperatures, with the prospect of light showers in the next few days.
The longer it stays in a roll, the more chance there is that the turf starts to deteriorate. Once the turf is laid, it should be watered twice per day for the first week, once per day for the second week and as and when thereafter. Whilst you shouldn’t saturate your turf, it does require the water to go through the roll into the ground underneath.
Buying local turf reduces the travel time that your turf has endured, ensuring your turf is as fresh as possible.
Do you need to hire a professional to lay your turf?
If you have been thinking of buying turf, it is perfectly possible to lay it yourself. However, there is a certain amount of preparation that needs to be carried out in advance to the ground before you can lay the turf.
If the soil in your garden is in good condition and free of stones and debris, this could be straightforward, however if you need to clear the soil first, it may be worth bringing in the professionals, depending on timescale and size of the job.
A good reason for getting a landscaper to lay your turf is that they will likely have the means to dispose of rocks, debris or turf off-cuts for you.