How to Lay Turf
How To Lay Turf: A Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Soil Preparation
When planning how to lay instant turf on your property, proper soil preparation is essential. For best results, prepare a well-worked soil base of at least 100mm. If your existing soil is suitable to use, it may be as simple as using a rotary hoe or digging up and turning over the soil for smaller areas. If your existing soil isn’t sufficient or of poor quality, you will need to apply a soil mix such as Sandy Loam evenly across the area. Your local garden supplier can advise you on the correct turf blend soil to use.
Rake and smooth the soil removing any rocks, roots or debris. Roll and consolidate the soil lightly using a water roller; this will firm the soil surface and reveal low areas that need more soil. Keep the soil level 20-25mm below paths etc. which will ensure your lawn ends up the same height as your paths or edging.
All orders of turf 50sqm or more receive free starter fertiliser. If you are ordering a smaller quantity of turf, you can easily add a bag of our starter fertiliser to your order. The starter fertiliser pellets give your new turf the perfect balance of nutrients while establishing.
Step 2: Measuring and Ordering
Before ordering your new lawn, make sure you have measured the area correctly using a tape measure to calculate the required amount of turf needed. If you require any help working out the square meters of turf needed for your area, just click on the Turf Calculator button below. If you are still unsure on how to work out the total amount of turf needed for your area, feel free to give our office a call on 1800 010 110 and one of our lovely office staff will be able to assist you.
Please measure your turf area carefully as we are unable to accept returns following a new lawn installation.
Now you should be ready to order your new lawn! Just make sure you schedule your delivery of turf only after your preparation work has been completed and you are ready to install your new grass. Instant turf is a perishable product, so it is best to install your turf on the same day that it is delivered.
Step 3: Turf Delivery
Our fleet of Semi Trailers delivers directly from the farm to your door from Monday to Saturday. Deliveries are usually in the morning so that your turf can be laid fresh on the day of delivery.
Our Drivers will contact you on the afternoon prior to the next day’s delivery with a delivery time.
Our Truck mounted forklifts drop the turf curbside and if required, will place the turf where instructed. Deliveries to be placed inside a property boundary require the signing of a waiver by the property owner. Click on this to print a copy of the delivery waiver. Please get this signed by the owner and return it to us prior to delivery.
Step 4: Turf Installation
Install your lawn immediately upon delivery. Turf is a living plant that requires ground contact and moisture to survive. In hot weather, protect unlaid turf by placing stacks in the shade, or lightly sprinkling with water. Begin installing turf along the longest straight line such as a driveway or path. Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching. Avoid gaps or overlapping. Stagger the joints in each row in a brick-like fashion, using a large knife to cut turf or trim corners etc. Avoid leaving small strips at outer edges as they will not retain moisture. If you are laying your turf on a slope, be sure to place the turf rolls or strips across the slope.
Rolling turf after laying is important. After the turf grass installation process, roll the lawn with a lawn roller to improve turf-to-soil contact and remove air pockets.
Following turf installation and until it is established, you should avoid walking or kneeling on the new turf as this will cause indentations or air pockets.
Step 5: Turf Watering
-Watering freshly laid turf-
New turf should always be watered as soon as possible after laying and then kept damp continuously for the establishment period (2-8 weeks depending on variety and season). Water your new lawn 2-3 times a day and ensure that it does not dry out! You may require more water in extreme heat.
-Watering established turf-
Once your lawns new root system has started to establish (the turf is firm to the ground), you can start to gradually decrease your watering frequency and increase the time. It is best to do this slowly, so your lawn can adapt to its new routine. Decrease to a longer water once a day, then every second day and so on, until you are able to give your lawn one deep soak (1-2hours), once a week. These longer waters will help your lawn to search for its own water in the soil, creating stronger and deeper roots.
What is the best way to water your lawn?
Not only is water essential for your turf, but the way in which you water is VERY important too. The most efficient and effective way to water your lawn is by using a portable sprinkler or a pop-up irrigation system. This method of watering delivers water evenly and quickly. If you are using a portable sprinkler, just be mindful to move the sprinkler around your yard as required to ensure your whole lawn is receiving water. (HANDY TIP: Add a tap timer to your tap so you can just ‘Set & Forget’)
Step 6: Maintenance
Regular mowing with either a rotary or cylinder-type mower is essential for your instant turf in Melbourne and Victoria. Your new instant lawn should be mown 10-14 days after installation. Continue to mow often, generally no more than 1/3 of the grass height at mowing. Keep your mower blades sharp. For correct cutting heights, refer to the Instant Turf page.
Fertilizers should be applied on a regular basis all year round. Our professional lawn supply team can advise which fertiliser will suit your instant turf type and budget. Small applications at frequent intervals give the best results.
For example, 1 ½kg/100m2 per month of lawn fertilizer will keep your new lawn in an active, healthy condition.
From time to time you may need advice or assistance in caring for your lawn. Contact us directly for the best lawn care advice possible.
Keep in mind that your new lawn increases your property value significantly. Proper care will remain a great asset, providing beauty, a clean playing surface and an improved environment for many years.
Top 10 Tips for Laying Turf
- Consider when to lay the turf: It is best to lay turf in the non-winter months. Ensure that the turf is not used for a few weeks after installation so that it can establish well.
- Consider where to lay the turf: Think about where you are going to lay the turf including the location, surrounding environment, access to water and the quality of the soil.
- Research grass types: Different grass types have different characteristics, and some are better suited to certain environments over others. Ask a professional and conduct online research.
- Choose a suitable grass type: Choose turf that is best suited to your requirements and needs. For example, consider maintenance, usage, shade tolerance, water tolerance and weed and pest resistance.
- Assess the quality of your soil: At Anco Turf we provide a free soil test. Bring in kilogram of soil and we will conduct a ph test and to you know whether it is ideal.
- Add nutrients to your soil: A sandy soil is ideal. Consider adding nutrients to the soil to enhance its vitality and to prep it well for fresh grass.
- Measure turf area: At Anco Turf we have a handy turf calculator that will help you calculate linear shapes. Input the dimensions in metres, and the area will be calculated automatically. Always add 5% to each dimension to be safe!
- Prepare the underlay: Before you install the lawn, remember to prepare the underlay by killing off existing vegetation, ensuring a sandy soil base, adding nutrients, and smoothening and levelling the surface.
- Lay the turf: Remember to spray fertiliser before installation. Immediately after delivery of fresh turf, install it by unravelling the rolls carefully. Start in one corner and work your way to the diagonally opposite corner.
- Maintenance following installation: For a period of at least 6 weeks following installation, you will need to water every day. Keep traffic to a minimum. The first mow should be at a higher than usual setting to avoid shock. Add fertiliser after the first 6 weeks.
How to Lay Turf's FAQs
Begin installing turf along the longest straight line, such as a driveway or path. Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching. Avoid gaps or over lapping. Stagger the joints in each row in a brick like fashion, using a large knife to trim corners, etc. Avoid leaving small strips at outer edges as they won’t retain moisture. To eliminate causing indentations or air pockets avoid walking or kneeling on turf while it is being installed or just after watering. After installing the turf, rolling the entire area to improve turf/soil contact and remove air pockets is beneficial. On slopes place turf across the slope. On steep slopes, use wooden pegs to anchor the turf.
Turf can be laid year round in most parts of Australia however in the cooler parts of Victoria June and July are not ideal for some warm season grasses such as Zoysia and Buffalo.
Turf should be laid on a clean prepared and friable surface. Never laying turf over existing grass as it will stop the root system of the new turf establishing well and the layer of dead grass underneath will cause drainage and other issues such as hydrophobicity that will stop water penetrating evenly into the soil profile.
You can lay turf effectively in winter although in Victoria it is recommended that traffic is kept of the newly laid turf until early spring once the roots of the new turf have established. If the location is shaded on the south side of a house it may be best to wait until spring. Light topdressing after laying turf in winter will give the new turf a small amount of protection and stop the edges drying out while the roots are taking time to establish. In winter the roots will develop slowly and you may not see a lot of leaf growth however you will use less water to establish the lawn than in summer.
Instant Turf can be established rapidly and put to use much quicker than seeding and will therefore require less water to establish. Turf due to its instant density is also more resistant to weed invasion than seeded lawns during the establishment phase.
Your turf should be laid as soon as it is delivered to avoid the rolls and or slabs from heating up and yellowing.
Turf can be laid in any month and at anytime of day however you should lay your new turf as soon as possible after delivery.
Turf is inexpensive compared to plastic synthetic lawns, paving and concrete. Most turf varieties cost between $10-$15 per square metre.
Once the new turf has established a strong root system and the turf cannot be lifted you should mow the turf if required. Once you have mown the turf a few times it can be walked on. You may need to walk over the lawn for some reason during establishment but care should be taken not to create depressions if the lawn is wet.
As soon as the lawn is laid watering should commence and the first watering should be long and thorough. Use a sprinkler rather than a hand held hose to wet the lawn evenly. The turf should then be kept damp at all times until the roots are 50mm long. This may initially require 3-4 watering applications per day in hot windy weather or as little as two in cooler conditions. Once the roots have established the watering frequency can be reduced. As the weeks pass, increase the length of time that you water with each application and decrease the regularity. Grasses such as DNA Certified Sir Walter require very little water once established even in summer.
Clay is not an ideal lawn base as it compacts. Water and roots will not penetrate down into compacted soil. You should loosen the clay and level it off before adding a 60-100mm sandy loam soil layer over the clay. Re-level the new topsoil, firm it up by using a roller or tamping it down and lay your turf.
Most people can lay a 50 square metre lawn in a morning quite easily. Once you get the knack a 100 square metre lawn can be laid in a few hours.
You will require a good steel rake or Level Lawn tool to prepare the level of your lawn. A sharp knife such as a bread knife or steak knife will be require to cut the turf edges or odd shapes. A Tenon saw is also ideal for cutting turf.
Instant turf can be laid at anytime of year. It establishes faster in Spring, Summer and early Autumn. It can be laid successfully in Winter if in full sun.
Sand and Sandy loam soils are the ideal soil base for lawns as they are free draining and don’t compact as much as soils with high organic and clay content. They are also easier to level prior to laying turf.
Once the lawn can’t be lifted you can commence mowing your lawn if needed.
Commence laying your turf along the longest straightest edge. If the area is steeply sloped, lay across the slope not down it.
Mow your instant Turf when the turf can’t be lifted and the leaf has started to grow strongly. Never remove more than one third of the leaf length per mow.
If your turf was laid in Spring, Summer or Autumn it will benefit from an application of Lawn Food six to eight weeks after laying.
Dogs can be destructive on lawns. Use a Couch, Kikuyu or Buffalo grass as they self repair and are more wear tolerant than other grasses. Aerate any tracking lanes that the dog runs along regularly to alleviate compaction. If you are getting urine burn patches consider using “Dog Rocks” which neutralise the Urine in 80 per cent of dogs and stop the grass from burning.
Once established Water the lawn only when it needs it. Look for tell tale signs that the grass is drying out such as blueing of the leaf or the leaf starting to fold. Footprints that don’t disappear in a few minutes are another sign of moisture stress. Usually a consistent small dry patch area will be the first to show signs. Water as soon as you seen a dry area appearing.
You will need a steel rake with a straight edge or level lawn tool to level the soil and a sharp knife or Tenon Saw for cutting the turf. Loosen and Level the existing soil base and remove any stones or tree roots. If required add a sandy loam or sand topsoil to a depth of 60-100mm.
Apply Lawn Starter fertiliser on the prepared surface prior to laying the turf. Lay the turf in a brick pattern ensuring that you push not pull the turf into position.
Lay turf along the longest straightest edge and across the slope if you have one. Ensure there are no gaps between pieces. Water immediately you have finished laying the turf. For detailed laying instructions refer to https://www.ancoturf.com.au/how-to-lay-turf/