Now you’re fully prepped, it’s time for the main job. You may find it useful to have the following tools and equipment within easy reach before getting started:
- Wooden planks: For standing and kneeling on when laying the turf – this will minimise disruption of the soil and stop you from walking on the grass.
- A sharp knife: To cut any excess turf and neaten edges.
- A spade, rake or home-made ‘tamper’: Any of these tools will help you to pat down the turf as you go along, ensuring good contact with the soil underneath.
Take the first piece of turf and lay it along one of the new lawn edges, slowly unrolling to avoid damage. Create your first row as a ‘border’, ensuring each edge is butted right up to the next without leaving any gaps. When finished, set up a few planks along this row to work from and create a ‘walkway’, gradually working forwards. This should prevent the soil from being disturbed, maintaining an even surface.
As you come to place the second layer of turf, start to stagger it similarly to the pattern of a brick wall. Butt ends and sides as closely to one another as possible, leaving no gaps or overlap – you shouldn’t be able to see any of the joins at all.
Either use your hands or one of the tools mentioned above to pat down each piece of turf as thoroughly as possible – this will ensure the roots are in contact with the soil and get rid of any air pockets, dips or hollows.
If you need to create a longer piece of turf at any point, place the smaller connecting piece in the middle of the two bigger pieces rather than adding it to the end, as it will dry out quicker if you do.
When it comes to tidying up the edges, use one of your planks as a guide and the sharp knife or spade to cut. For more tricky, curved edges, use a length of garden hose. After cutting, place handfuls of soil under the edges of the turf to prevent it from drying out.
Once you’ve laid all the turf, set up a lawn sprinkler for an hour or more, or give it a few good doses with a watering can. The water should soak through to the ground below. If your new lawn is bigger than the reach of your sprinkler, be sure to move it every 15 minutes or so to ensure all the turf is being covered – a tip to remember for your aftercare as well.