The turfonline guide to preparing the surface for turfing. We look at the best type of surface to lay turf.
The best surface for turf laying is one that the grass can root into easily. The surface needs to be firm enough to not dent if anyone walks on it, but it needs to be spongy enough to absorb rainwater. Ideally it will also be nice and level so that your new lawn will be easy to mow.
Can I lay turf on top of my old lawn?
In a word, no. If your old lawn looks tatty enough for you to want to replace it, the odds are that the problem stems from soil compaction. The roots of the grass plants are struggling to find enough air, nutrients or water because the soil is just too hard. Laying turf on top of your old lawn won’t solve the problem, it will just cost you money.
Get to the root of the problem by removing the old lawn and preparing the soil properly. It will take a bit more time and effort but in the long run you’ll be happier with your investment.
Can I lay turf on a green roof?
Turf can make a fabulous green roof provided you are able to look after it properly. You will need to have at least 150mm deep of growing medium beneath the turf. That’s quite heavy so make sure the roof can support the weight.
This converted windmill in Oxfordshire has a beautiful turfed roof.
Read more about it in this case study
Turf must be irrigated for at least 2 weeks after installation. On a green roof, especially if it is exposed to drying winds or hot sun, you may also need to water the established lawn. Remember too that regular mowing is essential to keep lawn turf healthy. Can you get a mower onto the roof and use it safely? How will you remove excess clippings?
If you like the idea of a grass roof but are not able to mow it every week, what about growing a wildflower meadow roof instead? Our Meadowmat for roof and garden is a fast and easy way to create a biodiverse living roof. For more compact plants, try Enviromat sedum matting.
Can I lay turf on a concrete or asphalt drive?
Grass turf won’t live for long on a solid surface. Not even if you water it. It’s great for a temporary lawn – perhaps for a special event but if you want a forever lawn, you will need to break up the hard surface and replace it with some good quality topsoil.
Can I lay turf indoors?
An indoor lawn. Doesn’t that sound blissful? Sadly, the grass won’t enjoy being indoors as much as we do. It needs good soil beneath it and natural sunlight from above.
For indoor shopping centres, hotels or even for small courtyard gardens, an internal lawn will intensive maintenance from an experienced greenskeeper and even then it could be relatively short-lived.
For events, then a temporary lawn inside makes for an unforgettable experience for guests. Imagine an indoor picnic that genuinely smells of new mown grass.
How to prepare a surface for turfing
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