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Soil Preparation

Garden soil will be the new foundation for the landscaping turfs rooting network, so it is key that the soil is prepared properly to give the best long term results. This can be achieved in a couple of steps depending on the work space.

Equipment list: Garden Fork & Rake

Optional: Weed Killer, Manure, Fertiliser & Sharp Grit

  • Preferably this process should be done a couple of weeks in advance of laying the turf, giving the ground a chance to consolidate, but this isn't essential!

  • Note that the height of the soil in ground preparation should run flush with any edging strips, paths or patios so that when it comes to mowing, the blade will be raised well above the skirting materials, preventing blade damage and a quicker cut!

Cleaning the area

Once you have established where you want the turf, you need to do a couple of things:

  1. You need to check if there is an adequate amount of topsoil, 6-8 inches will be deep enough for the roots to grow.

  2. If you have old turf, then you need to strip and compost it, keeping as much soil on site as possible.

  3. Remove any previous stumps or woody plants.

  4. Remove any rubble, we need this soil as 'clean' as possible.

Step 1

Step 2

Turning over the topsoil

The topsoil holds all the organic matter which is nutrient rich (especially if you choose to add manure or fertiliser). We need to disturb the soil, breaking all the clods as we go to create a fine, crumbly surface for the turf roots to get stuck into. Cultivating the ground properly also helps with water drainage and retention, a vital component to get right if we want our turf to access water easily (which we definitely do).

  1. Using a garden fork, start lifting the top 6 inches of the soil, breaking it up as you go along.

  2. Any stones, rocks, roots, rubble or previous turf you uncover needs to be removed.

  3. Again, check for any weeds that shouldn't be there and discard them. 

  4. If the area is over-run with weeds then apply weed killer before touching the soil! Wait for the product then proceed to turn over the topsoil and follow the steps. 

Step 3

Adding Manure, Fertiliser or Sharp grit

Depending on the soil type, you might have to do some things differently!

  1. If the ground is very heavy (prone to water-logging) then work in lots of sharp grit, this will help with drainage. Alternatively, add organic matter (manure) which will do the same job.

  2. If the ground is light and fluffy then add organic matter (manure), this will help it hold moisture longer for the turf to utilise.

  3. Fertiliser can be administered in liquid or solid forms, follow the instruction manual for best results.

  4. For all of the above, you will have to integrate the products into the soil, so using a fork, evenly distribute and fold into the soil.

Raking and Levelling

Step 4

Once the area is turned over with the fork, the earth needs to be compacted firm into place then raked flat. For this you can use the heel of your boots (preferably you need as many feet as you can find to speed up this process), this conditioning removes air pockets in the soil. You will notice these bumps and hollows created by the heel, the rake will be used to adjust the different elevations into a flat surface, all the while, make sure the whole surface is as even as possible.

  1. Shuffle over the whole area with boots, using the heal of the boot to compact the soil (yes you will look ridiculous).

  2. Use the rake to level out the ground, making sure you eye out the whole area.

  3. This process needs to be done twice...

  4. Preferably this process should be done a couple of weeks in advance of laying the turf, giving the ground a chance to consolidate, but this isn't essential!  

  5. You are now ready to lay the turf! Click here to learn how!

3 cups


1½ cups


Soil Horizons.jpg

Understanding soil horizons and their importance!

A Horizon – The topsoil layer is made of parent materials with the integration of organic matter. An ideal place for the turf to grow and the root system to develop.  

O Horizon – The humus or organic matter, composed of detritus or decomposing materials.

B Horizon – The subsoil is rich in minerals which have leached through and where the grass roots will venture down towards to access pockets of nutrients needed for growth.

C Horizon – The parent material is what the soil develops upon. 

Establishing a strong root network for premium turf is essential. Why?


Well, when it comes to the harvesting phase the root system needs to be able to hold together to form a turf roll which keeps it's structure. Therefore, we harvest our turf when it is 2 years old, this gives more than enough time for the roots to establish in the A, O and B horizons, intertwining amongst one another, creating a right knitted roll of turf.

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