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New turf care

Whether you lay your turf yourself or use our turf laying contractors to do the job for you, you should be left with a neat and tidy, green and healthy lawn – but how do you keep new turf looking healthy?

There are a few things you can do to help new turf survive and thrive, and they don’t have to be too time consuming.

Here are some of the top tips for new turf care to keep in mind once your new lawn has been laid.

How do I prepare soil for new turf?

When it comes to laying turf, preparation is better than cure. We would always suggest you prepare your soil beforehand with plenty of fertiliser, sandy soil to improve drainage and compost to improve water retention.

Dig over the soil well to aerate it, then level it off and gently tread it down. Give it time to settle and make sure it is still level after a few days or even weeks if possible.

Finally, rake over the surface so it’s not compacted when your new turf goes down, and make sure it is watered and moist when your lawn is laid.

Does new turf need time to bed in?

New turf needs to be given every opportunity to bed in, so when your lawn is laid, gently tamp it down using a plank or piece of wood, and try to avoid stepping on it directly while carrying out the work.

Water it in well to encourage new growth and root development – you want the root structure to grow out of the underside of the turf itself and get as deep into the soil as possible to really establish your lawn.

Fill in any gaps in the surface with sandy soil or compost as this will bring neighbouring turves together and knit them into one another with fresh grass growth, again establishing your lawn as a single surface.

How many sections of turf should I use?

Turf establishes itself faster when used in larger sections, so try to avoid filling in gaps and irregular edges with scraps and off-cuts – if you must fill in a space, do it with a larger piece and cut back the segment of turf alongside it so neither is too scrappy in size. 

Where the edge of your lawn is very close to the size of a roll, consider adjusting the outline slightly to avoid filling in with a small off-cut of turf – a very slightly larger or smaller border will often go unnoticed over the long term but will give you a neat, tidy and healthy edge to your lawn.

Again, fill in the joins with compost or a sprinkling of sandy soil brushed or gently raked into the seams between turves, and water well to help the smallest segments grow and knit well into their neighbours. If you are unsure of how much turf you require we have some methods you can use to make an accurate measurement of your lawn. 

What are things that cause stress to new turf?

There are a few common causes of lawn stress, including:

You can start by avoiding these. Water well in dry weather, and try to do so in the evening when the sun will not simply evaporate the water away. Laying new turf in autumn is recommended as the conditions are more favourable for new growth.

Try not to use your garden too much for the first few weeks. You want the existing blades of grass to get plenty of sunlight and water to encourage new growth and root development, without exposing them to the stress of being crushed underfoot.

Although the conditions are different in winter, the same rule applies for similar reasons. Frozen and frosty grass is more prone to blade breakage underfoot, so avoid putting that pressure on your lawn. Luckily this is a time of year when you are less likely to spend significant time outside anyway and your lawn should cope well with frost.

Turf recovery and remedial action

If your new lawn loses its green colour after a particularly dry or hot spell, don’t panic – there is remedial action you can try.

Here are some of our top tips for turf recovery if a new lawn is starting to look a bit sickly:

Our turf is in good condition and freshly cut from the field when it is delivered, which gives you the best likelihood of your new lawn taking well in its new home.

You can improve the odds even further by preparing the soil properly, laying the turf correctly – as soon as possible after delivery – and taking some sensible care of it once it’s down.

New turf care FAQs


How often do you need to water newly laid turf?

Depending on the time of year and rainfall, turf will need to be watered twice a day for the first three weeks after laying.

How do you care for newly laid turf?

The most important things you can do to newly laid turf are to keep it regularly watered, avoid walking on the turf for at least three weeks, and allow the turf to bed in for a few weeks before mowing.

How long should you stay off newly laid turf?

Avoid walking on your new turf for six weeks after laying to allow it to take root and bed in.

Can new turf be overwatered?

Yes. New turf needs regular watering, but too much can rot the grass blades. If the ground looks and feels soggy the turf could be over watered and needs to be left alone.

Should you water soil before laying turf?

Water the soil two days before new turf is laid. this will ensure it is ready to feed the new turf without drowning the root system.

Why is my new turf going brown?

If your new turf is going brown it’s likely it hasn’t been watered enough. Water new turf daily, cutting back to every other day in the third week.

Can you lay turf on top of grass?

This is not the best idea, turf needs contact with soil in order to take root. It’s best to remove existing grass before laying new turf.

Do you need topsoil when laying turf?

Topsoil is not always necessary, especially if you’ve removed old grass to put down new. But if your soil has been exposed to the elements for too long and is poor quality, investing in a top soil would be best in the long run.

If you’re not confident about how to lay a new turf lawn, our turf laying contractors can handle the soil preparation and/or laying the turf for you, so you only need to carry out a minimal amount of aftercare to ensure that your lawn is able to put down roots and grow some healthy new green grass using the moisture and fertiliser from its new environment. Just call us on 01477 532 594 to arrange laying your new lawn with us.