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How to Lay a New Lawn with Topsoil and Turf

First things first – measure the area you want to create your lawn on so that you (or we) can work out how much topsoil or turf you’ll be needing.

As an approximation; one tonne of topsoil will cover around fifteen square metres at a depth of about 50mm (the minimum depth of good, quality topsoil you need to lay turf on or to sow seed in).

Obviously, we recommend our own topsoil for turfing or seeding; Lawnmix® Topsoil which is guaranteed as being safe, fertile, and free from contaminants.

If your existing soil is okay, then just ensure that it has been raked over and that it is free from rubble and any other pollutants.

You should not need to add fertilizer or weed killer to your soil unless you've had trouble growing on it previously or if it's full of weeds - if you do weed kill it at all then ensure that you follow the instructions on the weed killer accurately before laying your new turf, as some fertilizers may burn the roots of the new turf and you may end up doing more harm than good.

Most suppliers, including Dandy's, sell turf by the square metre roll so you shouldn't have much problem working out the quantity you need.  It is a good idea to over-estimate by 10% on the turf just in case you run out or must cut any weird shapes.

Spread the topsoil at a good two inches to cover the entire area and then gently compact the ground using planks of wood or by treading the ground with your (or a friend or child’s) feet.

Once done give it a rake again just before you want to start laying out your turf.

Next get your turf ordered; any lawn turf you buy should be rolled out immediately and not left to sit rolled up on a pallet - the longer you leave the lawn turf the faster it will deteriorate and if the turf is hot it will start to "cook" (you can roll turf out onto a path or driveway and keep the turf well-watered if you can't lay the turf straight away).

Avoid laying new turf in extremely hot, dry weather or if the ground is particularly hard or frosty. To start laying your lawn turf; lay out the rolls directly onto the ground you want to grass over - try to use boards rather than walking all over your newly levelled out topsoil to avoid creating dips in the new lawn.

After that it is easy - just roll out the lawn turf and make sure that the edges of each roll are nice and tight to each other and ensure that there are no visible gaps.

Once you have covered the whole lawn trim off any rough edges using a straight edge or a hose for any curves in the overall shape. Any excess trimmings or rolls can go into your compost heap for rotting down and putting into your borders and beds.

Once it's all down you're nearly done. Get a cup of tea and then get your hose out. Give the whole lawn a really good sprinkling until all of the turf is thoroughly soaked. Unless there is rain eminent you will need to repeat this process every couple of days until the turf has rooted in.

To check for rooting; lift one of the corners of your lawn turf - you should see lots of little tiny bright white roots coming out of the turf. It will gradually become increasingly difficult to lift the turf corners as the turf roots in.

After a couple of weeks, you should have the beginnings of a nice garden lawn - if it's looking a little overgrown then put your lawn mower on the highest setting and give it a bit of a trim.

Do remember not to go too crazy straight away with your mowing as this can damage the grass plants - you don't want to remove more than 20% of the total height of the grass.

Put your feet up, get the barbie out, put the swing set out; whatever you want - you should now have a lovely new lawn to enjoy throughout the year!

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