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How do you prepare ground to lay a new lawn?


Like all good jobs, prepreration is key, and the first thing you have to think about is weather the ground has good drainage.

If, for instance, the existing ground is clay, you will have to install some drainage first. The cheapest and easiest way of doing this is installing trench drains. This where a trench is dug about 20" deep and filter cloth is then placed into the trench, 20mm gravel is then added and the cloth is then wraped over the top of the gravel.

Once the drainage is in you can get on with the rest of the preparation.

When laying a new lawn we always go for turf as it gives you an instant result and the birds don't make off with half of it. We usualy import top soil and lay it at a depth of 250mm. We then use a tiller to level off the top soil, or you can use a rake.

Once the ground is ready you can start to lay the turf. Make sure to use boards to walk on the turf that you have laid and make sure that the turf is butted together. Then water well, and keep watering daily.

Answered by Green Shoots landscaping from United Kingdom, Crieff in June 2010.

Green Shoots Landscaping is a provider of Landscaping and garden services.

See more about Green Shoots landscaping


You need a minimum of 100mm (4"), ideally 150mm (6") of good soil (the deeper the better). The soil should be loosely turned over and free from surface stone, clods, other debris and perennial weeds.

Digging over or rotovating the soil before laying turf is essential. Once the soil has been loosened it should then be lightly compacted. The best way to do this is to walk over the whole area and then again at right angles to the first direction. Then rake the surface to a fine tilth and make sure that the surface is level. This may take some time, but it is worth it, as if the surface is uneven it will result in your lawn being uneven, which will have an adverse impact on the appearance of the lawn.

Ideally you should water the soil a couple of days before your turf arrives. Not only will this provide water for the roots of the turf, it can also cause the prepared soil to settle which can then be raked level again just before the turf arrives.

This is an extract from How to lay a lawn on the Rolawn website. More information on

Answered by Lorraine Willis from England, York in June-2010.
Lorraine Willis is a Marketing Executive for Rolawn Limited


Ground preparation always takes longer than you expect, however, this is the foundation of any lawn laying project so it's well worth spending the extra time required to do the job properly.

Firstly, remove any existing turf (so don't ever attempt to lay new turf on top of an old lawn! You'd be surprised how often this question comes up). An easy way to remove existing turf is using a spade to slice under the grass. Turn the soil over using a spade or is it is a large area, consider hiring a petrol cultivator.

Clear the area of unwanted weeds, stones etc.

Once the ground is clear and the soil has been turned over, roll the surface.

Finally, to finish, rake the surface with a turfing rake.

For a more detailed turf laying guide have a look at

Answered by Online Turf from United Kingdom, Aughton in February 2011.

Online Turf is a Customer advisor

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