As with most things in life preparation is key. Ensure that the ground you are going to lay turf on is well dug over and free from larger stones. If the ground you are laying turf onto isn’t completely flat then your lawn isn’t going to be either so spending a bit of time here with a rake is very worthwhile. If your lawn base isn’t level and you don’t have the soil to make it level then buying a bag of topsoil with your turf would be a good idea.
If you have a roller then give the area a light roll to consolidate the soil you have dug over. If you don’t have one then you can use your feet to slowly trample down the area. Remember to start in one corner and work your way out as you do not disturb areas already done.
Once you have prepared the soil you can now start to think about laying your turf. You don’t want to walk on the area you have prepared so use boards or something similar to walk on. Lay your first row of turf at the furthest corner using a fence or border as a straight line. If the far edge of your lawn isn’t straight you will need to put in a string line to ensure your first row is straight. When laying turf you want the joins at the end of the turf to be staggered in each row (think of laying bricks in a wall). To achieve this start with a half roll on your second row (remember to keep the spare half as you will need it for your fourth row) then lay full rolls from there.
When you have worked your way across your area to the final edge you will probably need to trim the last row of rolls. For this use an old knife or half moon to trim the edge of the turf to match your area.
When you have finished laying the turf give it a light roll to ensure that the entire roll has full contact with the soil beneath.
Use a small amount of fertilizer to help your lawn establish itself quicker allowing you to use it sooner.
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