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laying turf on mound in playground

hello - I am looking for help with a school project and hope someone with some knowledge might be able to give an opinion.

we have had an area in our playground surfaced and have therefore created a shallow mound of excavated earth around the edge of the area to mark the boundary and to extend an existing grassy mound. it is around 17 m long (around a corner) and varies from 3 to 5 m across (maybe 1 to 1.5 m high at the highest point)

we have a minimal budget. we were planning to seed the earth but are now wondering whether it is worth trying to turf it.

we could afford to buy turf but not get it installed professionally so it would need to be an amateur job by parents. have done a bit of research and can see it is not just a case of shoving it on top

we know that it needs well watered after installation (not necessarily a problem in autumn in scotland!) though it is unlikely we would be able to do formal watering every day. the the surface is not super smooth but as this is not going to be a flat lawn we wondered whether this would matter too much?

I imagine the shape of the mound might make it more challenging to lay and it would no doubt be a bit messy when done by amateurs but it doesn't need to be perfect as it will be playground grass anyway so perhaps we would get away with it? would it actually save us much time if it could not be used for a while anyway? problem at the moment is it's hard to keep kids off the mound esp out of hours and it is shifting down into the area we have surfaced

would appreciate any thoughts! many thanks


  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,172

    Turf is the best / only option as any grass seed sown would be washed down the slope when it rains or was watered. Turf will establish far quicker than seed would. Make sure it is in firm contact with the soil & the edges are well butted up to each other. Stand/ kneel on  planks of wood while you are doing the work. 

    AB Still learning

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,054

    The surface doesn't need to be super smooth, just make sure there aren't any dips which the turf might bridge over.  The turf does need to be in firm contact with the soil to root.

    As long as the slope isn't too severe laying the turf shouldn't be too much of a problem even for amateurs.  There are lots of guides to turf laying on t'interweb.  The only tool required when actually laying is a good sharp knife to cut the turf at the edges and when one piece will overlay another over the curves.

  • The above is good advice.

    I would suggest you bake a few cakes and ask the parents to bring a shovel. If you can find the energy to move some of the soil around the area to make it a bit more level you will get a better result, laying turf on a mound may cause it to dry out quicker but as you did mention, water may not be a problem in your area. If nothing else, it would look better and you won't have any problems cutting a flattish lawn, mounds are tricky to cut, I am a gardener and I cut a lot of lawns, including unlevel/sloping lawns.

    Last edited: 21 August 2017 18:50:35

  • just a quick update to say thank very much for the advice. we took everything on board and got a bunch of parents to help - all went well and we really appreciated the input. thanks again

  • Excellent. Yes, next to no chance of the turf drying out, and by spring it should be rooted and grow well. 

    I'm doing a smaller version in my garden at home.

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