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when is it too late to lay new turf please and what depth of soil would you recommend to put down on very rough ground before laying the turf? We have removed all large stones but I would say it is more stone than soil at the moment! Also the area has persistent weeds. Would you recommend treating with a strong weed killer before adding the soil. This could be done without affecting the flower beds which are raised.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353

    Hi Jane - the prep for laying turf, or seed sowing, is the most important bit, otherwise you'll constantly struggle to keep the grass  doing well.  

    When you say the ground's rough, do you mean it's all rubbish and rubble, or just compacted and poor quality? Grass needs a reasonable amount of decent soil under it to thrive, and also needs good drainage. If the ground's just compacted, I'd advise you to break it up well with a fork/spade, and remove bigger stones and all persistent weeds. Then you can add some fresh topsoil - three or four inches anyway.  If the soil's poor quality, or heavy clay,  add topsoil and compost, and mix it with the existing soil to give a good base for the turf. The addition of some general fertiliser, a couple of weeks before laying it, is also beneficial. The ground should be firmed, using the 'shuffling along, back and forth' method, before lightly raking again. 

    If the ground's full of weeds, weedkiller would be fine - but only if there's enough foliage for it to work effectively. You'd then have to wait for  a few weeks for the soil etc to be added, and the residue to be out of the ground, otherwise it will affect the new turf. That makes it a little late for doing the job, but as long as you get it down correctly, and keep an eye on it, it would probably be ok. It won't reallygrow, but as long as the weather's favourable, it should establish.  Alternatively, do the basic prep, and keep removing larger stones which will appear through the autumn and winter as the ground settles and gets wetter. Cover it with landscape fabric or similar and wait till spring, when the ground will be warmer, and do the final part of adding soil and levelling then. The turf can be laid, and will grow quickly as the season gets going. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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