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sSoil preparation before turf laying ,please help

Wondering if anyone can offer some advise.We have had a new drive way done and I am now in the process of preparing the soil for turf laying (next sat 30th Sep) I dug the area a little and have put 4 x ton of top soil on top as we needed to bring the height up a bit ,its roughly 45sqm.This has now given us about 40mm of good quality top soil.the problem I'm having is getting this level and firm,as its now very soft to walk on.I thought by giving it a good water it would help the soil find any hollows etc .I watered the soil well last night and this morning its very boggy and impossible to firm with feet and rake as Im sinking in the ground about 5  inches

Do you think its best just to let it dry out between now and next weekend and then just try and firm and rake as best i can before laying .Many thanks in advance.Rob


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145

    You need a firm base all over Rob or you will find that in time as everything settles you will have all sorts of bumps and depressions. Ideally you want it to dry out. I would consider hiring a roller (you can hire the ones that you fill with water so they are not too heavy to transport). Go over it in all directions then walk over it with your heels pressing down in very small steps. Rake and repeat, rake and repeat. 

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,462

    Freshly deposited topsoil will have a lot of air trapped in it so it will compress a lot when you stand on it.  The last thing you need to do is water it, you need it to dry out to a state where you can walk on it in order to rake it level.

    Beyond that the process is as described above by Dave Humby.

  • Thanks guys for your reply.

    Yes I really want to avoid getting any bumps and hollows etc.Looks like I've made a big mistake in giving it a good water.I think in what spare time I have between now and next weekend I will try to level and firm the soil when it hopefully drys out.Hiring a roller sounds like a good idea.The builder left a a 4ft round 1 ft deep hole in the middle ,so that is obviously much softer than other areas,so I really need to concentrate on getting that firm as I guess if I'm not careful that could sink over time and end up with a lovely dip!

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