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Preparing clay/soil garden for new turf

Hi all
We will be laying turf imminently and need to prepare our garden.
Our soil is terrible sticky clay. We will rent a rotavator to break up the existing clay/soil, remove weeds and stones etc.

If we buy top soil to go on top,would this be sufficient, or would we need to treat the clay too, before we put the top soil over it?

I know that we need to take time to prepare the area prtoperly, to get best result with the turf, so any advice greatly appreciated

thank you


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,649

    Hi Claire, the link below has a lot of detail on preparing the ground for a lawn, including specific recommendations for clay soil.

    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thank you Jenny

  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,341
    As I have heavy clay, I was going to add a few pointers, but Jenny’s link is pretty good! The points about not rotovating when its wet and blending in topsoil/organic matter in layers are pretty critical, so no don’t just add topsoil on top, otherwise you will end up with two disconnected layers that won’t drain properly and your turf will sulk.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • thank you Nollie

  • hiacedrifterhiacedrifter Posts: 119
    Sorry to revisit an old thread ... i read the lawnsmith link, very useful. What is the best way to get "organics and humus" in bulk? I want to treat a 35sqm area ready for turf, so I reckon I need 1750litres in order to add a 2 inch layer.

    I have very thoroughly dug over the area (removing stones and weeds), some was pure clay, but 80% had some top soil which has been dug in. I added a clay breaker treatment, and have now covered with membrane to bring up any remaining weeds.
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