Lots of bulb weeds in newly laid turf

Hi ladies/gents,

I recently got a landscape gardener to put in a new patio, clear the garden, create flower beds and lay new turf. 

The garden was a bit like a jungle with lots of weeds. Here's a before picture:


Landscape gardener laid turf 3 weeks ago and I can see there are lots bulb weeds coming through the turf especially where 2 strips of turf meet. The lawn area is probably about 10m x 4m. I walked on the lawn for the first time yesterday since it was laid and I could feel the turf being very bumpy. The bumps are quite big and feel hard. I think these are created by the bulb weeds trying to grow under the turf which is lifting the turf up. 

Here are some pictures from the lawn and flower beds:


There were couple of areas where it was really bad with big bunches of weed plants coming up through the gap between 2 turf strips. so last night I moved the turf bits to the side to expose the weeds and tried to dig out the weeds and bulbs. I managed to remove the leaves but don't think I got all the bulbs out. They seemed to be too deep and I didn't want to cause too much damage to the turf. I then poured a bit of hot water in to the soil where the weeds were (was careful not to pour them on to grass) as I read that hot water can kill weeds, added a bit of soil to cover the hole and then moved the turf back. I hope I haven't damaged the turf too much.

There are probably 10-20 weeds that I can see come through the turf but a lot more bumps (weeds still under the turf).

I don't know what to do. It's not possible to remove the weeds that's under the turf (but not in between 2 strips of turf) without having to dig out parts of the turf which will create holes.

I see lots of these weeds in flower beds but I can at least dig these out.

Obviously I am very annoyed at the situation. I don't think my landscape gardener used a weed killer when he prepared the ground. I did ask him at the time about a weed killer but he said 'they don't work'. However number of articles online about laying turf, seem to suggest using a glyphosate weed killer. 

Also I saw lots of bulbs (presumably weeds) were on the ground before he laid turf and I'm not even sure he removed them before laying turf.

Is there anything I can do to get rid of these weeds without destroying the turf? What can I do about the bumps? (someone at work said use a roller).

Will I have to get it re-turfed? Perhaps I should ask the landscape gardener to do this!

thanks in advance for your input.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,400

    Regular mowing will sort bulbs out. You can spot weed using a glyphosate gel.  I would clear land using glyphosate first, but it only works on actively growing plants. If the turf was laid in the winter, there would be no point applying glyphosate to bare land. 

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • cammy0102cammy0102 Posts: 19

    Thanks fidgetbones. That's a bit of releif. As you can imagine I was so annoyed/angry after spending all that money thinking I'm not going to have a nice lawn.

    Can you recommend a particular glyphosate gel? Will this kill the weed including the bulb after one application or will I have to repeat this for a while? 

    What can I do about the bumps though? the lawn is not level because these bushes are growing under it! Should I used a roller as suggested by one of my mates?

    Last edited: 17 March 2017 12:01:46

  • cammy0102cammy0102 Posts: 19

    The bumps are definitely from the bulb weeds as they are quite thick and hard and when they are growing they are lifting the newly laid turf.

    I'm not sure if the gardener would be happy to relay it (most probably won't) unless I go down the legal route. How much would it cost to remove the turf and relay it? Will you have to prepare the ground again and apply top soil?

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 2,857

    Contacting the landscapers is the way to go. But don't be too hard on him. He appears to have done a good job clearing the debris. Gardens fortunately or unfortunately are not like rooms in a house - they do tend to change from day to day and sometimes just do their own thing regardless of how much time and effort we put into them. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • cammy0102cammy0102 Posts: 19

    Yeah a lot of weeds were removed from the garden but I am not sure if the preparation was good enough. I am quite new to all this gardening stuff so didn't really know what would be a good job. 

    At the time I did ask him about weed killer but he said they don't work. 

    What can the gardener realistically do though? Is it a lot of effort and money to relay the turf? 

    The gardener is a mate of a mate so I can't be too harsh on him either. 

  • cammy0102cammy0102 Posts: 19

    How do I find out what type of weed it is? Should I take a couple of them to a garden centre? Would a lawn weed killer, kill these?

  • cammy0102cammy0102 Posts: 19

    Great thanks a lot guys. I'm not so annoyed/angry anymore :)

    Will a lawn weedkiller work regardless of the type of weed or bulb it is? (someone suggested it might be bluebells though I haven't seen any flowers yet).

    Is it not recommended to use glyphosate gel on them?

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    The whole point is that weedkiller (glyphosate) will only work on rapidly growing weeds.  The gardener may have been correct: weedkiller won't work if you can't see the bulbs 'cos they haven't started growing.

    Good Luck.

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