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Installation of new turf

Hi. We are looking to install some turf in our back garden which was in a terrible state. We had the area roughly graded and now we are looking at buying g a load of top soil to cover the garden by 6 inches and to fill any lumps or hollows. I have attached pictures of our yard and would really like some advice on prepping before laying the top soil and turf. Any advice is appreciated. Regards Lee imageimage



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  • Jonny7Jonny7 Posts: 6

    Is the soil not good as it is? It's going to cost a fortune to cover that in a few inches of good quality topsoil, which is about £100+ a ton. My garden is far smaller (about 70sq meters) and I purchased 2 tons and it went nowhere, certainly not enough to make any meaningful difference. 

    I am guessing this is a family yard so you possibly don't need a fine ornamental lawn?

    Why not rotorvate, pull out large twigs and stone, then rake and see where you are after that?

  • Hi, thanks so much for your response. We wish the soil was good as-is, however, it is full of wood chippings and branches etc from 10 conifers that we had chopped down a few months ago. Churning up what we spent 5 days trying to get rid of by flattening down with a digger is not really our preferred option so we were hoping a whole truck of topsoil would sort our problem out!

  • Jonny7Jonny7 Posts: 6

    new topsoil would be ideal of course, I believe you need about 15cm in a perfect world, but as mentioned for that size of garden you are looking at a small fortune.

    I've laid my own turf on a load of rubbish from builders, breeze blocks, stones, plastic - which was covered in a sticky clay like soil. I removed a fair bit over 2 days but it was never ending and so I gave up trying to get everything out and gave up trying to add more soil when the 2 tonnes I brought just gave dusting of cover. I was pretty disheartened.

    I laid my turf regardless and it's been 1 year and so far it's pretty good - not perfect by any means but it's OK for kids and pets.

    It really depends what you are after.


  • Thanks for the info. Your lawn looks great. We are pretty much in the same situation you were in. Old grass was basically just rubble with toys and broken glass when we bought it and huge banks at the back fence. I had a mini digger and did my best to grade it and clear what rubble I could. I just would like a nice lawn now for my kid to play on in the summer as he hates being inside. To be honest, I think he will miss rummaging around in the mud when the turf is down

  • So, according to the net, I need 26m3 of topsoil for an 100mm coverage and so around 40 tonne. Now that is a lot!

  • Jonny7Jonny7 Posts: 6

    Bear in mind the bulk bags are usually 750kg not 1 Tonne - looking at about 5k for general Rolawn topsoil...image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,953

    It won't be cheap for an area that size unfortunately. image

    Can you get hold of some well rotted manure? If you dig that in and level it, you could away with a lot less soil. I think six inches is quite a lot anyway. How about trying to negotiate with a supplier on the cost?

    Or only doing one area of it for now? That could be easier, but it would depend on what you do with the rest of it! 

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    Jonny7 says:

    Bear in mind the bulk bags are usually 750kg not 1 Tonne - looking at about 5k for general Rolawn topsoil...image

    See original post

    Have a look round for prices. You can pay £50 for graded topsoil which would mean a price of around £1300 +VAT so no where near some of the prices mentioned.  

  • I know it is not going to be cheap but believe it is necessary. I can find some premium grade topsoil for planting g etc for £450 for 14m3. Then the vat on that

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