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Visit us at Woodgrow Horticulture Ltd , Burton Road, Findern, Derby, DE65 6BE

Laying Turf

Peak turf laying time is almost here, and will give you instant results!

The main advantages are:

Timing – Turf can be laid almost any time of the year, providing sufficient water is available.

Speed – You can start lightly using your new lawn in about three to four weeks.

No Weeds – There will be no competition from germinating weed seeds.

From September onwards is the best time to lay new turf. If you’re renewing old turf, it might be better to wait until there has been sufficient rain to soften the soil so that stripping off the old turf is easier.

We recommend that the old turf is sprayed with herbicide to kill both the existing grass and any weeds. This will give you a ‘clean’ start when the new turf goes down. Professional herbicides will give the best results but you need to use a qualified and licensed contractor.

There are the four main steps for a perfect lawn:

Soil preparation.

If you have heavy clay soil you will need to incorporate sharp grit to improve the soil texture and maintain good drainage. Organic matter and fertiliser should be incorporated to ensure good soil structure and a balance of important soil nutrients. 150-200cm is the ideal incorporation depth, either by digging or rotovating. Ensure the soil is not too wet when cultivating.

Consolidation and flattening.

It’s not always possible to have a level lawn, but it’s certainly possible to have a flat lawn; sometimes you have to work with the topography you’re presented with.

After the cultivation stage it’s important consolidate to the soil. This is best achieved by treading with your heels (Rolling is not recommended). After treading, rake the soil so that you rake the high parts into the hollows. Repeat this process up to three times so that the soil is evenly consolidated, but not compacted. The final raking should leave the prepared soil flat, with the top 25mm evenly loose.

Turf laying.

It’s important to obtain freshly cut and weed-free cultivated turf. Work out where to start laying so you don’t need cut and shape too much turf. Lay the turf facing the prepared soil so you don’t need to walk on it after it’s been raked. If soil preparation has been carried out correctly it’s not usually necessary to stand on a board when laying the turf, but try to avoid walking on the same areas or leaving indentations. Lay the turf in a bonded pattern, avoiding long straight joints.  Make sure the pieces of turf are well butted up to each other. Try to avoid having small cut areas of turf on the edge when laying.


If the weather is warm and dry it’s important to water newly laid turf. Watering should be consistent but do not over-water, as this may destroy the consolidated structure of the soil below. Watering in the evening will more efficient as there will be less water lost through evaporation; particularly important if your water is metered! Apply high nitrogen fertiliser in March and high potash fertiliser in September.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is never out of the news for long, and we get regular enquires from very anxious people asking for our help. We have been eradicating Japanese Knotweed for many years now and we have acquired an intimate knowledge of the pernicious plant. Fully understanding its botanical traits is crucial to its successful control.

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a non-native herbaceous perennial plant which first arrived in the UK in the 1800’s. It was being grown on British nurseries by the mid-1870’s and sold as an ornamental screening plant. However, it fell out of favour but remained growing in small isolated urban and sub-urban areas of the UK. With the growth of commerce in the Victorian era Japanese Knotweed began to spread. It was thought initially via the canal system, then latterly via the railways. The distribution of soils as a result of the building booms of the late 20th century caused a massive increase in its spread. Japanese Knotweed has no natural predators in the UK such as insects, fungi or bacteria; it has therefore grown largely unchecked.

There are now strict laws in UK which are designed to protect the environment from non-native invasive species. Anyone causing the spread of Japanese Knotweed or allowing it to grow on anyone else’s property can be prosecuted or given a community protection notice for causing a nuisance.

The only way to treat it safely and successfully is to survey the infestation and draw-up a documented eradication plan. Timing of treatments is a key factor, as is the choice of herbicides used and the environment where the plant is growing. Successful treatment can take from three to five years depending on the type of infestation, but our experience is that it can often be dealt with within two years.