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Site Preparation

It’s time to prepare your site and soil

Before your turf goes down, site and soil preparation needs to be complete. This is extremely important to ensure the roots of your turf have great soil so they can establish themselves properly. Deep roots mean they can soak up more nutrients so the lawn can thrive.

Preparing your site in 6 easy steps:

First, remove all existing turf and weeds (see below on how to remove your existing lawn).

Use a rotary hoe or spade to turn the top layer of soil over. If your ground is extremely compact or your soil has a clay base, you may require a bobcat to relieve compaction, then apply gypsum to the under soil before the turf goes down so the roots can grow through this layer.

Clear the entire area of any debris like sticks or stones.

Cover the area with a good quality top soil. Use a rake to spread the soil evenly to a depth of at least 75mm. We recommend a sandy loam so that the surface can be free draining and easily levelled. If your profile is too sandy then we recommend the application of a well broken down organic mix to make sure that the top soil can hold moisture and nutrients.

Use a roller to firm the soil, but don’t compact it. This will create a smooth surface for the new turf. NOTE: Your soil preparation is similar to painting preparation. If you miss the lumps and bumps, they will show through on your final work. It is the same with laying turf.

If laying turf in the heat, do not water the area; but wait for the ground to cool.

Now that your site and soil is properly prepared, we recommend adding:

Water Crystals

Lightly sprinkle water-saving crystals over the whole area to be turfed. They act like a sponge and absorb rain or hose water that the roots can draw out when needed.

Starter Fertiliser

Add an even application of starter fertiliser over the whole area to be turfed. This will give the root structure the required nutrients to bind with the soil.

FAQs about preparing your site

At what ground level do I need to have my soil prior to installation, if the area is going to be irrigated?
The soil needs to be levelled at 5-10mm below existing driveways and pathways, so your lawn will be level, or slightly above for mowing ease. Furthermore, the top of your pop-up sprinklers should be level with the soil so they pop up through your lawn but are low enough not to be hit by the mower.
How do I remove existing lawn?
If the existing lawn is an old couch variety, or a Kikuyu lawn, spray the area with a glyphosate type chemical, such as Zero or Roundup. Leave the area for two weeks and repeat the application to ensure you have killed all the grass and weeds.

Remove the top 50-100mm of weed/grass mix and, depending on the soil going back in, you may need to replace it with clean, free-draining soil such as sandy loam. If you cannot find sandy loam, sand and loam can be purchased separately and applied at a ratio of 50/50. If lifting levels, old soil can be left but it’s recommended to free the old soil up with a garden fork or rotary hoe before covering. A further Gypsum application can be made when freeing the old soil up to help with drainage in the future.

Roughly re-level the area and install irrigation (or fix your existing system). Once you have done this, do a final re-level of the area.

Commission your irrigation system to make sure all the sprinklers are working properly and are at the right levels (be sure not to flood the area). The top of the sprinkler needs to be level or slightly below existing soil so the sprinkler can pop up through your lawn.

Do I need to get a soil test?
Soil tests are important to the long term success of your lawn. Make sure that when planning to re-turf or install a new lawn that every effort goes into your soil preparation. A soil test will identify where your soil is deficient or over abundant in core nutrients to growing a healthy lawn. Doing the work early may save you a lot of money in the future.
Enquire with our friendly team for a sharp price on your turf today