Having a go at turfing garden

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by Shewsnup, 1 Sep 2016.

  1. Shewsnup

    Shewsnup

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    After ridiculous quotes for turfing garden 40 square metres, then let down by not one but 2 gardeners have decided to do it myself with help from relatives. We have dug most of it over and removed what seems like tons of rubbish and stones and getting nearer to laying turf. My questions are how do I make sure that I buy good turf, also because of not standing on it after it has been laid would it be better to turf half of it to make easily accessible for watering etc and then second bit when first one has rooted?
    Any advice welcome as none of us have done this before
     
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  3. steveb1964

    steveb1964

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    Avoid places like B&Q where they can have turf lying out for days. You must have some local building centres/garden places nearby that sell turf and store it properly. When buying it try to get it on the day they get deliveries of turf and lay it all in a day.

    Lay it all at once, have you any scaffolding planks you can use to walk on? When watering you shouldn't need to walk on it if you have a hose and sprinkler.

    Lots of advice for laying turf/aftercare etc on the web

    http://www.turfland.co.uk/prep_laying_aftercare
    http://www.rolawn.co.uk/how-to-lay-turf
     
  4. Grenage

    Grenage

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    After clearing the topsoil of large stones, I compacted it using a spare piece of mdf, then walked on it; I did that again a few days later.

    Bought the turf from this place, laid it neatly and watered every day for a couple of weeks; no problems were had.
     
  5. Shewsnup

    Shewsnup

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    Thanks for your replies, I never thought of trying a garden centre duh! There is a good one quite near me, will try there. I have planks left from the featheredge fence I've had installed though whether they would be strong enough I'm not sure. Will sort something I'm sure. Worrying about this more than I should I think, thats because landscape gardeners that have been round have all implied that people should not try to do it themselves as it nearly always ends in a disaster. Feel happier now
     
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  6. Shewsnup

    Shewsnup

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    Am back again, my garden centre did not sell turf so Grenage have contacted the place you used (did not notice the link you had given until I came on this site again) and sounds great so going with them. Another problem I have come across is at very bottom of garden we have come across tiles beneath the soil, now i have read on here about not laying on top of concrete because it is so porous but does the same apply to tiles. We are going to see how difficult it will be to get them up but if too big a job would it be ok to lay on top of them. I have also watched the video on here about laying turf and my soil looks nothing like the video. It is good black soil but even after all the clearing we have done there is still loads of twigs dead leaves and old roots (we r still picking out bits of plastic and rubbish) I dont think this had been dug over for decades. Does it have to be as perfect as on the video to ensure a nice lawn?
     
  7. r896neo

    r896neo

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    Turf is very resilient and will grow on almost anything. Turfing on top of concrete or any other non-porous surface will have bad results. If its just a small patch and it has at least 3 inches of soil coverage it'll be ok.

    As the the fine roots etc, remove as much as you can but don't fret too much.

    The videos your watching are most likely lovely fresh screened soil brought in rather Tha rotovating what was there.
     
  8. Grenage

    Grenage

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    Definitely take up those slabs if you can; the twigs and roots won't cause a problem.
     
  9. glasgowdan

    glasgowdan

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    Spend ages levelling the garden first. Standing on planks to level it isn't good enough as there will be soft spots that get missed which will wind you up in future, so you need to do a penguin shuffle across every inch, then rake smooth, then repeat ideally 3x in total.

    Don't worry about walking on the turf on the odd occasion...as long as it's not regular it'll be fine.
     
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  11. laferret

    laferret

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    What he said
    Any stones or debris bigger than 1 inch should be removed. Invest in a couple of decent contractor rakes from a merchant - you can always sell one afterwards. B&Q rakes will not be strong enough to get a good level after doing the penguin shuffle.
     
  12. Shewsnup

    Shewsnup

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    We are still clearing garden of slabs, tiles and concrete. Admittedly only a few evenings and a weekend but it is never ending. Feel as if we have dug up a town. Seriously it looks as if gonna be impossible to clear it of everything, every time we dig up tiles there is a load of hardcore beneath, same goes for the slabs and bricks etc. What is the minimum depth of soil recommended to achieve a decent lawn? The soil itself is quite good, garden drains well and it will be well watered either by rain (Pembrokeshire winters usually ensure that) or hosepipe.
     
  13. laferret

    laferret

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    90% of the complaints I've heard about lawns comes down to unreliable sub soil. It usually comes down to what the builders or diyers left behind after the build or projects.
    If you haven't done so already hire a decent rotavator. They are a bit pricey but shop around and get it delivered unless you have a van. Worth its weight in gold to unearth unwanted debris and to take a lot of the effort out of getting a good level.
    Have someone following with a wheel barrow to pick up the debris. You should be able to get 8 to 10 inches of good soil with the machine.
    Go horizontally and then vertically across the space. Tread down thoroughly and then rake out a fine filth to lay the turf on.
    Something else to consider, if you remove 1 ton of waste debris you will need about the same in soil to maintain a level.
    If all this seems like a lot of hard work you can probably see why it's not a cheap job.
     
  14. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Is there some tool to help screen out the stones? I've tried using a steel-mesh garden sieve but it is backbreaking work.

    There is an agricultural tool with a rotating mesh cylinder, but I haven't seen anything for a home gardener. I'm thinking something like a cement mixer.
     
  15. Himaginn

    Himaginn

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    I have seen in other countries, a mesh positioned at an angle, and shovel-full of the particular material is thrown against the mesh.
    Lumps/stones don't penetrate and the smaller particles fall through to t'other side, from whence they can be shoveled away.
     
  16. Shewsnup

    Shewsnup

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    Thanks for your reply laferret, am definitely going to do that, we are all fed up with it now. We think we have got most of the larger slabs and concrete up but the smaller hard core underneath is neverending. Most definitely harder than I thought, although I did'nt realise how much preparation there was to do
     
  17. laferret

    laferret

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    I'm afraid the cliche rings true with lawns among other things, it's all in the preparation. Of course it really depends on how good you want it to be but now you've begun the process you may as well do it once and do it right. Of course, you could always consider doing all the prep and then paying someone to supply and install the lawn. Locally I can get very good quality turf delivered for approx £2.60 per roll (=1m2). Assuming a non trade price is closer to £4 per roll, then £170 for materials and about £180 for labour. (A generous half day for two men). That assumes the turf is delivered with a couple of spare rolls just in case.
     
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