Laying turf over very muddy/patchy lawn??

7 Dec 2010
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

Recently had an extension and lawn has taken a battering. Will i get away with a deep scarify, then rake over a bit of top soil to level the uneven parts, and then lay new turf over the existing. The existing is overall, very patchy/muddy.

Would appreciate your wisdom/advice before i opens a can of worms!!
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Remove any builders rubble. I would then also fork the area (insert the fork into the soil and rock back and forward, repeat every 9" or so) to help break up the compacted soil. Brush some soil / compost into the fork holes, sprinkle some growmore, and carry on as you proposed.
Cheers, just asking as a mate of mine said he'd heard you should never lay over existing as it'll never take. I'll try it as you say if you think it'll work,


Your mate is quite right, new turf will not root properly over existing grass.

For a top job remove the old turf rotovate and lay new sandy loam. then your turf. If on a budget you can get away with killing the old stuff and then 2 weeks later adding some grit sand and rotavating it in, raking out any left over grass or roots then laying on this but it's hard to get a fine enough tilth doing it this way
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As it is very patchy and muddy, it seems that it not particularly well grassed, so the turf should take quite easily, with the preparation mentioned. Once laid leave it a couple of weeks to knit in, but do not let it dry out.

As you hoped to do the job today, please let us know in a few weeks how it is doing.

Why take the risk? do it properly and you'll be sure it will only need done once? One man's barely any grass patchy and muddy is another man's a few bare spots.

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