It All Starts at The Roots: Preparing Soil for New Turf



New Lawn

There is certainly plenty to consider when preparing your soil for your new turf; soil PH levels, compaction, soil nutrients, turf underlay, levelling, debris. This step for turf laying is especially important as grass gains 3 out of 4 of its necessities from the soil. Air, water and nutrients are all absorbed through the roots, so having this right is important from the moment you roll out turf. Without proper soil preparation, your lawn can suffer from poor drainage, compaction issues, PH imbalance or lack of nutrients.

Before turf laying, clear the area of weeds and debris

Clearing the Site

After completing the rest of your garden, the first thing you need to do is make sure the area is clear and ready for turf laying. You will want to remove any debris left over from construction and any unwanted vegetation such as weeds.

You may want to hand remove weeds if it is a small area, but for larger jobs, you may wish to use an environmentally friendly herbicide but make sure you do this at least 2 weeks before you roll out turf.

It is recommended that you remove 150mm from the top of your soil. Generally, this will remove debris, clay or soil damaged from construction.


The slope of your new lawn will be determined by the soil it’s laid out onto. Ideally, you will want enough of a slope for water to run off your lawn quickly rather than bogging it, but not so steep that it is difficult to mow or play on.

If your slope is over 40%, it is considered steep and retaining walls are recommended to ease potentially troublesome maintenance.

Prepare your soil before you roll out turf
Rake over the turf underlay

Type of Soil

The type of your soil influences a few factors for your lawns health; the PH level, compaction and nutrients. A sandy loam is preferred by new turf with a PH level between 6 and 7. A soil that contains too much clay will often result in compaction and your grass will become deprived of air and water.

If your soil has too much clay, add gypsum. Or, if it is too sandy, add organic material. As for the PH level, you can correct the levels by adding lime for acidic soil and sulphur for alkaline soil.

Turf Underlay

Turf Underlay is a blend of topsoil and organic materials designed to give a new lawn the right balance of minerals and nutrients. It is ideal for you to roll out turf over topsoil as it helps the grass to grow quickly, establish roots and to stay healthy. Spread the turf underlay over the area evenly at a depth of 100 to 150mm deep.

Clear the site for new turf

By preparing your soil now, before you lay your new turf, you will save yourself time, money and inconvenience down the track. Besides, why wouldn’t you give your new lawn the best possible start?

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