Laying turf in your backyard can completely transform its look and feel. Our guide on how to put turf down in your backyard provides detailed instructions to ensure a successful and lasting installation.
As you work on your backyard project, you might also want to explore DIY backyard landscaping or using your backyard during winter. Immerse yourself in our helpful articles to uncover new ideas for enhancing your outdoor living space.
|How to properly prepare your lawn for turf installation|
|How to calculate the amount of turf you need|
|The importance of soil preparation and grading|
|Tips for laying and cutting turf|
|How to care for and maintain your new lawn|
Materials needed for turf installation
|Sharp utility knife|
|Sprinkler system (optional)|
Prep Your Site
The first step to laying turf in your backyard is preparing the site. You’ll need to remove any debris and weeds, then prepare the soil with fertilizer and compost.
If you’re laying sod or artificial grass (which are both types of turf), there are additional steps involved in this preparation process as well.
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Get Rid Of The Weeds
The first step to getting rid of the weeds in your current lawn is to apply a weed killer, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.
You want to choose a weed killer that won’t damage your grass or harm the environment. Many types of chemical-based sprays are toxic, but many organic alternatives exist as well.
If you opt for an organic solution, it’s still important that you wear gloves and goggles when applying it so as not to get it on yourself or breathe any fumes from the bottle into your lungs.
When using this type of product, dilute it according to what is recommended on its packaging (typically 1 part herbicide per 10 parts water), then spray it onto each area until completely covered with plants and soil; let sit for several hours before moving on
Create A Level Space
If you’re putting turf down in your backyard, it is important to make sure that the ground is level. There are a few ways to do this.
The most traditional tools are called levels. These tools use a bubble or water inside of them and have numbers on the side that indicate how level something is. Using these tools can be a little difficult for someone who isn’t familiar with them, so we recommend using one of these other methods:
A laser level will shoot out beams from different angles, so you can place it on each corner of where you want your turf and then see how much distance there is between the beams at each corner.
This will tell you whether or not those corners are even with each other, which means they are now perfectly flat!
Another option would be using an inclinometer (a fancy word for ‘level’). This device has a weight attached at its bottom which hangs over two wheels inside of it wheels that are connected by metal bars leading up toward where they meet in front of your eyesight line (which should be right above where your hands would normally rest).
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Add Weed Barrier Fabric
After you’ve laid the grass, it’s time to add some weed barrier fabric. This is a layer of fabric that prevents weeds from growing up through your turf and helps keep them at bay.
While this step isn’t absolutely necessary, it can make all the difference in keeping your lawn intact for years to come.
If you have a lot of weeds in your yard, adding this layer will help prevent them from sprouting up between cracks or breaking through your new lawn.
It’s also important to note that while not all brands use weed barrier fabric, most do include it as part of their installation process—so if you’re planning on using a specific brand, ask whether they include this step before buying any materials!
Lay Out Your Turf
Once you’ve laid out your turf, make sure that it is as flat as possible. This can be done by using a trowel to level out any bumps in the turf. Do this before you start laying down your grass and it will save you time later on.
If necessary, use a straight edge or garden hose to line up one side of the turf with an existing edge such as a sidewalk or driveway.
If there are no other edges available and the lawn is on an incline, use stakes to hold down the corners of each piece of turf so they don’t move around while you work on them.
Trim The Turf Around Your Landscaping Features
If you’re planning on putting your turf down in a specific design, such as a checkerboard or winding path, then this step is critical.
Use a sharp blade to cut the turf and trim it around your landscaping features. This will help ensure that when you lay down the sod, it stays in place and doesn’t get damaged by being pressed up against any other blades of grass.
You can use either a utility knife or box cutter for this purpose either will do the job just fine.
However, if you want something with more precision, consider investing in an electric trimmer like this one from WORX WG719 Lawn Trimmer Kit with Grass Hog Attachment (which includes detachable blades).
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Use A Sharp Blade To Cut The Turf When Needed
Use a sharp blade to cut the turf when needed. A dull one can tear the grass and make more work for you.
It’s best to wait until your yard has settled and the dirt underneath has dried before cutting it, so that you don’t create divots where weeds can grow in later.
Don’t cut your lawn if it is wet or windy outside!
Add Infill To The Turf As Needed
Once you have your turf rolled out, you will need to add infill as needed. Infill is a mixture of sand and peat moss that helps with drainage and keeps the turf in place.
If you have flat areas that do not have drainage, such as a driveway, front walkway or patio stones where the grass will be laid out on top of them then add infill to those areas before laying down the turf.
Also if you plan on planting trees (especially large trees) they should also be added to these same types of spots so their roots do not grow into the ground where it’s hard for them too grow properly because there isn’t enough space for them!
And lastly if you notice any uneven areas or parts where there are slopes then give those spots some extra attention because this can create problems for yourself later down the road so make sure everything gets some love now!
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Stake Down The Turf, If Needed
If you have a lot of stakes to hammer, or if it’s difficult to get them in the ground, you can use a mallet. A hammer is good too! Just be careful not to hit anyone else with it.
To use a mallet:
- Pick up the mallet with both hands
- Hold the top of it against your stomach, where you’re holding onto its handle
- Swing your arms forward and down hard enough to drive whatever object you’re trying to pound into the ground
Add Water To The Turf, If Needed
Turf needs about 1 inch of water per week. If you have no idea how much that is, a good rule of thumb is to water your lawn deeply enough so that it penetrates 5 inches into your soil.
This means watering early in the morning or late at night when less evaporation occurs and then waiting until the next day before watering again (unless there’s been significant rainfall).
Once you’ve laid down your turf and gotten it nice and secure, you should start doing this every 7-14 days—or whenever you feel like it!
Creating a durable and attractive surface for your backyard can be challenging, but our guide on how to build a concrete backyard floor provides detailed instructions and expert tips to help you get the job done right. From site preparation to finishing techniques, we cover everything you need to know to create a beautiful and functional concrete surface for your outdoor space
Common turf installation mistakes to avoid
|Not properly preparing the soil|
|Not grading the soil properly|
|Installing turf on uneven ground|
|Not watering the lawn properly|
|Cutting the turf too short or too long|
|Failing to remove rocks and debris|
|Not using enough topsoil or compost|
|Not properly rolling out the turf|
|Not properly caring for the new lawn after installation|
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a soft, lush lawn under your bare feet. Of course, installing turf isn’t always easy.
But with the right preparation and equipment, you can make sure your new lawn will thrive for years to come.
Here are some additional resources related to backyard landscaping and gardening that you might find useful:
How Much to Throw a Backyard Wedding: Find Out – This article provides a detailed breakdown of the costs involved in hosting a backyard wedding.
How Do You Make a Small Backyard Private: Easy Guide – If you have a small backyard and want to make it more private, this guide provides practical tips and ideas.
How Much Does It Cost to Fully Landscape a Backyard? – This article breaks down the costs associated with fully landscaping a backyard, including materials, labor, and design.
How Do I Make My Backyard More Small: Easy Way – This article provides tips and ideas for maximizing a small backyard space.
Do-It-Yourself Backyard Landscaping Guide – This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to landscape your backyard, including design ideas, materials, and step-by-step instructions.
Creating a Professional Backyard Landscape – This article from HGTV offers tips and inspiration for designing a professional-looking backyard landscape.
How to Lay Turf – This instructional video from Bunnings Warehouse demonstrates the process of laying turf in a backyard.
Here are some frequently asked questions related to backyard landscaping and gardening:
How do I design a professional-looking backyard landscape?
To design a professional-looking backyard landscape, consider factors such as the layout and size of the space, the types of plants and materials that will work best in your climate and soil conditions, and any special features or focal points you want to include. It can also be helpful to work with a professional landscaper or designer to ensure that your vision is realized.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when laying turf in a backyard?
Some common mistakes to avoid when laying turf in a backyard include failing to properly prepare the soil, laying the turf too loosely or tightly, and failing to properly water and maintain the turf after it is installed. It can be helpful to research the best practices for your specific turf variety and climate, and to work with a professional landscaper or turf installer if you are unsure of the process.
Can I lay turf myself, or should I hire a professional?
While it is possible to lay turf yourself, it can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process, and mistakes can lead to costly repairs or replacements down the line. If you have experience with landscaping and feel confident in your abilities, you may be able to lay the turf yourself, but if you are unsure, it may be worth investing in a professional installation.
What are some ways to make a backyard more eco-friendly?
To make a backyard more eco-friendly, consider incorporating native plants that require less watering and maintenance, using organic fertilizers and pest control methods, composting yard waste and kitchen scraps, and using water-saving irrigation systems such as drip lines or rain barrels.
For 15 years, Hellen James has worked in the gardening industry as an expert and landscape designer. During her career, she has worked for a variety of businesses that specialize in landscaping and gardening from small firms to large corporations.