Turf Preparation and After Care

Advice for laying turf in hot and dry conditions

To download our handy care guide for new and existing lawns click here, alternatively read on.....

When to lay your lawn

Although turf can be laid at any time of the year, some periods are better than others. As a general rule of thumb we say, if you are able to prepare the ground, we are able to supply the turf. However, as responsible turf producers, we feel it is best to warn you about watering requirements of newly laid turf in hot, dry conditions. We want you to be entirely happy with your lawn, and if you are unable to keep it watered, it may be best to just enjoy the sunshine and wait for a break in the weather before laying turf. Sherborne turf will still be here, and we will be more than happy to supply you with our quality turf when conditions are more favourable. Please note: our usual guarantee does not apply where turf is laid against our recommendation. 

Sherborne Turf is cut fresh to order so the ground needs to be completely prepared beforehand so the turf can be laid straight away to ensure it is as fresh as possible.


The key to any lawn is well prepared soil. Treatment with a Glyphosate based weed killer prior to cultivation will remove any weeds present and help prevent re-growth. Remove larger stones (remaining small stones will aid drainage). Firm the ground by treading, then rake and level the soil creating a fine tilth. The ground can be considered well prepared when a trodden shoe makes a mark but does not sink into the soil. Water lightly prior to laying so the turf is placed onto a damp surface.

Apply a dressing of our balanced Stripy Green fertiliser (30-60 grams or 1-2 ounces per square yard) to aid root establishment

Laying and Jointing

Lay the edges of borders first, like a big frame; this prevents the edges from drying out. Rolls should be laid tightly together and kept moist to aid establishment and fusion. For best results, lay the turf using planks to work from and walk on. Turf should be laid in alternate directions in a staggered bond, ensuring the joints are pulled into each other, but avoid stretching the turf

Do not skimp! Using small bits to finish the job will only dry out and ruin the finish. When ordering it is a good idea to allow 5% for cuts on a square lawn, and 10% for cuts on an irregular shape lawn. Any spare can be stacked in rolls and make great soil.

It is not advisable to roll after laying as this will squash air out of the soil and will destroy the crumb structure. Nature will quickly press the turf down with the first shower of rain.


Newly laid turf must be well watered, and then kept damp for 2-4 weeks until the lawn is fully established. Watering should be done at the start or end of the day, avoiding direct sunlight which may scorch the turf. It is very easy to underestimate the amount of water required, but it is worth remembering that during hot dry spells, our gardens can be dry up to six inches, and it can take an hour for water to soak down just one inch—that really is a lot of water! 

Sprinkler systems are good, but check they cover the entire lawn. In particular, pay attention to the roll edges which will dry out first.

Avoid walking on turf during rain or after watering to prevent divots whilst establishing.

When to Mow

Please do not be in a hurry to cut the lawn. Allow the turf to settle and take root for about 3 weeks. If you try to lift the turf at an edge and it is well rooted to the ground then that is a good indication that it is ready for its first cut.

For the initial cuts, set the mower to its highest setting and to avoid stressing the grass, ensure the blades are sharp/meshing together correctly. Cut your new lawn regularly, maintaining between 38-50mm (1.5-2"). The cut height may be reduced gradually to the optimum level of between 15-35mm (0.5-1.5").