If you’re planning on laying a new lawn this spring you’ll need to prepare the ground underneath the new turf in order to achieve a flat, even lawn. Find out how to prepare the ground under turf with helpful advice and tips from Essex turf grower Paynes Turf.

No one wants a lumpy lawn, and so to ensure your new lawn is as even and level as possible it’s vital that you take extra time to prepare the foundations: imagine laying new carpet on an uneven floor that had protruding nails, worn underlay and broken floorboards – the end result would be lumpy carpet (and nobody wants that either!). Your new lawn will only be as good as the preparation you put into the groundwork, so it’s a good idea to get it right the first time.

Step 1. If you have a small lawn, use a spade to undercut the old turf and remove it. You could also hire a turf cutter from a builder’s merchant if you have a large garden, as it will make the job much quicker and easier.

Step 2: Use a garden fork (or a rotavator hired from a builder’s merchant) to turn over the soil to a depth of around 15cm. Remove any roots, stones and weeds as you go to ensure the soil is free from debris.

Step 3: Use a garden rake to even out the surface of the soil. At this stage consider applying a layer of topsoil if the soil is of poor quality as fresh topsoil will give your new turf all the essential nutrients it needs to establish quickly and grow strong.

Step 4: Walk over the surface to lightly firm down the soil, but don’t be too heavy-footed as you may compact the soil. 

Step 5: Rake the soil over again using a garden rake, evening out any bumps or dips on the surface of the ground. 

Step 6: Repeat the process of treading on and raking over the soil, until the ground is completely level.

Step 7: Depending on the time of year and the weather, water the ground well. Use your common sense – if the soil is already moist then there should be no need to water, however, if the soil is very dry, it will definitely benefit from a good sprinkling.

Step 8: Now you can order your turf! We harvest turf the day before it’s delivered to you so it’s in the best possible condition, so make sure that you lay your new turf the same day as it is delivered.

Step 9: Download our handy turf laying guide and start laying your new turf!