How to lay turf

How to lay turf - instant turf installation guide

Here you can find the comprehensive guide on laying turf. This guide will take you through the process step-by-step. From how to prepare soil for laying turf through to how to lay turf.

This guide provides a detailed overview of DIY lawn installation. It will cover several steps including preparing the area, soil preparation, instant lawn grass variety and laying turf. This guide is perfect for all grass types including Nullarbor CouchSir Walter buffaloTifTuf bermuda and Sir Grange zoysia.

This guide includes a downloadable PDF which summarises the information. You can print this information out for easy reference on site.

If you find this guide overwhelming you can contact our turf laying Brisbane team for a free onsite quote. We can help you achieve your required finish with minimal fuss on both domestic homes and commercial properties.

This section provides a do-it-yourself guide to preparing your turf for best results.

 New turf or new lawn

Before you start you will need

  • weed killer
  • rotary hoe (hire if needed)
  • tape measure
  • rake
  • fertiliser and spreader
  • roller (hire if needed)
  • broom
  • hose or sprinkler

Before your turf arrives




Remove the weeds either by hand or spray with a glyphosate herbicide (e.g. Roundup), then wait until the weeds die (seven to ten days). A second application may be required. Remove all debris including any small rocks and twigs.



Tip: If removing an existing lawn and replacing with a new variety, consider hiring a turf cutter for large areas.

Cultivate the area
Use a rotary hoe (available for hire) to cultivate the whole area. You can also dig it over thoroughly with a garden fork to a depth of about 150mm. Remove any rocks, stones or sticks that come to the surface as you cultivate. If you are applying gypsum (to treat a clay soil), this is the stage to do it.

Incorporate underlay
Incorporate the turf underlay soil, spreading to a depth of 50-100mm, depending on your site soil. For a depth of 50mm you will need to order 1m³ of underlay for every 20m² of turf area. Level off soil with a rake and then firm by watering. To comply with building regulations finished turf must sit 75mm below weep holes.


Sandy loam is recommended for under turf. Sandy soil provides the best drainage. If organic compost such as manure is used, ensure it is well composted.

Order the turf
Measure up the area, marking the dimensions on a sketch of the area. If you are uncertain as to the amount of turf required you can contact our team for assistance. We will work out the quantity required and advise you of the most suitable turf variety for your specific area.

For more detailed information see our turf calculator.

 Measuring Your Area

Laying Your Lawn

When your turf arrives

Turf grass is a living product, it is vital to install your new lawn as soon as possible after delivery.

Apply lawn starter

Prior to installation of your turf, apply a pre-plant lawn fertiliser at the recommended rate. Using a fertiliser spreader will ensure even distribution.

Tip: By using a lawn starter you will ensure your lawn has sufficient nutrients through the establishment period.

Lay the turf
Turf is cut fresh at the turf farm and delivered within 24 hours. Lay turf the day you receive it to avoid any drying out and overheating.

Tip: When starting your lawn installation, always begin from a straight edge such as driveway or paving. Lay the turf in a brickwork pattern, ensuring the edges fit snugly together. When working on a lawn area that is on a slope, lay the turf slabs across the slope.

 Laying turf in summer

 Is laying turf in winter possible?

Trim the turf to fit
Cut the slabs of turf to fit around obstacles such as trees, garden beds and edging. To cut the turf use a sharp spade, a sharp knife or garden shears.

Tip: Save the trimmed off pieces to use to fill little gaps later on.

 Turf Tips: Trimming hard to reach corners

Roll it down

Use a water-filled lawn roller to roll the turf to connect the roots well into the underlay. These can be hired from your local Bunnings store.

Tip: Without this essential step, the roots may dry out and the turf will struggle to establish. This step will help your turf to take root faster, and keep its colour during establishment.

Water in well
Water the turf in really well, thoroughly soaking each square metre of the newly installed turf. The soil must be kept moist until the roots of the turf have established – usually around ten to fourteen days. The time of year will determine how much water is required, in warmer months more water will need to be applied. To get more detailed information on watering please see our watering guide.

Tip: To check if the roots of your lawn have established try to lift a corner of the turf. If it holds well it’s established, if it comes away in your hand it needs more time.

 Turf Tips: Installing a lawn irrigation system

For more advice or a FREE on-site quote on a full installation contact our friendly staff on 07 3114 8230.

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