Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prepare the ground for turf?
Remove old vegetation, then rotavate or dig over by hand. Cultivate to a minimum depth of 4 inches (10 cm).
The ground must be accurately levelled before you put the turf down. Don‘t worry too much about stones, but pay lots of attention to levels.The best way to achieve this is by raking, this breaks up the soil and you can move it about to fill in hollows.
If the surface is loose it should be heeled all over and then lightly raked to achieve the final level.
Do I need to remove an old lawn before I re-turf?
If you are re-turfing an old lawn, it is generally better to remove the existing turf.
You can rotavate the old lawn into the ground but it is very hard to get the ground level as the soil becomes quite lumpy with the old turf mixed into it.
You can overcome this by rotavating and levelling the ground as best you can and then covering the ground with one to two inches of screened top soil, which you can rake out evenly over the surface.
We do not recommend turfing onto an old lawn or even covering the old lawn with screened soil and then re-turfing. We would consider this “cutting corners” but in some cases it may work.
How do I remove an existing lawn?
How do I measure the turf area?
We sell turf in square metres.
Please ring if you need help with your measurements.
We suggest that after accurate measurement of your area you add 5% to the total.
It is better to avoid under-ordering as small deliveries of turf are very costly.
How big are the turves?
Each turf roll measures 1 square metre. The dimensions are 1640mm/65inches long by 610mm/24inches wide. The thickness is approximately 15mm.
We also do ‘Big Roll’ turf for larger projects. Big rolls of turf measure 22 square metres and require additional equipment to lay them.
Please contact us for further details.
How long will the turf keep rolled up?
Turf is an organic product and left rolled up, even for a short time, will die.
The speed of the process is affected by moisture content and temperature. In cooler weather, the turf will last a little longer rolled up.
If you leave the turf rolled up, you can extend its life by splitting the pallets. By that we mean separating the rolls of turf from each other so that air can circulate and reduce the build-up of heat.
My turf is hot, what is happening?
If turf rolls are left rolled up close together on a pallet, they can start to decompose quite quickly, particularly in warmer weather.
A by-product of this chemical process is heat.
You will need to separate the turves out and lay or roll them out immediately.
Does a frost affect the turf?
No, not really. If you walk on a frosty lawn, you can do some superficial damage to the grass.
If turf rolls get frosted they are difficult to unroll.
We do not normally harvest turf until the frost has lifted.
We have been known to brush snow off soil so that we could lay turf and the results were perfectly acceptable.
Can I grow turf in shady areas?
Turf does not like shade. You may be aware that this is a major problem for sports stadiums as the stands reduce the light getting to the pitch.
In shady areas, it helps to let the grass grow longer by raising the height of cut on your mower.
The lack of light caused by the shade reduces the ability of the grass to photosynthesise. Growing the grass longer helps to counteract this. It also helps to water more in shady areas because the ground tends to remain drier.
Laying Turf FAQs
How do you lay turf?
Green side up!!
As with most practical jobs, the key is in the preparation. When you come to lay your turf, the job is very simple if the preparation has been done well.
The way we recommend to lay turf is off planks (scaffold planks or plywood boards), particularly if the soil is wet.
Lay a line of turf, put the plank on the turf, then lay the next line of turf by walking up and down the plank. When a line is complete, just roll the plank over and continue.
We think it is an unnecessary myth to stagger the joints as is often recommended. The joins grow in and disappear in a relatively short space of time. You will need to cut some turf to fit. We recommend you use a sharp knife, such as a Stanley knife, for this purpose.
How long does turf take to root?
It depends on conditions for growth.
In good growing conditions, it can root in just a few days.
Even in the winter, your lawn will be rooting as root growth occurs at lower temperatures than top growth.
How long does it take the joins to disappear?
The turf soon knits together and the joins disappear fairly quickly.
The growing conditions at the time will affect how quickly this happens.
How soon should I lay the turf after delivery?
Can I lay turf at any time of the year?
What is the best time to lay turf?
Turf will transplant well at any time of the year. The most popular time for turf is the Spring but turf is cut and sold for twelve months of the year.
In the Summer the ground tends to be drier and easier to prepare, but it is likely you will need to water your freshly laid turf regularly until the roots are established.
In Winter the ground is likely to be wetter and preparation is more awkward. It is likely that you will not need to water turf laid at this time.
How soon can I walk on the lawn after the turf has been laid?
To keep your lawn in good condition, you will need to keep it growing in dry Summer conditions.
Watering will help greatly to keep it in good condition and to discourage weeds.
Our drought-tolerant turf will require far less watering after establishment and if it discolours in dry weather it will quickly green up again with rain.
How soon after my turf is laid should I mow my new lawn?
The rule is to mow your lawn sooner rather than later.
It is a mistake to let the grass get too long before you mow it. If the grass does get long, raise the height of cut on your mower and gradually reduce the setting each time you mow the grass until you reach the desired length.
Letting the grass get long and mowing it all off at once will leave you with a discoloured lawn and thin grass.
Should I water the turf rolls before I lay them?
We would advise you not to do this.
More moisture in the turf can reduce the time the turves will “keep” rolled up. It also makes laying the turf messier.
You should lay the turf the same day that it arrives and water it after it has been laid.
Should I water the ground before I lay my turf?
In very dry weather, this is recommended.
Watering the soil before you lay the turf traps moisture in the soil and will reduce the amount of water you will initially need to apply. However, it can make laying the turf more difficult and slower.
If you have watered the ground first, make sure you lay the turf off planks as walking on wet soil will create a mess.
Do I need to water my newly laid turf?
The single most important item for your new lawn is WATER.
Your new turf must be kept moist at all times. If it is allowed to dry out it can easily die.
Your new lawn is susceptible to drought until the roots are established (one month).
In dry weather conditions, the turf must be watered. “Little and often” is the key and initially for the first week your turf may need watering twice a day.
Lift the corners of the turf to check that it is being kept sufficiently moist.
Can I over-water my lawn?
Yes, you can. However, more damage is likely to be caused by under-watering.
Over-watering or flooding of the turf so that the underlying ground is saturated (unable to absorb any more water) creates anaerobic conditions which are unfavourable to root growth.
How often should I water my turf?
Lawn Maintenance FAQs
How often should I mow my lawn?
To maintain quality, the lawn should be kept mown at the same height. So, when the grass is growing, regular mowing is essential.
In the growing season, a minimum of once a week is required but mowing more regularly is good.
You can mow daily if you wish when the grass is growing strongly.
What height should I mow my lawn?
We recommend that you mow your lawn to 25mm (1 inch).
At 25mm the grass will photosynthesise well which will mean stronger root and top growth. It will be more resistant to wear, disease and drought and strong-growing grass will help prevent the invasion of weeds and moss.
The shorter you mow the grass, the weaker it becomes.
If you wish to mow it shorter, reduce the height of cut gradually.
What mower should I use?
The most important issue with the mower is that the blades are sharp.
Sharp blades ensure a clean cut rather than ripping the grass which will be detrimental to the lawn.
There are two main types of mower for lawns; cylinder mowers and rotary mowers.
Cylinder mowers tend to be more expensive and the majority of mowers on the market today for lawns tend to be rotary.
Cylinder mowers can generally cut the grass shorter and more cleanly but rotary mowers are cheaper, practical, reliable and easy to use.
You can choose either engine or electric models.
If you are cutting your grass at 25mm in height as we recommend for domestic lawns, rotary mowers are perfectly adequate.
Do I need to roll the lawn?
If your lawn has been correctly prepared and laid, you should not need to roll it.
Rolling the lawn compresses the soil and over-compression creates compaction.
A compacted soil physically impedes root growth, promotes poor drainage and creates anaerobic conditions which are all detrimental to a healthy lawn.
Do I need to collect grass cuttings?
Removal keeps the lawn looking tidy but, if you leave the clippings on the lawn, it will become “self-feeding” and the requirement for additional fertilisers will be reduced.
Regular mowing ensures smaller amounts of clippings are produced and these will quickly disappear and be virtually unnoticeable.
Cutting a lot of grass in one go means that the clippings can “block” the surface, cause damage to the lawn and look unsightly.
Mowing in wet conditions, particularly with a rotary mower, tends to make the grass clump together and leaves clods of clippings on the lawn.
A small amount of clippings produced in dry weather is best.
The downside of grass clippings left on the lawn is that they can stick to your feet and find their way into your house!
How do I remove weeds?
You can remove weeds manually by cutting them out with a knife or a “daisy grubber” designed for the purpose.
Chemical sprays can be used which selectively kill the weeds and not the grass. Care must be taken as over-application of these sprays will kill the grass as well and should only be used when the grass is growing strongly.
Why are toadstools/mushrooms growing in my lawn?
Toadstools and mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of soil-based fungi.
Soil is a biologically active medium and micro-organism activity is necessary to maintain the health of the soil and your lawn.
Normally toadstools and mushrooms appear in the autumn and can be cleared by mowing or brushing. There are some antagonistic forms of fungi which affect grass growth but generally fungi should be tolerated.
Are earthworms good for lawns?
Earthworms can be termed “Nature’s cultivators”. They keep a soil fertile and aerobic and incorporate thatch and organic build-up from the grass and plants back into the soil.
However, they also tend to make the soil more open and softer, and leave worm casts which can create muddy smudges on the lawn. The casts are more prevalent in the wetter autumn and winter months.
For these reasons, on golf greens and fine grass surfaces, worms are discouraged. However, in normal lawn situations, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages and worm activity should be encouraged.
Do I need to feed/fertilise the lawn?
Judicious application of fertiliser will enhance your lawn.
If you always remove the grass clippings when you mow the requirement for fertiliser will be higher.
Correct fertiliser application will help to keep your lawn growing strongly, improve colour, prevent weeds from invading and guard against disease.
What fertiliser should I use?
The main elements of fertiliser are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potash (K).Nitrogen enhances top growth and greenness and should only be applied during the growing season.
Over-application will make the grass straggly, reduce root growth and reduce tolerance to drought and frost.
Phosphorus and potash develop root growth and new shoots, making the grass thicker and more resilient to climatic conditions and resistant to disease. Most fertilisers contain a balance of these elements but P and K normally form the base of autumn-applied fertilisers.
When you buy a fertiliser, look for the content of these elements on the bag. Follow application rates but as a tip apply the fertiliser in more than one application thus reducing the dosage each time.
Can I use “Weed and Feed” on my lawn?
How often should I apply fertiliser?
The rule is “little and often”. Fertiliser should generally be applied in the growing season and in the autumn.
To keep the grass growing strongly, light applications regularly will greatly improve your lawn.
How do I make my lawn greener?
Nitrogen fertiliser makes your lawn green.
The more nitrogen you put on, the greener your lawn will be. However, over-application can make the grass bolt and become straggly and it can impede root growth and make it susceptible to disease.
Heavy doses are not recommended.
Turf Delivery FAQs
How is the turf delivered?
How soon can the turf be delivered after I order it?
Can I choose which day to receive my delivery?
Yes you can. We deliver six days a week.
There is an additional tariff for Saturday deliveries.
What time will my delivery arrive?
Normally your turf will be with you before 1:00 pm.
If you require an earlier delivery, you can pay an extra charge to ensure that it arrives before 12:00 midday.
How big are the pallets?
The pallets are 1.2 metres x 1.2 metres square. In imperial measurements they are 4 foot x 4 foot square.
Do I get an invoice with the delivery?
How do I pay?
How do I contact you?
For orders and enquiries please call
FREEPHONE: 0800 068 0871
Berkshire: 01189 639401
You will probably speak to Sam, she will be pleased to help with your enquiry and take your order.
Office hours are Monday - Friday 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
Outside this time please feel free to call and leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible.
Please note: It is not possible to collect turf.
Berkshire Turf - supplying and delivering turf to:
- High Wycombe
- ...and surrounding areas.