The Price of Good Quality Turf 0
There are many different grades of turf available to buy online. Just as there are many different items of furniture or pairs of shoes. Personally, I would never buy furniture or shoes online – not unless I was very familiar with the brand and could be confident of their quality.
Turf is a different thing though. If you are a professional landscaper, you will probably know of several different turf suppliers. You will also know their reputation, either via word of mouth or perhaps from your own experiences.
Good quality turf is cut fresh, has healthy grass plants, is the same thickness throughout, and has nice strong rolls that are easy to handle.
If you are about to lay turf in your own garden though, the turfgrass market might seem like a minefield to you. Especially if you are looking online for prices.
Here are some guidelines for working out the price of good quality turf
Decide which type of turf you need. For hardwearing turf and/or a simple lawn care regime, choose something like “Gold Leaf” which contains dwarf perennial ryegrass. If you enjoy lawncare and want to create a show-lawn, a fescue-bent mix is beautiful but the maintenance will take up a lot of time.
Look at pictures of completed work and see if there are any testimonials from happy customers.
Does the Company have a Facebook page? That’s a good place to look images of the growing fields and of projects.
Try to see a sample of the turf. That’s not always easy if the grower is a long way from you. The turf that you sometimes see sitting on pallets outside a DIY store may not be 100% fresh so the sample probably isn’t representative.
Is it a smaller, family run company or a big corporate affair? Which would you rather buy from?
How long has the Company been in business? Do they have a proven track record?
Finally, compare prices for the quantity of turf you will need. Make sure you’re comparing like for like. Ie don’t try to compare the price of “fine” turf with the price of garden turf. That’s like comparing designer garments with supermarket clothes.
In general, the lower the price of turf, the lower the quality. The cheapest is unlikely to be the best. Buying direct from the grower, or ordering online for home delivery will ensure the freshest product.
Three rules for buying the best quality turf
- Make sure it’s fresh. Buy direct from the grower if you can.
- Buy local. The turf will be fresher and better able to root into your soil type. If you are able to collect from the grower, you’ll save yourself money on delivery too.
- Avoid the cheapest products. An extra £20 on your whole order can seem like a lot of money but you will be much happier with your lawn.
For gardeners in Dorset and Hampshire, Wimborne Turf offer superb quality products at a fair price. Collect from our yard, or we can deliver to your site.
Turfing: DIY vs Supply and Lay 1
A natural lawn is a beautiful thing. Not only does it give your home a welcoming, friendly feel, it’s great for the environment too.
The quickest way by far to create a beautiful garden lawn is to lay turf.
How to lay turf yourself
It’s not difficult to lay turf but preparing the soil for turfing can be quite hard physical work. It certainly burns those calories!
Laying turf onto well prepared soil. Not the texture of the soil - it's nice and fine and friable plus the surface of the soil is firm and level. This gentleman is working from turfing boards to spread his weight and avoid compacting the soil.
The key to having a beautiful lawn is to prepare the soil really well. The same rules apply to turfing and to sowing grass seed. You need a good depth of quality soil. Remember, a lawn isn’t like a vegetable patch. You can’t go back later to add vast quantities of organic matter or grit or whatever it needs to improve the soil texture. What is under a lawn is pretty much permanent so it’s vital to get it right in the first place.
Clear the area
First of all you must remove all vegetation and debris from the area to be turfed. You can either use a herbicide to kill off existing greenery or you can remove it yourself. If you choose to use chemicals, glyphosate is very effective but you will need to wait 3-4 weeks for it to work thoroughly – so leave yourself plenty of time.
If you are removing the vegetation yourself you can either lift it with a spade or you can hire a mechanical turf cutter. Most hire shops offer them at around £50 per day. If you have a large area to cover, it will save you a lot of time and a lot of backache.
Provided the plants you are digging out are not nasty perennial weeds, it’s OK to compost them. Otherwise they need to go to the tip – talk to your local council to find out the best way to dispose of them.
Dig the soil
A lawn will never do well if the plants are struggling to root into the soil. Your next job is to loosen the top 15-20cm (6-8 inches) of soil and get plenty of air incorporated into it.
Dig over the whole area, taking any large stones and plant roots as you go. As a rule of thumb, if a stone is bigger than a satsuma orange, it ought to be removed.
Whilst digging you can assess the quality of your soil. Is it free-draining or is it heavy and clay-like. Is it pale in colour or do you have lovely rich dark soil. Ideally, turf should be laid onto soil that holds enough water to sustain the plants – but not enough to drown them.
A good test is to pick up a handful of soil and squeeze it tight. Then release your grip. If the soil stays in a hard lump, it probably contains a high proportion of clay. If, when you open your hand the soil lump immediately falls apart – it’s probably a bit too dry and sandy. If it keeps its shape but falls apart as soon as you poke it – it’s just right.
This is the stage where you can add some good topsoil to improve what’s already in your garden.
Smooth and level the soil
Now use a garden rake to create a nice base for your lawn. Keep raking until the soil texture resembles the topping on an apple crumble. Aim to get a nice flat surface with no hills or hollows.
Now walk on it to firm it down. You don’t want to compact it, but on the other hand, if the soil is all fluffy at this stage, it will settle into all sorts of funny shapes once you start using it.
When the soil is nice and firm, rake it over again to loosen the surface. Check the levels and order your turf.
It’s vital that your soil is ready BEFORE your turf arrives. Any delay in laying the turf will mean that it’s quality deteriorates. In warm weather, that can be fata.
Lay the turf
Laying turf is relatively simple and you’ll find lots of “how to” videos on the internet. Be sure to work from laying boards and butt each piece up closely to the next.
Finish off by watering it well.
Should you opt for a supply and lay service?
That all depends on your budget, your confidence in your own ability, your health and the amount of free time you have.
I have laid turf myself. It looked simple on the video but my goodness it wore me out. It was very difficult to get the levels right and the rolls of turf were heavier than I expected. By the end of it I was too tired to take pride in my work. For years afterwards I was disappointed in my lawn.
I’m not convinced that I saved much money either – by the time I’d been to the hire shop for a turf cutter and a rotovater I was over £100 down. Then there was the cost of disposing of the old lawn ….. it wasn’t what I expected.
My parents’ lawn on the other hand is beautiful. Mum and Dad are getting on in years and although they still wanted a lawn, they didn’t want the work of creating one. And quite frankly, after I’d moved all of their stuff, neither did I!
So we asked a landscaper to help. The cost wasn’t as bad as I expected. They brought in their own machinery and did the job in double quick time. Three physically fit boys made levelling and raking look easy. They also know the best place to buy good quality turf and are used to handling it. AND they tidied up after themselves. No muddy paths, no discarded half rolls of turf laying around, no dirty footprints all through the house.
If ever I needed another new lawn – I’d leave it to the professionals. It’s definitely worth the money.
Garden Ideas: New Lawns Made From Turf 0
Designing a garden is a fabulous way of creating your very own personalised space. It reflects who you are, what you like to do and how you like to relax. A well designed garden can add thousands of pounds worth of value to a property.
At Wimborne Turf, we think that every garden, no matter what its size, style or function, deserves a beautiful natural lawn.
Here are some examples of gardens in Dorset with stunning new lawns made from turf.
This curvy lawn sets off the island beds beautifully. The planting illustrates how shape and texture are important in a garden.
Ahhh, the classic English lawn complete with stripes. This effect is easy to create as turf is being laid...simply brush your hand over the grass as each turf is positioned.
We're proud of this one. This beautiful home in Wimborne was given great kerb appeal with a classic lawn. Doesn't it look stunning?
A brand new summerhouse deserves an elegant lawn to show it off. This garden will be a fantastic place to relax and entertain.
What a difference a day makes! This shows just how quickly you can transform a garden by creating a lawn from turf.
It's not difficult to lay turf yourself. At Wimborne Turf we grow and supply strong, easy to lay turves that look good from day one. And we can give you all the advice you need to get started.
If you're not confident or if you don't have the time to lay turf yourself, we also offer a supply and lay service. AND we work all year round (weather permitting). Why not call us if you'd like a free, no-obligation quote for a lovely new lawn like the ones in this blog?