Laying Turf - Installation Guide

Follow our turf installation guide for best results on your next turf project. We cover steps such as measuring your site and ordering turf, site and soil preparation, irrigation, laying the turf and initial care, and maintenance. Watch our installation video for even more hints and tips.

How to install Instant Turf:

(These instructions are best read in conjunction with watching the above video )

STEP 1:     Measuring Site and Ordering Turf

Measure the marked out lawn area to find out how many square metres of lawn you will need to buy. 

Click here to use our handy area measuring tool. 

Order and pay by 10am for next day delivery. We deliver turf every day from Tuesday to Saturday.

STEP 2:     Preparing the Site

The first thing to do when preparing to lay instant turf is to make sure there is no sign of grass or weeds growing on the site. To remove any weeds and grass, mark out where the instant turf will go, then spray the area with a glyphosate based chemical (like Roundup or No-Grow etc). Leave the area for 1 week, then remove all dead or dying weeds.

STEP 3:     Preparing The Soil

Before you lay instant turf, you’ll need to prepare your soil. The amount of work required to do this can range from extensive through to not much at all! To help you know what you'll need to do, have a read of the information below:   

  • If your soil is already sandy and not hard setting, all you need do is turn it over and level it. You might also consider adding some organic compost to help hold water in the top soil for longer.
  • If you have a poor, heavy or clay soil, you'll need to remove a layer to allow for a some fresh sandy loam. After removing the existing soil, rotary hoe in 1kg/m² of gypsum before applying sandy loam. The ideal depth of sandy loam top soil ranges between 50 and 100 mm.

If you are unsure of your soil type or how to prepare it, bring a sample to us for a free appraisal. We will tailor an easy to follow soil preparation guide for you.

After the top soil has been spread, roughly level it with a rake. The next step is to get the surface perfectly level in preparation for rolling out the turf. To achieve a level surface, we'd recommend using a hand held soil screed. Soil screeds (sometimes referred to as levelling rakes) are an amazing tool and do a really good job of taking the highs and lows off the surface. You can buy them from most hardware stores or they can be hired from your local hire shop. 

Lastly, remember to keep the soil level 25mm below your edges to allow for the thickness of the instant lawn when you roll it out. This way the turf will come up level with the borders.

STEP 4:     Installing An Irrigation System

If you have decided to use an irrigation system, this should be installed before adding loam and putting the turf down. Irrigation systems are the most water-efficient and time-convenient way of keeping your lawn green so they are definitely worth considering. Paul Munns Instant Lawn stock the complete range of irrigation systems and can help you find the right one for your lawn, as well as install it for you, or give you all the help you need to install it yourself. 

STEP 5:     Getting Ready To Lay The Turf

On delivery of the turf, remove the plastic, give it a light water and begin rolling it out as soon as possible. Note that grass in a rolled up state will deteriorate quickly so it is best to lay the turf on the same day as delivery.

Before rolling out the turf, we recommend applying Paul Munns Instant Lawn Starter Fertiliser combined with Paul Munns Lawn Soaker wetting granules. These products can be delivered with your turf delivery. You can apply them on the soil first before laying the turf or after you have rolled it out. Starter fertiliser provides a slow release, gentle feed to give your lawn all the nutrients it needs in the first few weeks. Lawn Soaker helps hold water in the top soil for longer which reduces stress to your lawn while it's establishing. 

STEP 6:     Laying the Turf

As you roll out the turf, butt the rolls closely together so that there are no gaps. You'll no doubt need to trim off excess turf to fit it into your specific area. The best way to do this is with secateurs or a serrated edged knife.

There is no particular pattern to follow when laying turf – we’d suggest laying it the way that requires the least amount of cutting in. Top dressing the turf after installation generally isn’t required except in the case of Kings Pride Buffalo. If you’re laying buffalo, you’ll notice that there isn’t a lot of soil around the root zone of the rolls. This is perfectly normal but it does mean a light layer of topdressing is required after laying. When determining how much topdressing to put on, a good rule of thumb is to spread a generous layer of loam out over the top of the buffalo, then using the blade of the shovel, scrape it off again. Whatever is left behind is enough. Once you have watered the top dressing through, you should not be able to see any on the surface of the lawn.   

STEP 7:     Looking After Your Turf For The First Month 

How you look after your turf in the first month after laying is very important. The most critical thing is to make sure it doesn’t dry out. How often you water it will depend on the day time temperature.

As a guide, if you’re laying your turf in the warmer months of the year, you would need to water your turf at least 3 times per day at regular intervals according to the SA Water "Water Wise Measures". The cooler it gets, the less frequently you need to water it but always remember, never let it dry out while it is establishing. Establishment times will vary accoring to how warm it its. It will generally be around 4 weeks during the warmer months but can extend to up to 12 weeks if laying turf during winter

TIP: An indicator that you are not watering frequently enough is when you begin to notice the joins drying out. You’ll start to see a checkerboard type effect. This is common when temperatures become extreme - ie over 35 degrees. If this happens, introduce another watering cycle into your schedule for a short time. If any areas go blue/grey or become discoloured, water these grass areas more frequently. 

STEP 8:     Fertilising

Between 2 and 3 months after installing a new lawn, a regular fertilising program must begin. This correct fertiliser program will help achieve:

  • Less water use
  • Greater environmental hardiness
  • Deeper grass colour
  • Greater resistance to pests and diseases

We recommend the following:

SPRING - Paul Munns Green Keeper Lawn Fertiliser with trace elements
SUMMER - Paul Munns Organic Lawn Food
AUTUMN - Paul Munns Emerald Green Lawn Fertiliser