How to Patch Lawn with Turf

There are several reasons your lawn develops patches. It could be that you are mowing it too short or that the winter months were particularly harsh.

This could cause bare patches, dead spots, or thin areas in your lawn. If this is the case, you need to know how to patch lawn with turf.

Turf is the dark green material that carpets the yard. It comprises the upper layer of soil and grasses bound together by the roots. This is your lawn’s skin, and you can use turf to fill in those bare patches or thin spots.

Using turf ensures instant gratification. It grows fast, doesn’t require you to prepare the ground much, and takes little work.

how to patch lawn with turf

Identify the Cause of the Problem

Before you start, you need to identify the cause of the problem. You can do this by studying how your lawn functions, looking at what is happening on the surface and underground.

Did your lawn get damaged by the weather? Was it due to the mower, weed eater, pet waste, or some other activity?

If you know why your lawn has patches, you can treat it properly. Once it is done right away, the turf will regrow quickly in time for summer’s peak season.

If not treated promptly, the bare patches will become more noticeable, and you’ll see less green.

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Choosing the Right Turf for Lawn

Turf comes in different varieties and grades. You can choose the right turf for your lawn by checking what is available in garden centers online.

It also comes with different blends of grasses and fillers like gravel, sand, or soil. Make sure you get one that has a blend already adapted to the growing conditions of your region.

Also, matching turf to the existing lawn will make it blend in nicely.

If you use the wrong grass, the roots will struggle to bond with the soil. They also get water and nutrients slower. Over time, they’ll weaken, making your lawn dry and yellow.

Also, they won’t stand up to activities like sports or pets.

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How to Patch Lawn with Turf

What you’ll need:

  • Rake
  • Turf/Sod
  • Topsoil/Compost
  • Pre turf fertilizer
  • Shovel/fork

Preparing Your Lawn for Patching

  1. Remove the dead patch/spot: Once you identify the area you want to patch, use a shovel or a fork to remove the patch with dead/thin turf. Square out the edges, but don’t dig too deep. You don’t want to reach the subsoil below.
  2. Remove any debris: Before you start planting turf, be sure that the ground is clean of any form of debris. Start by raking away any rocks, leaves, or sticks. You can then use a rake to level the soil and remove weed roots that might disturb the growth of your turf.
  3. Spread topsoil/compost: With a clear area, it’s time to add a layer of topsoil/compost. Take a rake and make a smooth covering over the soil. If you have no topsoil, consider buying a mixture of compost and soil from your local garden center.
  4. Apply pre-turf fertilizer: Once you’ve finished preparing the ground, apply a pre-turf fertilizer. This is important because it helps your turf get nourished right after installation. It also ensures that it grows fast and takes root quickly. You can find this in garden centers or even online stores.

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How to Lay Turf

Once your lawn is ready, it’s time to lay the turf. Starting from a straight line will make this easier for you.

  1. Cut the turf: Use sharp pair of scissors or knife to cut out a piece of turf that matches the size and shape of the patch you need to cover. Make sure it has at least two inches on each side that you will later use to fill in the soft soil.
  2. Spread out the turf: Once you have your turf, spread it out on the ground and flatten any wrinkles. Make sure to match the pattern of your existing lawn. Also, try to lay them in matching positions so they’ll blend properly later.
  3. Fill in the edges: Start by filling in the edges with topsoil or compost. You can buy these at home improvement stores or garden centers. Just add it to the sides and gently pat it down.
  4. Finish with fill-in soil: Fill in the rest of your patch with fill-in soil, giving it a gentle pat down as well. The soft surface helps your turf take root and proliferate. It also ensures that you won’t damage or pull out the turf in the future.
  5. Water: Once you’re done, give your patch a nice and gentle watering to settle everything down and soothe it.

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How to Take Care of Your New Lawn after Patching With Turf

1. Avoid walking on the new turf

Avoid walking on your patch for at least two weeks. The newly laid turf still needs time to settle down in its new surroundings. Otherwise, you might damage or even pull out the grasses by stepping into them with too much pressure.

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2. Water regularly

Make sure to water your turf regularly. Don’t let the soil dry out. After installation, it’s still fragile, so it needs regular watering to get nourished and grow strong roots. With regular watering, you’ll have a lush green lawn in no time.

2. Mowing and Edging

Once your turf takes root and the grass blades are at least three inches tall, you can start mowing. Ensure not to cut off more than a third of the height, or your blades will hurt and thin out.

Also, make sure to edge the edges thoroughly, so nothing interferes with its growth.

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How to Patch Lawn with Turf (FAQs)

Do you need topsoil to lay turf?

Topsoil or compost is important to fill in the edges so your turf can take root properly. If the ground is bare, it will pull the turf away from the ground and weaken it.

That’s why turf needs a soft surface to take root in the ground. This is where topsoil comes in handy because it provides that soft, nourished surface for your patch.

What do you put under turf before laying?

Before you lay turf, apply pre turf fertilizer to make sure it grows healthy and strong in its new patch. You can find this at garden stores or home improvement stores.

Make sure not to use too much, though, because excess fertilizer might burn the lawn and prevent growth.

Can you lay turf on top of old grass?

It is not recommended to lay turf over old grass because it will prevent proper rooting. The grass under the turf might pull it up and weaken its roots.

It is much easier to prepare the ground again before installing your lawn. That way, you can ensure that everything takes root properly and in good health.

How long does turf take to root?

Turf takes about two weeks to root. It is important not to walk on your turf or disturb its growth by pulling it up during this time.

Make sure to pat down the soil around your patch, so the upper layer doesn’t get loose, and pull your turf away from the ground.

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Can you lay turf directly on soil?

Turf needs a soft surface to take root on, so you should first lay some topsoil or compost on the patch.

This will create a nourishing environment for your turf to grow strong roots.

If there’s no pre-turfed soil, make sure to put down some fill-in soil before laying it out.

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While you can use grass seeds to patch up your lawn, turf is a much more efficient and long-term solution. Knowing how to patch lawn with turf will save you time and money.

It will also ensure that your lawn will stay green and lush throughout the summer. Although it requires some work to get it started, having healthy turf is always worth it.

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