Turf preperation Dilemma due to rain

Hi, I hope you're all well. I am new to this forum so please go easy. I am in need of some advice. I have 270 square metres of turf coming on Saturday and I was in the process of Rotavating the lawn, levelling and then adding 20m3 of bs certified topsoil. Now unfortunately I only managed to level half the garden and it started to rain. It looks set to stay wet up until Saturday when we need to lay it. What do you think I should do. Should I try and add the topsoil and turf on Saturday? If I don't, the turf will die. So I am in a bit of a dilemma. 
Please find images attached of our ground prep so far.

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

Email me when people reply –


  • PRO

    Is putting the job back due to weather an option?

    Make the call tomorrow to turf supplier, the probably won't even cut/lift it till Friday.

    • Hi. Thanks for replying to my post. To be honest, I have work booked in after the weekend so not actually sure when I would be able to fit it.

      • I'm sure you could postpone the turf till the weather improves........ even  if you are booked up, I'm sure you could move a less urgent job or do it perhaps in the evening? I really wouldn't attempt it with everything so wet............. you could end up with a right mess with neither you or the customer being happy.

  • PRO

    Hi Lee

    So you didn't trust my advice then:)

    Here's what I wrote in my email reply to you this afternoon:

    "First of all, don't try to rush the process otherwise you won't get the finish you're looking for.

    Turf will keep for a while so there's no immediate panic. Why not lay what you can on Saturday - use scaffold boards and/or plywood sheets to lay on the soil and/or turf as you lay. This way you won't get ruts by walking over prepared ground or laid turf - and if you're forced to wait another week to lay the rest then I don't see a problem.

    Just make sure that the unlaid turf is kept out of the sun and is not allowed to dry out (although don't water the rolls) Just keep the rolls in a stack and cover with something that doesn't let light through. A plywood sheet, an old carpet or hessian sack cloth is OK. If it's the latter you may be wise to keep the cloth moist.

    After a week the remaining turf that you will still have to lay WILL have started to yellow. Don't be concerned. This is a result of a lack of sunlight. It's the root-zone that is important and as long as the turf has not started to rot then you should be OK. Believe it or not, I've laid turf over two weeks after it had been delivered.

    The yellowed turf will not look right against the freshly laid turf of the previous week. Rest assured that after a while the yellow turf will go green and catch up. Just treat the whole lawn in the same way. Don't be tempted to fertilise the yellow turf to green it up. Be patient and only fertilise the (whole) lawn once you're certain that the turves have rooted through sufficiently - this is normally gauged when you physically can't pull a turf from the soil.

    This advice is given in good faith and I accept no responsibility for any loss should you decide to follow it (sorry, had to add that:)

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing the end result."

    • Hi Phil. I hope I did not offend you. I was just asking around as people's advice are really different. 

      Thanks again though for posting your reply. I believe this will be what I try. I am just worried about the muddy mess I will have to lay my turf onto. To be honest, I am just scared full stop. Eeek

      • PRO

        Hi Lee

        Not offended at all.

        Of course, re-scheduling is a good option too. Can you split the delivery so that you can make the most of this Saturday and do the rest at a slightly later date?

        • Hi Phil. Yay you're not offended. I don't know how you pro's live with the emotions coursed by the weather. Today is meant to be cloudy but is sunny, some forecasts say friday it is raining all day others it's just cloudy. If it rains all day tomorrow I want to reschedule, if it's just cloudy I want to go ahead. I need to decide asap but the weather changed so quickly. Next weekend supposed to be dry for 3 days
          • PRO

            BTW the photo you sent to me didn't show the puddling that the ones you uploaded do.

            Just be a bit careful that you don't turn the soil into soup.

            Having said that, turf is very resilient and will root into most root-zone conditions. If you do make any mistakes you can rectify the root-zone area after with some remedial maintenance. Even the most compacted of soils is capable or regaining/forming a perfectly acceptable soil structure, in time.

            • Hi Phil. The photo was taken again later after it had rained all day so where I healed in after levelling this happened. These places were big holes which I tried to level. Would it need rotavating again possibly. I know people say grass is hardy and i want to belueve that myself, its just this is the largest area i have prepared so want to be really dilligent in the ground prep. Again, thanks for your help and to all the members of this site. You are all so willing to help. I really appreciate it. You must be proud of the forum you created Phil.
    • PRO

      Top advice Phil. 

      I'll be keeping that in my for my self if ever needed.

This reply was deleted.

Landscape industry Jobs

Landscape Construction Manager

Job Summary We are an established garden design and build company looking for an experienced and enthusiastic Landscape Construction Manager. This is a hands-on role which involves building high end garden designs and overseeing the on site team.… Continue

Apprentice Landscape Gardeners

The Outdoor Room is a multi award winning garden design and construction company.  We are passionate about designing, creating and caring for beautiful gardens and landscapes.  Our knowledgeable, experienced and creative team offers a professional,… Continue

Skilled hard Landscaper

We require an experienced and well-presented landscaper capable of leading a small team. They must have at least 3 years’ experience in a broad range of hard and soft landscaping including paving, decking, groundworks, brick and blockwork,… Continue

Garden Maintenance Operative

The Outdoor Room is a multi award winning garden design and construction company.  We are passionate about designing, creating and caring for beautiful gardens and landscapes.  Our knowledgeable, experienced and creative team offers a professional,… Continue

LJN Sponsor