Laying turf on clay soil

Do I need to improve the drainage of my clay soil before laying turf?

Asked by Carherine on 23rd Sep 2022
Expert Trade Answers
"As long as your area is flat the application process/build up for your turf will be fine. Consult a landscaper or feel free to send me pictures"
Answered on 1st Nov 2022 - Member since Nov 2022 - report
"Hi , if your question is can you lay turf on clay then I wouldn't suggest doing so, when I lay fresh turf I like to use 100mm of top soil all over unless the grounds are decent enough to lay on i.e not clay.
If the area your covering is a large area I would also suggest digging 1 maybe 2 soakaways (6ft hole with 2 crates wrapped in a special membrane and placed in the hole followed by 1 to 2 bulk bags of 10mm pea shingle) and burying them in your garden with around a ft or so soil over the top before you lay the turf,this allows for somewhere for the water to go.
You can even better that by running some pipes with little holes in them underground to the soakaways.
If you do have a large area and its clay,without the correct drainage your lawn wont last, it will bog out over the winter months and starve your lawn of oxygen, you will potentially drown your grass, please look into proper drainage as you will be more than disappointed during the winter months,any questions please feel free to ask."
Answered on 26th Sep 2022 - Member since Aug 2022 - report
"Clay holds water so it would be good to improve it ."
Answered on 25th Sep 2022 - Member since Aug 2021 - report
"It is always a good idea to add sharp sand to clay soil to improve drainage"
Answered on 24th Sep 2022 - Member since Sep 2022 - report
"Prior to laying turf on clay soils, you need to improve the structure of your soil. This can be done by installing a drainage system and capping the area with light top soil (50mm or more), or incorporating plenty of sand into your soil (80% of the resulting soil should be sand)."
Answered on 28th Nov 2022 - Member since Nov 2022 - report
"Yes. Basically. For the reasons stated above. How? Id suggeet 50-100mm of grit sand on top of the clay, then at least 100mm of compost enriched top soil. The organic matter in this will help break the clay down and feed the grass with nutrients.

You may need to digger for some excavating to allow for this.

If you do go down the land drain route , do consider the impact of such drainage on neighbouring properties... with legal implications."
Answered on 24th Sep 2022 - Member since Aug 2022 - report
"Hi slightly tricky one a number of factors to consider as a clay soil can be a little helpful in times of very little rain but also a bit of a problem in wetter times the trick is going to be in your choice of grass I would personally just turn over the existing soil lightly whilst adding a little soil conditioner which is NOT peat based then hire a cement mixed and mix 20% sharp sand with a good quality compost contains peat and your choice of grass seed depending on what the lawn is going to have to deal with then spread an even layer over and screed over with a trowel or a very light roll allow for growth to come at least 3 weeks depending upon weather keep moist then a very light cut and will start to thicken don’t be shy with the seed I know iseems like a bit of work but results will be great. Scotty Greenkeeper"
Answered on 23rd Sep 2022 - Member since Apr 2022 - report
"Yes with clay it will need to drainage or soak away Due to clay holding to much water and can cause rot to the turf and roots not to breath"
Answered on 23rd Sep 2022 - Member since Feb 2022 - report
"Yes you need to Spike the ground where you intend to lay the turf. Perhaps lay a layer of sand and then the turf on top in a brickwork fashion."
Answered on 23rd Sep 2022 - Member since Sep 2021 - report
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