Tools To Help You Achieve Perfect Turf

There are a number of tools to help you achieve perfect garden turf. See our list below for a list of tools to help you get there.


A lawnmower is essential to keeping up with lawn maintenance. There are different types available. You can choose between rotary or cylinder blades and many collect grass clippings as you mow. Many lawn mowers available are gas powered with more environmentally friendly lawnmowers also available.

Lawn Mower

Mow Turf Regularly

String Trimmer:

A string trimmer allows you to cut turf in areas that your lawn mower can’t reach. They are excellent to cut turf around walls, fences and patios especially useful around tight corners and when turf is overgrown. The turf is cut using a nylon string that rotates at high speed.

String Trimmer

Trim Hard To Reach turf

Edging Shears:

Edging shears are excellent tool to help you achieve a neatly edged garden turf and make trimming easy. Push the soil away from the turf edge and use the shears like scissors with only the cutting blade moving with the other blade keeping static.

Turf Edger

Trim Turf With an Edger


The besom is a useful alternative to a stiff broom. It uses a coarse brushwood to effectively sweep leaves off the surface of your garden turf in fall, remove grass clippings after mowing and sweeping top dressing into the holes after aeration. Besoms can be made by tying brushwood to a sturdy stick.


Use a Besom on Turf

Spring-tined Rake:

Wire-tined rakes are used to remove dead pieces of turf at the base of the plants known as thatch. To use vigorously scratch at the surface of the soil and should be used twice in two different directions.

String Tined Rake

Use a String Tined Rake


A switch is essentially a long, extended “whippy” rod, which is brushed over your lawn turf in a circular sweeping motion to remove the dew from the turf each morning to help your lawn turf to dry out. Using a switch is to help deter fungus and diseases which thrive in moist conditions and is also beneficial when it comes to ensuring that you only mow on a dry surface. It is ideal to dry turf that is under a shady area as the turf won’t dry out naturally.

Switch Tool

Switch Tool To Remove Morning Dew

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Looking after Turf in Shade

The majority of garden turf types require four to six hours of full sun each day to ensure that they remain healthy and thrive without sun the turf can deteriorate and become less resilient and prone to disease.

There are a number ways to maintain turf that is under shade:

Cut your trees back

You could firstly consider removing some of the surrounding trees to help increase the amount of light through to your garden. Where this is not possible try to move overhanging branches. Many experts believe that it is highly beneficial to have a turf-free zone of at least 1m around the base of the tree to prevent surrounding turf and the tree competing for the same water.

Turf Under Shade

Turf Under Shade


When it comes to mowing your turf you will need to cut turf that is under shade much less frequently and ideally no shorter than 6cm. Where possible it is preferred to keep turf cut as high as 7.5-9cm and always remove the clippings after mowing.

Keep Turf Longer In Shade

Keep Turf Longer In Shade


When watering lawn turf under shade it is a good practice to irrigate heavily and infrequently to encourage the trees to root deeply. This will help to reduce the extent that the turf and the trees compete.

Watering Turf Covered by Shade

Watering Turf Covered by Shade


Lawn turf covered by shade are best fed during Autumn. Lawn feeds with high potassium (K) are highly beneficial to turf growing in the shade. It is also a good practice to feed lawns in early spring before the tree have begun to leaf.

Feed Turf in Spring and Autumn

Feed Turf in Spring and Autumn

Controlling Moss

Where turf is covered by shade, moss will generally grow and flourish over turf as cool, moist and shady conditions are what moss thrives on. Chemical treatments provide a short term solution due to the turf being covered under shade.

Control Moss

Control Moss


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Tips For Laying and Watering Newly Laid Turf

Ensure that you are well prepared and organised when it comes to laying turf to ensure that you are only laying fresh turf. Once you have laid new garden turf it is an ideal practice to water your turf in order to allow it to survive especially during dry spells. Here we have 10 useful tips for you to use when laying and then watering newly laid turf.

1. Before you begin laying new garden turf you may want to consider using a soil conditioner to increase the soil’s water retention capability.

2. When laying turf ensure that you only have as much turf delivered as you are able to lay in a day to avoid turf from drying out and you are only laying the freshest possible turf.

3. Be organised and well prepared by ensuring you have fully prepared your area for turfing to allow you to start laying as soon as your local turf supplier delivers turf to your door.

Prepared Area For Turf Laying

Prepared Area For Turf Laying

4. If you are laying turf on a hot day keep turf in a cool shaded area to keep it from drying out.

5. Dampen the ground just before you lay.

6. Tap down on the turf lightly as you lay your turf to ensure you the turf makes good contact with the soil.

7. As son as you have completed laying your area with turf, begin watering your turf immediately. Ensure that the soil is damp to a depth of 100mm. Thereafter, try to keep the turf and the soil it lays on damp. You will be able to keep an eye on this by turning up a corner of the turf but at the same time you will want to avoid over watering your turf.

Watering Turf

Water Turf After Laying

8. The next few days after you have completed laying turf will require you to water in only the early morning or the evening. Watering in the heat of the sun will allow the water evaporate before it’s had a chance to sink into the soil.

9. As essential as it is to water your turf it is important to not over water or flood your garden turf. This creates boggy conditions encouraging moss and grass diseases to develop.

10. Over the next 28 days water less and less frequently.

After the next 28 days you should find your turf well established and will require less care from you and only having the need to be watered during spells of hot weather.

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Tips For Mowing Turf

Mowing turf is one of the most important elements to gaining a perfect lawn turf. Here we have listed a number of tips to help you achieve this:

To Trim or Mow First

1. Many experts in growing and harvesting turf will tell you that before you begin mowing turf that you should you need to trim the edges of your lawn turf first. By trimming first you are creating clippings that that can be mulched by the mower. You can however mow first and then trim. By mowing turf this way you can save time on trimming by utilising the mowers large cutting area.

Mowing Turf

Mowing Turf

Cut A Wide Collar

2. You will need to cut a wide collar which is the border that you mow around the perimeter of your turf first. Ensure you cut it wide enough to make it easy for you to turn the mower around.

Don’t Cut Too Short

3. It is essential that you do not cut your turf too short. Not only will you end up with bare and brown patches you are breaking down the structure of the grass and weakening it. Cutting your turf too short also ends up in encouraging weeds to grow through. To ensure that you can avoid this it is an ideal practice to cut your turf to between two to three inches.

Take Your Time

4. Take your time when mowing your garden turf. Rush jobs can lead to an uneven lawn and clumps of poorly mulched clippings.

Mow Straight Lines

Mow Straight Lines

Mow Straight Lines

5. To mow straighter lines, focus on a point roughly 10 meters in front of the mower.

Leave Your Clippings

6. Leave your clippings and mulch as they fall. Mulching puts the grass particles back into the turf and provides essential nutrients such as nitrogen back into the soil.

Tur Mulch

Turf Mulch

Vary Your Pattern

7. As you mow your turf from week to week ensure that you alternate the direction that you’re mowing. Turf grows in the direction it is mowed. Varying your pattern will encourage your turf to grow straighter and healthier.

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Using a Rotavator

What is a Rotavator?

Rotavators are powerful pieces of equipment designed to break up, churn and aerate soil.

Rotavators use specially designed blades or rotors which spin to break up the soil. Many gardeners and landscapers will use Rotavators to improve drainage within the soil whilst levelling the area at the same time. This makes for an ideal area for laying turf or an area for growing vegetables and crops.


Using A Rotavator

Preparing your plot for a Rotavator?

Before you begin to use a Rotavator on your piece of land you will need to take into consideration the level of moisture in the soil, especially if the soil is compacted or if it has not been cultivated before.

Clay soils in particular behave differently to when they are wet to when they are dry. When clay soil is dry it becomes very hard and Rotavator will only be able to scrape away the very top surface of the soil. If the soil is too wet, the soil forms clods when using a Rotavator. The clods then become like small rocks when they dry out.

Using a Rotavator

Prepare Your Plot

To prepare the area of land that you want to use the Rotavator on, you will need to water the area for a few hours, three to four days prior to using the Rotavator. You can check to see if the water has drained enough for you to begin using the Rotavator by making a six inch deep hole and picking up a handful of soil from the bottom and then squeezing it into a ball. The soil you have just picked up should be easy to break using just one finger. If the soil indents rather than breaking the soil isn’t quite dry enough. Keep checking until the soil breaks easily.

You will also need to ensure that you have completely removed any weeds from your area. If you use the Rotavator through an area where weeds are prominent, they can often get caught up on the Rotavators blades and spread across your plot, creating an even bigger weed problem.

Using the Rotavator safely.

Rotavatos are powerful pieces of gardening equipment and should be used with the utmost care. Ensure that you keep your feet and hands away from the rotators at all times. Take your time when using the Rotavator, allowing you to be in control at all times. Ideally use ear defenders and padded gloves for added protection. Rotavators will buck and gyrate whilst moving over the soil, so try to stay relaxed and avoid tensing up as this can cause muscular injuries.

Using a Rotavator on an area of land

Use a Rotavator Safely

Rotavate your area of land in strips, overlapping slightly with a previous strip as you move over the area. Go over your stops two to three times, continue to repeat the process at right angles to your original strips. Avoid digging down more than 2-3 inches deep on the first pass, then set the Rotavator to dig deeper after each time you pass over a strip.

Keep an eye on our blog for more up to date gardening how to’s and turf tips to help you in your garden.

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How to prevent weeds growing in your garden turf

There are many steps that need to be taken to be able to achieve the perfect garden turf. As well as mowing and watering your turf it is essential to take necessary measures to rid your turf of weeds that are trying to grow through your garden turf.

Plan your approach:

There isn’t a general one step process to completely killing off weeds in your garden turf due to the wide variety of weeds that exist. This can also be dependent on the type of turf you have in your garden.

Generally speaking lawn weeds fall under three different categories; unwanted grasses, grass like plants commonly known as sedges and broad leaf plants. The majority of weeds are either annuals or perennials. The difference between them is that, annual weeds complete there life cycle in one season and reproduce from seeds whereas perennial weeds can survive over several years and spread underneath your turf, they can also reproduce from seed which makes them a lot harder to control.

To prevent weeds from growing through your garden turf many experts and gardening enthusiasts will try to crowd out weeds by growing their lawn turf thicker. Here we have noted the best steps to put this into practice.


Firstly you will need to fertilise your lawn. It is important to use just enough fertiliser as too little can result in the fertiliser not working whereas too much can often benefit certain types of weeds such as annual Bluegrass. It is also essential to fertilise at just the right time of the season depending on your grass type.

Fertilising Turf

Fertilising Turf


The next step is to water grass infrequently and deeply. Watering your turf regularly can actually help many weeds grow whereas watering infrequently and often allows water to soak deep into the roots of your turf.

Watering Turf

Watering Turf


Mowing your garden turf too short can actually have a detrimental effect on the structure of your grass. Having your lawn turf cut higher at about 2-4 inches gives your turf the ability to produce nutrients.

Mowing Turf

Mowing Turf

Understanding weeds:

There are many occasions where weeds can be a sign of problems with your soil. It is ideal to know your soil pH levels so that you can favour it so the soil enhances your lawn turf rather than benefiting weeds.

Garden Weeds

Garden Weeds

Keep a close eye on our blog as we will update it with a variety of tips to help you achieve the perfect garden turf throughout the year.

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How to make best use of your turf clippings

Now we are in the season where you will be mowing your turf regularly it is important to note the benefits your grass clippings can have instead of throwing them away. Here we are going to list some of the ways to recycle clippings (from grass that has not been treated with pesticides or herbicides) as a result of mowing your turf in a more environmental friendly way.

Animal Food

Grass clippings from your garden turf are an excellent food source of nutrients for farm animals such as sheep or cows as well as household pets like rabbits and guinea pigs. As well as being a healthy resource of food for animals it is a great way of saving you money on shop bought animal food. Ensure that you keep the turf clippings dry and not allowed to ferment as this can be detrimental to the animals.

Grass Clippings

Grass Clippings


Garden turf clippings are a great source of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Adding the clippings to your compost can be of great benefit as the lawn turf clippings act as green matter to brown matter after they have been dried. Many experts recommend 1 part green matter to 2 parts brown for successful composting.


By spreading a covering of dried turf clippings you can significantly reduce the amount of watering required by trees, bushes and other plants in your garden. As the grass decomposes it is able to mix into the soil to provide a source of enrichment.

Garden Turf Clippings

Garden Turf Clippings

Weed Control

Lawn turf clippings can also serve as a greener form of weed control. By using your turf clippings to cover the soil where your turf isn’t as thick, the lawn turf clippings act as a block to deter any weeds from growing through thus avoiding the need for environmentally dangerous herbicides. To ensure this method of weed control has minimum benefit to you it is ideal to pull out the roots of any weeds which have already grown through your turf.

There are many methods that you can use to help you achieve the perfect garden turf. Keep an eye on our blog as we will post a host of helpful resources to to help you get the perfect lawn.

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5 of the best garden gadgets

There are many different gadgets and apps on the market today built to help us enhance and develop our garden. Here we have selected few of the very best that can help you design, plan and upkeep our back garden.

1. The Koubachi Plant Sensor

You won’t forget to water your plants or your garden turf again, the Koubachi Plant Sensor is a small device that has a sensor which pairs with an app by using your home WI-FI. The Koubachi Plant sensor reminds users when to water their plants. It uses a light and temperature sensor that detects when the plants need water most and ensures that they don’t go thirsty.

Koubachi Plant Sensor
Koubachi Plant Sensor


There aren’t many better apps on the market than the ISCAPE. By using ISCAPE on your tablet or smartphone device it allows you to take a photo of your garden area, the app will then render the photo into 3D. You will then be able add in virtual objects ranging from ponds and fencing to patio furniture and planting areas.



3. Honda Miimmo

There are many robot mowers on the market that allow you to sit back and relax while the self automated machine takes care of your lawn turf. The Honda MIIMO isn’t cheap but reduces your cuttings to dust and can easily climb a 24 degree slope for those who have extra hilly gardens. You do have to wire off your turf with steel wire before you start using the robot turf mower to allow it to work out the parameters of your garden.



4. Garden Plan Pro

Another app to help you plan your gardening . The Garden Plan Pro pin points your location using GPS. By using GPS the app gives you advice as to where in your garden certain plants will grow best and also tells you what to plant next to it. It also uses a calendar to determine when to plant different plants to ensure that you can harvest them during the appropriate seasons.

Garden Plan Pro

Garden Plan Pro

5.  Chief Architect: Home Designer

This piece of computer software is a lite version of software used by professional garden designers. It allows you to design a complete overhaul of your garden using 3D software allowing you to renovate your turf area until you reach a design that you’re happy with.

Chief Architect: Home Designer

Chief Architect: Home Designer

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The Garden Turf Blog

Welcome to the Turf in Hertfordshire’s blog. Here we will be posting news from the gardening world as well as informative tips and tricks on achieving the perfect garden lawn.

From design and creation to managing your lawn throughout the seasons we will supply a host of useful resources for you to enjoy and adapt to suit the needs of your garden.


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