Spring is finally here! Many of us may be thinking of preparing the garden for all those fun summer activities that are to come. If the thought of an instant green lawn sounds appealing, laying real turf may just be the ideal option.

But wait! Stop and think before putting on your gardening boots. Real turf requires certain conditions to settle properly. So, when is the best time to lay turf? The short answer is – technically, you can lay sod at any time of year. However, for best results, you should lay turf during autumn or early spring. Want to know why? Read on!

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So, if you are:

  • Thinking of laying real turf in your garden;
  • Wondering when to lay turf;
  • Curious about what the ideal conditions for laying sod are,

Then this article will answer your questions!

The perfect conditions for laying turf

Like any other plant, grass needs care and attention to grow and be healthy. For new turf to establish its roots well, you need to provide specific conditions. The best time to lay turf will depend entirely on where you live. However, there are some rules that apply all around.

To promote strong root growth, the temperatures must be mild. If it’s too cold, the roots can freeze and die before they have time to establish. Too hot, and your new lawn can dry out and you’d have to start all over again. Mild, warm temperatures encourage root growth and provide the ideal conditions for your grass to comfortably establish itself.

Apart from the weather, the level of soil moisture also plays a major role in how well new turf will grow.

Warm, damp soil promotes root growth. Make sure you water your lawn regularly, but don’t overdo it. Waterlogged soil will prevent the roots from growing in deep enough, making the grass easier to damage and affecting adversely the level of air circulation and nutrients it needs.

If you want to know more about preparing your garden for turfing, check out this helpful post on how to level soil.

What time of year is best to lay turf?

So, when is the best time to lay turf?

Most commonly, gardeners lay new sod in autumn, with spring being the runner-up. This is with good reason, too, as these seasons provide the best conditions for your new lawn to establish its roots. While you can technically lay turf at any time of year, summer and winter should be avoided, as the weather can be too harsh for new grass to comfortably grow.

Laying turf in spring

Spring is one of the best times of year to lay turf. During this season, plants naturally grow and flowers blossom. The soil in spring is just warming up, making it easy to work with and perfect for roots to grow. The temperature of the air and ground is not too hot or cold, meaning your grass won’t struggle.

If you make sure that the soil is moist enough, turf will easily establish. This should prove easy, as spring brings frequent showers, which means you’ll need less time, effort and money to maintain your lawn.

If possible, try not to walk on your new turf for the first few weeks, as the roots will still need some time to settle.

Laying turf in summer

While laying turf in summer is, in fact, possible, the circumstances are far from perfect. The soil is too hot and dries out a lot quicker. You would basically need to provide the grass with spring conditions for it to settle properly.

This requires frequent watering and using a fertiliser to help it grow. If you decide to lay turf during summer, prepare the soil before the rolls arrive, as they will dry out fast if you leave them out.

Plants slow down their root growth during summer. This means no walking on the lawn for the first 3-4 weeks. Give your grass enough time to establish safely.

Laying turf in autumn

Autumn is undoubtedly the best time to lay turf. All through September and the beginning of October are the recommended months. The conditions are ideal, as during this season plants grow their roots as deep and quick as possible, preparing for the winter months. This makes for a strong, well-established lawn by spring and summer, allowing for all those fun outdoor activities we love.

As with spring, the soil is just warm enough to help healthy roots settle. The frequent rain in autumn saves you some time and money, too, as you will not need to water the lawn as often. Grass blades also grow slower at this time, meaning you will need to do less mowing, as well.

Laying turf in winter

Winter is perhaps the most difficult time of year to lay turf. This season is way too harsh for the grass, which will grow very slowly. The cold weather makes frozen or waterlogged ground a risk. If you do decide to try and lay sod during winter, make sure this isn’t the case. Cold, wet soil is very difficult to work with and does not provide great conditions for your grass to settle.

While turf will stay fresh longer in winter due to the cold, rolls that are left outside too long can freeze and get damaged.

You mustn’t walk on your lawn at this time, as the turf will not have established its roots yet and it could get damaged. If possible, just wait for early spring before rolling out the sod.

Is your lawn in need of new turf?

Don’t worry! Fantastic Services can do that for you. We offer professional laying of real and artificial turf. The experts can clear your garden and lay the turf rolls neatly. We can even provide a maintenance service. Enjoy the benefits of a fresh, green lawn with just a few clicks! No need to get your hands dirty – the professionals will handle all the hard work instead!

Keep your lawn fresh all year round! Find out about our turf laying service here.

Learn more


  • Autumn and spring are the best times of year to lay turf;
  • Laying sod in summer and winter is possible, but can be difficult and is not recommended;
  • The perfect conditions for laying turf are mild, warm temperatures, moist soil and low foot traffic;
  • With proper aftercare and maintenance, you can enjoy a fresh, green lawn all year.


Did we miss anything? Do you have any turf laying tips? Share them with us in the comments below!

Image source: shutterstock / Alexander Raths

  • Last update: April 15, 2020

Posted in All About the Lawn, Garden Advice

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