Turf laying is relatively simple and can certainly be carried our by any home owner or aspiring gardener with time to spare. Laying the turf yourself can save you money and in many cases, you will do a better job than a hasty landscape gardener, working on a set price for the job. It is essential that you keep your patience and do not rush to finish it yourself.
The most important step in laying your new lawn is to ensure the ground is prepared perfectly. To do this preparation, you should brake down the top couple of inches of soil with a rotovator to obtain a fine tilth, this will ensure that you can rake through it and level it easily. Rake the soil with a wide landscapers rake, removing any large rocks or debris. Tread the area in with your feet to firm up the topsoil before raking again. You may need to use a smaller rake to scrub any hard lumps. Repeat the raking and treading, raking any high lumps in to the hollows until the area is perfectly flat and firm.
If your soil is very poor, you will need to buy some topsoil. Make sure you buy sandy loam topsoil from a reputable supplier. 1 metric ton should cover 30sq (36 square yards) Meters to the depth of 25mm (1 inch).
When selecting your turf type and turf supplier, you should ensure you are buying from a reputable, modern turf farm. Modern machinery and processes ensure the turf is perfectly uniformed and harvested evenly with clean cut edges. The type of turf should be selected to suit your purpose and you should be careful to avoid buying a very fine turf if you need it to be highly wear tolerant. Just remember that you usually get what you pay for so don't be tempted by the cheapest option.
Now you have prepared your area and bought your turf, you can start to lay it. Start laying along the longest straight edge or if the garden does not have any long straight edge to work from, you can lay your own straight row through the middle of the area. Once you have laid one straight row, place planks or boards on top of the turf so that you can walk on the planks/boards to avoid making pits in the turf or soil. To start the second row, you should cut a turf in half so that the turf joints are staggered. Make sure that you but the edges of the turf together tightly but do not overlap them. Continue to lay your turf row by row and at the end of each row you can cut your turf to fit the area with a sharp knife or an edger. Once your area is completely covered in turf, water it immediately until it is moist all the way through the turf to the soil below. Continue to water twice a day for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, you can mow your new lawn and providing the area dry, you can use your lawn immediately. (It will take a further few weeks to get a good root structure so don't use the lawn if it's wet or if the ground feels soft.)
A final tip to ensure the ongoing health of your lawn is to fertilize it on a regular basis. You should use an NPK fertilizer which contains nitrogen for growth and color, Phosphorus for health within the root and the sward and Potassium especially important for winter health.