Can you lay turf on top of grass? Experts reveal the secret to a healthy, luscious lawn

Look this way if you're considering a lazier approach to laying turf...

A bright green lawn in an English garden
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can you lay turf on top of grass? If you're the kind of person who likes to work smarter, not harder, it's a question that's likely crossed your mind at least once as you've perused your favourite lawn ideas – especially now the summer weather is making all of our garden jobs such hot and sweaty experiences!

Everyone knows that one of the best lawn care tips out there is knowing when to lay turf, of course. Knowing how best to do it, though – and, specifically, which sneaky shortcuts you can feasibly take without ruining your new grass – is high on our list of priorities, too.

So, exactly how lazy can you get when it comes to laying turf? Here's what you need to know....

Can you lay turf on top of grass?

Now, cards on the table: most experts will advise that you avoid laying turf on top of grass, as it may struggle to thrive.

That being said, it can be done if you have no other option – so long as you take care to adhere to the following tips...

1. Prepare the area

A back garden with a green lawn and a view of the back of the house and the kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

If you want to lay turf on grass, it's important you thoroughly prepare the area before you begin.

'Clear any debris, rocks, or weeds from the existing grass to create a smooth surface,' says Peter Chaloner, managing director of Cobra.

'And be sure to use an electric aerator to aerate the soil beneath the existing grass to promote better root growth for the new turf.'

2. Mow the lawn

It might be No Mow May, but you should absolutely mow your lawn before you set to work laying turf on existing grass.

'You'll want to trim the existing grass as short as possible before laying the turf to allow better contact with the soil surface,' explains Peter.

3. Lay your turf tightly

Lawn with border plants and small outdoor seating area

(Image credit: Future PLC/Peter Chatterton)

If you want to lay turf on top of grass, you'll need to take care to 'lay the turf rolls tightly together, ensuring no gaps between them, and stagger the seams in a brickwork pattern to create a natural appearance,' advises Peter.

'Then, use a garden roller from Amazon to press the turf firmly into the soil.'

4. Set up a watering schedule

One of the biggest garden watering mistakes you can make is failing to keep your new turf hydrated while the grass establishes itself.

'After installing the turf, give it a good watering to help the roots establish,' says Petter. 'Keep the turf consistently moist for the first few weeks until it becomes established, but avoid overwatering as it can suffocate grass roots and lead to bigger problems later down the line.'

He adds that you should keep a close eye on the newly laid turf and 'address any signs of pest, diseases, or wilted growth quickly to ensure a healthy, luscious lawn'.


Can you place grass on top of grass?

'While it's technically possible to lay turf on top of grass, it's generally not recommended,' says Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the co-directors at Gardens Revived.

Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the directors of Gardens Revived
Christopher O'Donoghue

A gardener with over a decade of experience under his belt, Christopher set up Gardens Revived with his brother, Andrew, in 2018 to create a thriving family business. Together, they have worked on residential gardens, listed buildings and gardens, flower shows and large estates with some exceeding 70 acres – many with historical significance.

'The existing grass can compete with the new turf for nutrients and water, potentially leading to uneven growth and patchy results,' he continues.

'It's usually best to remove the existing grass and prepare the soil properly before laying down new turf for optimal results.'

What happens if you lay turf on grass?

While you can lay turf on top of grass, it's by no means a shortcut, as you will have to adhere to a number of steps – such as preparing the area and mowing the existing lawn – to ensure the new grass a) makes contact with the soil, and b) that it grows well.

That being said, you're likely not going to achieve the best possible result. Therefore, it's best to avoid it if you can.

So, can you lay turf on grass? While the short answer is that it's not advisable, you absolutely can if you've no other option available – just be sure to put the graft in first, or it'll never take.

Good luck...

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.