How to use a Turf Cutter and why do I need one?

Turf cutter hire near me

Is your garden lawn looking tired and in desperate need of tender loving care? If you answered YES then NOW is the perfect time to start planning the rejuvenation of your lawn with a turf cutter….

so what is a turf cutter I hear you say?

Well….a turf cutter is a self-propelled turf removal machine that cuts into layers of grass and soil to reveal the ground and soil underneath. Once you’ve used the turf cutter, you will be left with long strips of grass and a small layer of soil held together by the roots. This is commonly referred to as the ‘sod’ or ‘turf’.

These handy machines provide the easiest and most efficient way to remove large areas of turf in preparation for:

  • Landscaping and gardening projects.
  • Cable and pipe laying.
  • Relocating some grass in your back garden or job site.
turf cutting

If you like HARD work you could remove the grass by hand, but this takes a lot of back breaking work with a spade. To do this you would need to make vertical cuts into the soil with a spade cutting the grass into segments, then slide your spade horizontally separating the roots from the grass. This process is tedious, messy and quite frankly a lot of HARD WORK. The end result is you are left with is a sore back and an uneven soil surface, filled with divots.

How is the grass removed?

Once you have used the turf cutter on the grass at the desired depth, you will be left with long carpet-like strips of grass. You can simply cut them into lengths, roll them up into manageable pieces and carry them away to either dispose of or replant elsewhere.

Can I replant turf left over from the turf cutter?

Yes, you can use a turf cutter to remove the turf layer from your lawn and replant it again. To do this you will need to make sure the turf cutter is set to the right depth to ensure it’s collecting enough of the root system and not leaving half the roots behind. If the turf cutter is not cutting deep enough, just adjust the depth and continue. You will need to keep the ground moist and for best results, you will need to prepare your ground properly before replanting your turf.

Can I use a turf cutter to remove weeds?

Not totally. Turf cutters use a thin blade that slides along under the grass separating it from the soil beneath. The machine will cut through almost everything leaving some larger roots of the weeds behind. You can remove the top layer of grass and weeds, but you may have some roots left over. These will most likely grow back if you don’t poison them or dig them up entirely.

How do I use a turf cutter?

  • Make sure your lawn has been trimmed short and you’ve removed any objects such as stones or rubble as this will damage the turf cutter. You can do this by hiring one of our brush cutters or lawn mowers.
  • Once you’ve done this using a basic garden fork, test the depth of your lawn to make sure it’s at least 25mm deep – IF IT’S NOT then you will not be able to use a turf cutting machine.
  • Next set the blade angle and depth. Normally you want to ensure the blade angle is set to flat and the depth is roughly 20mm deep.
  • Adjust the throttle to suit your walking pace.
  • Engage the blade and activate the dead man switch. This will start to drive the turf cutter forward and start cutting into your lawn.

Top Tips
If the turf cutter is not cutting deep enough, simply adjust the depth of the blade. For best results make sure to soften the turf by watering it beforehand. A quick test to see if it is soft enough is to insert your thumb to the first knuckle into the ground. If you can, then it’s ready to work with. Cutting into hard, dry ground can slow down your job and can even cause damage to the machine.

There are a few signs that you don’t have your turf cutter blade set to the right depth, for example:

  • The grass layer is falling apart as you try to pick it up – this might mean you are cutting too high and need to set the blade a little lower below the roots and soil layer.
  • Grass roots are still visible in the soil – to avoid this you can set the blade to cut slightly deeper into the soil – aiming to cut beneath the grass roots.

Where can I get a turf cutter?
This is the easy bit. You can hire a turf cutter from GW Tool & Plant Hire from a day to a week or a few weeks.

Remember we will deliver all types of machinery or tools across Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire.