How Much Do Gardeners Charge to Lay Turf? A Breakdown of Costs

by Daniel Hunter

Do you want to create a new lawn from turf but have no desire to do it yourself, despite my super-duper expert guides? Then you’ll need to hire a gardener to do it.

But how much do gardeners charge to lay turf?

In this article, I’ll break down the individual costs of turfing a lawn. That way you’ll have at least some idea of what you can roughly expect to pay to have the job done for a lawn of your size.

Beware though, depending on the job, the cost can escalate. So I’ll do my best to cover everything you need to consider before hiring a gardener.

I’ll also show you 5 ways you can reduce the cost of having your garden turfed.

And for the sake of simplicity, I’ll base my calculations on an average-sized lawn of  50m². But you’ll be able to calculate a rough cost for your garden.


The average cost for a gardener to supply, prepare and lay turf is £1,200 – £1,500 for an average 50m² lawn. Depending on the work that needs doing like preparation and laying, you can expect it to take 2-3 days.

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How Much Does Turf Cost?

a roll of turf
Type of TurfApprox. Cost (50m2)
Budget£100 – £150
Hard-Wearing£200 – £250
Premium£200 – £250
Shady£250 – £300
Ornamental£350 – £400
Wildflower£750 – £1,000

Turf prices are typically calculated by the square metre. Prices can vary in a big way, depending on the type you choose, the quality and where you get it from. Choosing the best type of turf for your garden will make it easier for your gardener to give you an accurate quote.

So let’s have a look at the different types;

Budget Turf

The cheapest turf is an OK choice if you’re on a budget, or if all you need is a soft surface for the kids to play on.

You can buy it for £2 – £3 per square meter.

That said, when it comes to turf, the old cliche ‘you get what you pay for’ is true. I don’t buy cheap turf. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Hard-Wearing Turf

If you have a busy family and use the lawn every day, you’d be better spending a little more on hard-wearing turf. Especially if the kids use it as a football pitch or the charges around on it.

Expect to pay £4 – £5 per square meter.

Premium Turf

A perfect choice for lawns that receive moderate use.

Premium turf is most often a blend of Ryegrass and Fescues. These create that formal lawn that’ll make your neighbours jealous. At the same times, it’s able to cope with moderate wear and tear.

Again, expect to pay £4 – £5 per square meter.

Shady Lawn Turf

If shade cast by building and/or trees, covers your lawn for much of the day, shady lawn turf is the best option.

Shady turf is often very dense and looks sooooo good when it’s established. It also feels nice to walk on in bare feet (unless the dog has shat on it, that is NOT fun!)

This can cost between £5 – £6 per square meter.

Ornamental Turf

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a lawnsmith and want a bowling green of a lawn, ornamental turf is the way to go.

Costing around £7 – £8 per square meter, ornamental turf is expensive. Plus it takes a lot more looking after than other types. Only choose this type if you have the budget, time, knowledge and equipment to look after it.

Wildflower Turf

Want to create something a little different?

Wildflower turf grows to create a meadow-like area. Packed full of native wildflowers and grasses. A brilliant choice for attracting bees, insects and birds back into your garden.

It looks super nice when in bloom and it’s very low maintenance too.

That said, wildflower turf is expensive at around £15 – £20 a square meter.

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What Do Gardeners Charge For Laying Turf?

Labour cost will make up the majority of whatever you spend.

What can I say, we gotta eat!

Most landscape gardeners charge between £150 – £200 a day for their services. Some might work with a labourer so you can add another £100 per day. So labour costs can amount to around £250 – £300 a day.

Depending on where you live, this might be more, it might be less. Expect it to cost more the further south you live.

The amount of preparation work that needs doing will dictate how many days it’ll take. For example, if you’re replacing an existing lawn, the preparation will involve;

  • Removing the old turf
  • Rotavating the soil
  • Removing any stones, roots or rubble
  • Digging in organic matter or soil improver if it’s need
  • Adding topsoil if it’s needed
  • Levelling and firming the soil
  • Applying a pre-turfing fertiliser, and finally,
  • Laying the turf

For a 50m² lawn you could expect the whole job to take 2-3 days at a cost of £750 – £900 for the labour.

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Other Costs to Consider

Wouldn’t it be nice if the turf and the labour were the only costs you need to cover?

Well let me rain on your parade a little and let you know about other costs you might rack up.


Skip Hire

If you’re replacing an old lawn, you’ll need to get rid of the old turf. As well as any roots or rubble your gardener digs up while preparing the ground.

If you live in a new-build, chances are there’s more rubble than soil to get rid of.

In which case you might need to hire a skip which could add between £150 – £300 to the cost.


If the area you plan to cover with turf is uneven or full of crappy soil, you might need to add more topsoil.

Bringing in topsoil can add an extra £1,000 – £1,200 to the job.

For wildflower turf, you’ll need to remove the top 20cm of topsoil and replace it with poor quality soil. And this can be as expensive as the good stuff!

This is because wildflowers grow best in nutrient-deficient soil. Ordinary topsoil is often too rich in nutrients.

If this is the case, you’ll need to buy some crappy topsoil AND dispose of the other stuff, so refer to the cost of skip hire.

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Five Ways to Reduce the Cost of Laying Turf

Let’s face it, paying a gardener to lay turf ain’t cheap.

So what can you do to reduce the final cost?

Well, there are five things you can do;

1. Get Several Quotes

The difference in quotes you get from different tradesmen can be huge. As such, you should definitely get more than one quote.

I’ve seen people save as much as 40% by getting 3 or more quotes.

Click on the orange, ‘Get FREE Quotes’ button below and fill in the form to get quotes from up to 3 local gardeners.

It’s quick and easy to do;

  • You post your job and explain what you need doing
  • Up to three landscape gardeners will provide you with a quote
  • Review their prices and feedback before choosing the gardener you like best

It’s as simple as that!

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2. Negotiate on Price

Negotiating on price sometimes works, sometimes not.

It very much depends on your skill as a negotiator but it’s definitely worth trying, especially if you’ve got a big job.

When you have the turf laid could impact the price. For example, if you have it done during the winter, you might get a better price than you might in autumn. That’s because everyone else wants their lawns laying then. And autumn is a busy time for gardeners in general so there’s no benefit to them in offering a discount.

I’ve seen people save 5% – 10% by negotiating and I’ve given those kinds of discounts to people I’ve liked.

And please, don’t be a dick when negotiating, you’ll get nowhere.

3. Do the ‘Unskilled Labour’ Yourself

If the area where you want your new lawn to be needs clearing, you can do that yourself.

For example, you could;

  • Lift and remove old paving
  • Dismantle old decking
  • Kill and clear any weeds
  • Dig up any old turf
  • Clear any debris

None of these jobs requires any real skill, it’s just labour. This could save you at least a day’s labour costs. Even if it takes you a couple of days.

4. Source the Materials Yourself

Some gardeners might add a bit extra to the cost of the materials for sourcing them on your behalf.

By sourcing the materials yourself, you remove that cost. You’ll also get the chance to compare products and their prices. This means you buy the exact turf you want instead of getting what you’re given by your gardener.

5. Avoid Intricate Shaped Lawns

Intricate shapes add to the cost, both in material wastage and the extra time it takes a gardener to lay the turf.

By keeping designing your lawn to be a simple shape, you’ll reduce these costs.

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