How Do You Turf A Football Field? (Explained)

It’s the start of a new season, and you need to turf your football field. It’s not as scary as it sounds: You can do this! We’ve got everything you need to know about the process in this handy guide.


Sure! Here’s a single column takeaway table based on the title:

Takeaways from “How Do You Turf a Football Field? Explained”
Soil preparation is key for a successful turfing process.
Choosing the right type of grass or artificial turf is important for the specific climate and use of the field.
It’s important to maintain proper drainage and irrigation for optimal turf growth.
Regular maintenance, including mowing and fertilization, is necessary to keep a football field looking and performing well.
Synthetic turf requires different types of maintenance than natural grass, but can be a good option for those seeking lower maintenance and longer lifespan.

Prep The Base

Preparing the base is the foundation of any field. If you have the right base, your turf will have a healthy foundation to grow and thrive on. 

That’s why it’s important to consider several factors when deciding what kind of base you want for your football field. Will it be natural grass? Artificial turf? Or something in between like hybrid fields?

To prep for natural grass, you need about an inch of topsoil with good drainage. The soil should be tilled and leveled before installing your sod; if there are rocks or debris that won’t break down from being moved around by heavy equipment, then those should be removed first so they don’t end up tearing up all your new sod when it’s installed. 

Preparing a grade is also important so water doesn’t collect too close to where people will walk on their way into the stadium—you don’t want them slipping every time it rains!

When preparing to turf a football field, it’s important to have the right amount of sand and soil for optimal growth. Our article on how much sandy loam you need under turf can help ensure you have the proper amount for success.

Install Underground Drainage

The next step is to install underground drainage. This is important for preventing flooding and keeping the turf from being damaged. 

The drainage system should be able to handle the amount of water that will run off the field, so be sure to consult an engineer or other expert if you are unfamiliar with this process. 

It’s recommended that you hire a professional contractor if you don’t have experience laying down underground pipes yourself, as doing it incorrectly could lead to leaks and other problems in your new field.

Benefits of Installing Underground Drainage

Prevents flooding during heavy rainfalls.
Reduces the risk of damage to the turf by directing water away from the surface.
Helps maintain proper soil moisture levels for healthy turf growth.
Extends the lifespan of the playing field by preventing soil compaction and root damage caused by excess water.
Creates a safer playing surface by reducing the risk of slip and fall injuries caused by standing water.

Loosely Roll Out Strips Of Sod

Loosely roll out strips of sod. The first step to laying turf is to lay out your strips. Generally, you’ll want to have a minimum of 12 inches between each strip, as this allows for proper spacing and prevents damage from lawn mowers or other equipment that might pass over the football field.

When it comes time to roll out these strips, remember that the roots of your grass should face down on top of the dirt underneath. 

This helps keep moisture in and deter weeds from growing through the sod itself (which could lead to an even more invasive problem).

Once you’ve rolled out all your sod and arranged it into neat rows—the kind that would make any parent proud—you’re ready for step two: laying down irrigation sprinklers!

Digging out artificial grass can be a major job, but the cost of hiring someone else to do it can be too expensive. Check out our article on how much it costs to dig out artificial grass to determine if it’s worth the investment of your time and money.

Watch The Weather

The weather is a big factor in the installation of turf. In general, sod can be installed any time between April and November, but it’s best to wait until spring or fall when temperatures are moderate. 

If you install during a heat wave, the roots may not take hold properly because they will dry out easily due to high temperatures and lack of moisture retention. 

If you do choose to plant at other times of year (for example, if your football field needs re-sodding before opening day), be sure that the ground has been watered thoroughly before laying down your new grass so that all holes are filled with water.

Once everything is set up and ready to go, make sure you’re prepared for rain! When there are long periods between watering sessions on newly sodded fields or if there have been prolonged periods without rain some people will apply temporary sprinklers like drip hoses along each end zone so that players aren’t tempted by puddles (which could contain bacteria).

The Best Time to Install Turf Based on Weather

Weather ConditionsBest Time to Install Turf
Extreme heat or coldNot recommended to install turf during extreme temperatures
Heavy rainfall or thunderstormsWait until conditions dry out before installing turf
Mild temperatures and moderate rainfallSod can be installed any time between April and November
Spring and fallBest times to install turf due to moderate temperatures and soil moisture levels

Note: The exact timing for installation can depend on the specific climate and location of the field, so it’s best to consult with a professional to determine the ideal time for your specific needs.

Apply A Top Dressing To The Field Turf

After laying the turf, you’ll need to apply a top dressing. A top dressing is a layer of sand, clay, or crushed stone that is applied over the field turf. 

The purpose of this layer is to keep the turf in place and protect it from wear and tear while also preventing weeds from growing through.

Top dressing can be done with either wet or dry material; however, wet topdressing allows for better coverage as well as easier compaction of the soil below so I recommend using wet if possible. 

If you don’t have access to water for irrigation then consider hiring someone who does have access or doing it manually by hand (you will have more control over how much water gets put on).

Maintaining a turf field requires consistent dragging and grooming. Our article on how to drag a turf field provides step-by-step instructions for proper upkeep and maintenance to keep your turf looking and performing at its best.

Lay Out Multiple Layers Of Felt Pad

The first thing to do is lay down a layer of felt pad. This is a layer of material that is laid down on the ground before the artificial turf. It serves as a cushion between the artificial turf and the ground and helps keep all that heavy machinery from digging up your field, damaging it, or even tearing it up! 

The thickness of this material varies depending on what kind you use and also what type of playing field you’re working with (soccer vs football).

If you want something simple but effective, rubber works great for this purpose and can be bought in varying thicknesses depending on which type of field you are laying out. 

Cork is another material that works well too; it’s kinder to natural grass so if there’s any left over after installing your new turf then they won’t get damaged by having concrete poured over them when work starts again next season 🙂

Lay Down A Grid Of Artificial Turf

If you are laying out a grid of artificial turf, it is important that the grid is level, straight and square. To ensure this accuracy, use a football field to explain the process. 

You want to lay down a grid that is perfect in both length and width so that all lines are parallel with one another.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right artificial turf for your football field. Our guide on how to pick the right artificial turf offers tips and advice to help you make an informed decision.

Stab-Rooting For Artificial Turf

The most common method for turf installation is to stab-root the sod with a forklift. This can be done by placing the turf into a backing, which then gets rolled over with a forklift and stapled down. 

Another easy way to stab-root artificial grass is with a hand seeder and grounds crews working together at each end of the field and using their hands to break up clumps of grass, then lightly pressing them into place with their fingers before moving on to another section of the field.

Lay An Infill Layer

To get the grass growing, you need to lay an infill layer between the turf and the drainage system. This layer will be about 2 inches (5 cm) deep and consist of a mixture of sand and rubber granules. The infill serves several purposes:

  • It helps keep your field from moving by filling in any gaps between blades of grass or rubber.
  • It provides drainage for excess water, which prevents pooling or standing puddles on your field.

Replacing natural grass with astro-turf can be a great way to save time and maintenance costs. Read our article on how to replace grass with astro-turf for a step-by-step guide to undertake the process from start to finish.

Do All The Final Touches On Your Field

If you’ve followed the steps above, you can rest assured that your field will be perfectly suited for play when it’s time to start a game. However, there are still some final touches that need to be added before kickoff.

Test out the turf by playing a few games on it yourself. If there’s anywhere that feels particularly bumpy or unstable, now is the time to fix those areas before anyone else gets on the field!

Make sure all of your players’ equipment fits properly and is safe for play.

Use any remaining turf near obvious wear spots (like goalposts and sidelines) as filler in other areas where grass isn’t growing well enough yet; this will help fill out those empty spaces while allowing more room for growth without getting worn down prematurely by foot traffic over time

Take Great Care To Follow These Steps

The first step to turf a football field is to make sure you have the right equipment. You will need a sod cutter to cut down all the grass and prepare for installation, as well as a roll-off truck or tractor with an attached ballast box (for transporting soil).

The second step is to ensure that you know what you are doing. There are many different methods of installing synthetic turf fields; some require more work than others. You will have to research which method is best for your situation and then be sure that you have everything needed before beginning this process.

The third step is not rushing through any part of this process, especially when working with machinery like roll-off trucks and tractors! 

Rushing through could lead someone else getting injured or even worse, your entire project being ruined because something went wrong during installation phase (like trimming too close).


So, there you have it. We’ve explained how to turf a football field in six steps. If you want to learn more about the process and get some tips on how to do it yourself, please visit our website at where we have lots of helpful information on every aspect of sports turf installations.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources on turfing and artificial turf installation:

Turf 101 by Matrix Turf: Learn more about the basics of turfing, from soil preparation to maintenance.

Artificial Turf Football Field Installation by Integral Spor: Gain insight into the installation process of artificial turf specifically for football fields.

How Synthetic Turf Fields are Built by Washington Rock Quarries: Discover the step-by-step process of building a high-performance synthetic turf field.


Here are some frequently asked questions related to turfing a football field:

What is the best type of grass to use for a football field?

The best types of grass to use for a football field can vary depending on factors such as climate, soil type, and usage level. Cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescues are popular choices for their durability and appearance.

How much does it cost to turf a football field?

The cost of turfing a football field can vary widely depending on factors such as size, materials, and labor costs. It’s important to get an estimate from a professional turfing company to determine the likely cost for your specific needs.

How often should I water my football field?

The frequency of watering a football field can depend on various factors such as the climate and soil type. A good rule of thumb is to water it thoroughly once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions.

How do I prevent weeds from growing on my football field?

Weed prevention methods can include regular mowing and use of an appropriate herbicide. It’s important to follow safety guidelines when using any herbicide and to choose a product that targets the specific types of weeds in your area.

How can I prevent damage to my football field from heavy usage?

To prevent damage to your football field from heavy usage, it’s important to implement good maintenance practices such as regular aeration and topdressing. It’s also important to limit usage during adverse weather conditions to protect the turf.