Establish plants or turf in a sports turf area

Business Sectors (Suites): Horticulture
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 31 Jan 2019


This standard is for those who establish plants or turf in a sports turf area. The types of plants, turf surface and planting methods will depend on the type of site or project within which you work. 

You will set out plant material in the appropriate growing medium according to requirements  After watering, support and protection may be required to allow the plant material to establish itself within the growing medium.

The identification of plant material to meet specification will include the need to identify plants by their common and botanical names. As well as knowledge of common and botanical names this standard will also cover grouping of different plants.

If you are required to use chemicals (e.g. herbicides, fungicides or insecticides), these are subject to legislative requirements, and you will need to be in possession of the relevant qualifications or be under the direct supervision of someone who possesses the relevant qualification.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. assess the risks associated with the activity to be carried out 2. wear suitable clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) 3. select, use, maintain and store tools and equipment required for establishing plants or turf in a sports turf area 4. prepare the sports turf area to meet specifications 5. select plants or turf appropriate to the specifications 6. check the health of plants or turf before establishing, and reject unacceptable specimens 7. ensure the growing medium for plants or turf is in a suitable condition for establishment 8. position the plants or turf in accordance with the specifications 9. handle and establish the plants or turf correctly to maximise the health, vigour and physical condition of the sports turf area 10. provide protection and aftercare to the plants or turf to aid establishment of the sports turf area 11. confirm that the integrity of the site is maintained whilst establishing plants or turf  12. tidy the site when your work is finished, and dispose of or recycle waste and excess materials safely and correctly in accordance with relevant legal requirements and to minimise environmental risk  13. check that equipment is used and maintained in a safe, clean and correct condition throughout 14. carry out work to establish plants and turf, in a manner which prevents damage to the surrounding area and keeps environmental pollution to a minimum 15. confirm that work is carried out in accordance with relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, codes of practice and organisational policies

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. how to identify hazards and assess any risks whilst establishing plants or turf in a sports turf area 2. the type of clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for the activity 3. the types of tools and equipment required for establishing plants or turf and how to confirm that they are used and maintained safely and correctly and stored securely 4. how to interpret specifications and plans 5. the principles of marking and setting out 6. how to identify correct plants or turf to meet specifications 7. plant biology and the process of germination, photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration 8. methods of assessing the health and condition of plants or turf and the indications that they are unsuitable for establishment 9. the principles of selecting and combining grass species for establishing a sports turf area 10. the principles of selecting sports turf and seeding mats for different applications 11. the common and botanical names of plants or grasses used within sports turf 12. aspects of different types of soil and how to identify their suitability for the establishment of plants or turf 13. how to identify types of growing medium and their relationship to plants or turf growth and development 14. methods of preparing growing media for plants or turf establishment 15. the factors which can affect the timing of the establishment of plants or turf 16. the causes of damage and drying out and how to prevent them 17. common weeds, pests, moss, diseases and disorders and how to prevent them 18. methods of protecting a newly established plants or turf within a sports turf area and how to apply them 19. the initial maintenance requirements to ensure effective establishment of plants or turf 20. reasons why plants or turf might not thrive  21. the importance of following environmental and ecological best practice to help minimise the impact of your work on the environment 22. your responsibilities under relevant environmental and health and safety legislation and codes of practice and organisational policies


A. establish the following within a sports turf area: 
(i) turf
(ii) seeds
(iii) shrubs 
(iv) trees
(v) seedlings

B. provide the following aftercare to plants or turf: 
(i) provision of water  
(ii) protection  
(iii) feed
(iv) cutting

C. Set and mark out areas for:
(i) planting 
(ii) restoration

D.        apply protection from the following:
(i) Weeds and moss
(ii) Pests
(iii) Diseases and disorders
(iv) Environmental conditions

E. identify plants using their common and botanical names

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Instructions: can be verbal or written.

Plants material includes: grass, woody plants, herbaceous, bedding plants, crops, sedums, seeds, clover

Specifications: include drawings, schedules, method statements, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and manufacturers' guidelines, organisational policies.

Plant biology It includes the study of such topics  as the structure and function of leaves, stems and roots, water and sugar conductivity, and the reproductive organs of plants.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN

Relevant Occupations

Gardener, Greenkeeper, Groundsman, Landscaper, Nursery Worker, Plant Propagator, Roofers Fortifiers and Slaters

SOC Code



seeds; bedding plants; grass; sedums; woody; amenity; production, vegetables; fruit; green roofs; site; garden; nursery