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To turf or not to turf (and seed instead?)

One of the dilemma gardeners face is whether to lay turf or to sow grass seed to create that lush green lawn. Of course you’d think we are likely to say turf is the best option, but we’ve looked at both sides of the coin. One option may be better for you than the other….

At a glance, Turf v’s Seed…

Turf vs seed HCT we sell turf Devon

Laying new turf will give you that instant wow factor, it is both convenient and practical. And if you have an event or a date in mind that you want to achieve that ‘instant lawn’ look by, then turf is the very grass for the job. It’s not a martyr to the seasons and can be laid at any time, unlike seed.

Of course the expense and hard labour may not work in it’s favour but it depends entirely on your budget, muscle and whether you are in a hurry.

Naturally, turf will give you a much faster, completed and useable lawn just 2-4 weeks after laying. Whereas, the length of time it takes for seed to get established is dictated to by temperatures and hours of daylight, so it could take 2-4 months to achieve similar grass coverage. And it’s also worth considering the amount of time it takes to prepare the area for both options, but seed beds will require more labour prior to sowing.

Turf has the added convenience of being able to be laid at any time of year, as long as the ground is not frozen. Seed has a much smaller window of opportunity, with ideal sowing times March – May or September and October.

If budget is the driving factor and time is not an issue, then seeding is the cheaper way to go, especially if you are intending on doing all the work yourself. (Do consider any labour costs if you are paying someone else to do it for you).

It’s also worth considering risk factors when looking at the two options. There are more potential problems with sowing seeds, than there are laying turf (as the turf is already established) whereas the seeds have to go through many stages of development and have to contend with extreme weather conditions (torrential rain can wash away the seed and lack of sun can mean the seeds just won’t establish). 

However, it’s possible to use a mixture of turf and seed successfully, especially if the area has more diverse location or soil issues. 

In broad terms, you might turf:

  • The areas to be used soon and heavily
  • Areas which would be harder to grow seed on such as shady, steep and poorer soil quality

And seed:

  • Areas not being used as much and further from the house, especially if not visible from windows and seating areas
  • At the best time of year to get the fastest growth (spring and early autumn) – turf is fine to install all year round for instant lawn

There are many factors to consider and each garden project is unique. If you have further questions on whether to choose turf or seed for your garden, we would be more than happy to advise.  Please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com