turf vs seed

If you've made the decision to add a new lawn to your garden, first of all, great choice! Lawns are a fantastic addition to any outdoor space, bringing a range of benefits for both you and the surrounding environment. However, now that you've decided on adding a lawn, the next big decision to make is how are you going to lay it?

Do you choose to buy ready-made turf that only requires you to roll it out onto your soil or do you seed sow your lawn from scratch? This can be a pretty tough choice to make with a lot of things to consider. So, to make things a little easier for you, in this blog we dive into both methods of adding a lawn to your garden, looking at the pros and cons of each, helping you to make the best decision for you. 

So, let's dive right into it and take a deeper look at the age-old debate of turf vs seed.

One thing that is very important to note regardless of which method you ultimately decide to choose, is to ensure that the ground is properly prepared. As we're focusing on turf vs seed today, you can find out how to prepare your ground for laying turf or sowing seed by doing a quick search online. 

Once you've figured out what to do and have made the necessary arrangements, you will now be ready to either lay your surf or plant your seeds.


Laying Turf

The advantages 

When it comes to laying turf, you can gain several advantages over sowing seed. These are:

  • Laying turf is a lot faster and easier than sowing seed, ideal for anyone who lacks experience or knowledge in lawn care.
  • Laying turf can be done at any time of the year and doesn't require certain weather or soil conditions to be done. As long as you provide water, the rest of your lawn will take care of itself.
  • Laying turf provides an almost instant transformation for your garden with no wait time for your new lawn to grow. Allowing you to use your lawn a lot sooner than sowing seed. 
  • Turf doesn't wash off slopes during periods of heavy rainfall like grass seed. Making it far easier to lay your lawn on banked areas in your garden.


The disadvantages 

Despite the benefits laying turf has over sowing seed, it does also come with a few drawbacks. These include:

  • The cost of turf can be quite expensive (roughly around £15-20 per m2) in comparison to grass seed. This can quickly turn into a hefty expense, especially if you plan on covering a large area of your garden.
  • Turf is very perishable, meaning it can die quite quickly after it is bought. If you choose to lay turf, you will need to plan accordingly and lay it pretty much the day after it arrives or your risk the grass dying before it even touches the ground.
  • The choices of turf are quite limited. As turf production is quite expensive, manufacturers often choose an 'all rounder' type of grass that will perform 'okay' in most conditions. If your lawn requires specific types of grass then turf may not be the option for you.
  • Laying turf can also be quite a messy and laborious task, especially if you plan on doing it by yourself. If so, be prepared to do a lot of heavy lifting and getting muddy. 


Sowing Seed 

The advantages 

Sowing seed also provides some distinct advantages over laying turf, these include:

  • When it comes to cost, grass seed is far more inexpensive compared to turf (approximately seven times cheaper!). So if you're looking for the most cost-effective way to getting a new lawn, grass seed is definitely the better option.
  • Unlike turf, grass seed does not perish quickly. This means you can buy your seed and store it for a long time before using it or if you have some seed left over, you can keep it for a rainy day whenever your lawn needs a little repair.
  • By choosing grass seed over turf, you get the choice of which grass type your lawn has. With an abundance of seeds to choose from, you will not be left with a one-size-fits-all option and can opt for a lawn that better suits your and your garden's needs.
  • Spreading grass seed is also a lot quicker than laying turf. Even though turf allows you to have an established lawn quicker, the process of laying turf takes more time than simply spreading your seeds across your soil. It's a much cleaner job too!


The disadvantages 

Sowing seed for your lawn also comes with a few issues. These are:

  • When sowing seed, it can take up to a whole year for your lawn to fully establish, much longer than when laying turf which typically takes around 8-12 weeks. 
  • Germination can often be slow when using grass seeds, often taking up to 4 weeks depending on weather and other conditions. If you plant your seeds in cooler weather, this can take even longer.  Some grass seeds may even not germinate at all, leaving your lawn looking patchy in places.
  • Grass seeds often attract wild animals such as birds and other pests, meaning your new grass seeds may be taken away for food before they even have a chance to germinate. This, again, will leave areas of your lawn looking patchy.


When it comes to turf vs seed and which is better for your new lawn, the choice is ultimately up to you. The main factors that usually decide which option is best are time and money. If you have a lot of time and don't mind waiting for your lawn to grow and would like a more cost-effective choice, then grass seed is best. If you have some extra cash to spend but not a lot of time to wait, then turf is best.

Whichever method you go for, it's important to prepare your ground properly so that you give your lawn the best possible chance to establish its roots, giving you the perfect green space to complete your garden.

We hope this blog has helped you to decide which option is best for you. If you have any questions or would like to know more information on turf vs seed, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can also learn more about our turf laying and overseeding services below. 

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