Creating a new lawn: seeding and turfing

3 min read

Which is the best and most cost-effective way to lay a new lawn?  In this article, we look at seeding vs turfing.

Seeding and Turfing – the differences.

Congratulations if you have made the decision to create a new lawn or even to refurbish an existing one. There’s no better ground cover for a garden. It’s cheap, it’s practical, it’s environmentally friendly and it’s safe. Good choice.


seeding vs turfing
Laying turf gives instant results and your new lawn will be ready to use in 3-6 weeks. Sowing grass seed costs less but takes longer for the results to show

The next decision is whether to use seed or turf. The ground preparation is the same for both so what are differences in how the two different media will perform for you?

Cost of seeding and turfing

Do you count costs in terms of money or in terms of time? The ground preparation for sowing grass seed is exactly the same as it is for laying turf. So there’s no difference there. Time taken to establish the lawn is very different though.

There is a bit of a difference in the cost of materials. At the time of writing turf will cost roughly between £4 per square metre and £8 per square metre, depending on the quality, the quantity and the delivery charges. Our best-seller on the TurfOnline store is the Jubilee lawn turf, which starts at £3.80 per square metre, and creates a luxurious and hard-wearing lawn.

Get a quote for turf here

Grass seed is considerably less expensive. Expect to pay around 50p per square metre. Again, this varies according to seedmix and P&P.

See prices for grass seed

Products that can help…
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Buy turf near me Buy lawn seed

When buying turf, you also buy time

When buying turf, you are effectively buying the time and the expertise of the turf grower who will have used time and experience to choose really good varieties of grass. Bought the best possible quality seed and spent at least 12 months nurturing the plants. Controlling weeds whilst the turf is growing and coped with the diseases that young plants are susceptible to. From your own perspective, you may be thinking that it only takes moments to sow grass seed whereas turf takes ages to lay. In fact, sowing grass seed evenly (and not too thickly) is quite an art.

Seeding and turfing. How long does it take to establish a lawn?

The main difference between seeding and turfing is in the amount of work needed to establish them. Once turf has been laid it will need watering every day for a couple of weeks. But from the moment the last piece goes down, you will have 100% plant coverage. A beautiful lush green carpet of living plants.

Seed will be a few days before it germinates. During that time you will need to protect it from birds, from cats. You will also need to keep it watered. But water gently otherwise all of your carefully placed seeds will be washed to one end of the lawn.

At the same time as your grass seed is germinating, weed seeds will be enjoying the newly tilled, beautifully moist soil. You will need to think about how those weeds will be controlled.

The third point about time and turfing is that turf can be laid all year round (except when the soil is frozen). Seed can only be sown in spring or autumn. You need to get the timing right when planning your garden product.

Finally, it takes 6-12 months after sowing grass seed before a lawn is ready to receive “normal” traffic. Turf can usually be walked on after 3-6 weeks. Big difference.

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