Creating a new lawn?  You’re faced with two choices.  Turf or grass seed.  In this article we look at the pros and cons of each.

Turf – what’s good about it?

Image Source: DIY Network
Image Source: DIY Network

Turf is easy to lay and greens your garden instantly – a turfed lawn is normally ready to use in 3-6 weeks

When you buy turf, you’re buying 6-12 months worth of time.  You’re also saving a lot of hassle for yourself.

  • No need to worry about seed varieties or quality – it’s been done for you
  • The seed has been sown evenly (which isn’t easy to do!) – no clumps or bald patches in your new lawn
  • The birds won’t pinch your new turf but they will scoff grass seed like it’s going out of fashion
  • You won’t have trouble with cats digging up your turf to “fertilize” the soil
  • Turf is green from day 1.
  • It takes as little as 3 weeks until your turf can be walked on.

What’s not to like about turf?

  • It’s perishable.  If you don’t lay it on the same day as it’s delivered the quality will go downhill fast.
  • Laying it will require a bit of muscle power and energy (it also burns calories!)
  • It’s dirty – best to have it delivered unless you like having soil in your car

Grass seed – the good bits


Grass seed gives you lots of choice but it does take longer to establish a lawn from seed than from turf

It will cost less than turf and it does have some advantages over it too

  • With a bit of research, you’ll be able to choose the exact seed mix for your requirements
  • Seed can be stored until the weather is nice and the ground has been prepared
  • It weighs very little – you don’t need to be strong, energetic or agile to sow grass seed
  • It’s not at all messy
  • Excess seed can be put in the shed and used for lawn repairs in the future

Grass seed – the disadvantages

In many ways, grass seed is the opposite of turf.  Where turfing is instant but more expensive, grass seed is cheaper but takes time.

  • There’s a confusing and an overwhelming number of grass seed mixes out there.  Choosing the right one can be difficult.
  • Germination is often uneven, and in colder weather it can be slow.
  • You need to protect grass seed against marauders. Birds will eat the seed, cats will use the soft soil as a lavatory.
  • You’ll probably find that all sorts of weeds germinate alongside your grass – be prepared to remove them.
  • It takes 6-12 months to create a mature lawn from seed

There you have it – the facts.  I can’t tell you whether turf is better than grass seed or vice-versa, it’s all a matter of personal preference.

Even the professionals have different views. The best golf courses are normally grown from lawn seed.  The best sports pitches are turfed.

Over to you……….

How to choose turf  | What does turf cost? How much grass seed will I need? | Buy grass seed online