Using Different Types of Turf

The gardeners’ favourite phrase “Right plant, right place” applies to lawn grass just as much as it does to herbaceous perennials or to bedding plants. In this article, we help you to tell apart the many different types of turf and choose which is best for your application.

Traditional Lawn Turf

What does traditional lawn turf look like?

This type of lawn is typically a mixture of lawn grasses. You’ll find it for sale in garden centres, DIY stores and turf specialists all over the country. From a distance you’ll see a deep green sward with a nice even texture. If you get on your knees and look closely you’ll see some fine-textured leaves and some that are slightly wider. Sometimes you can buy a budget version of this turf which may be slightly uneven in colour.

How tough is traditional lawn turf?

Traditional turf is quite hardwearing. Often it contains dwarf ryegrasses that are very good at recovering from damage caused by boots, shoes, paws or footballs. We give it an 8/10 for toughness

How much maintenance does traditional turf need?

Traditional turf is quite flexible in its maintenance needs. If you are aiming for a classic english lawn, then a regular mowing routine is a must. Keep the sward at around 5cm long for best results and mow once or twice a week in the growing season.

If you just want a lawn for dogs or children, then this type of turf is very forgiving. Provided you’re not expecting your lawn to look immaculate 24/7/365 you can get away with a more relaxed maintenance regime.

Where should I use traditional lawn turf?

  • General landscaping
  • Play areas
  • Golf tees and fairways
  • Front lawns
  • Back lawns

Brand names for traditional turf

  • Garden lawn turf
  • Garden grass turf
  • Landscape grass turf
  • Landscape lawn turf

Fine Turf

What does fine turf look like?

This is the beautifully neat velvety turf that you see used on bowling greens. Look closely at the sward of fine turf and you’ll see that it has needle-thin leaves, a delicate green colour and a neat growth habit. Fine turf can be, and often is, mown very close to the ground.

How tough is fine turf?

A bowling green made with fine turf

Fine turf isn’t particularly wear tolerant and it can be prone to disease too. We give it a 4/10 for toughness.

How much maintenance does fine turf need?

Lots! of all the turfs available, fine turf is the most labour intensive. For best results from this turf, be prepared to mow at least 4 times a week, feed every 6 weeks, scarify and aerate twice a year and keep a close eye on weed and disease control.

Where should I use fine turf?

  • Bowling greens
  • Golf greens
  • Ornamental lawns
  • Prestige lawns

Brand names for fine turf

  • Sports greens turf
  • Garden fine turf

Shade Tolerant Turf

What does shade tolerant turf look like?

Shade tolerant turf is normally a slightly paler green than traditional turf and it does have a broader leaf to it. The sward often consists of just one grass species so when you look really closely, each blade of grass will look very similar to its neighbour.

How tough is shade tolerant turf?

Pretty tough – but not as tough as a ryegrass based traditional turf. If you need tough grass you should only consider using this turf where shade is a real problem. If an area is in the sunshine for at least half a day, ordinary turf will suffice. 7/10 for toughness.

How much maintenance does shade tolerant turf need?

The shade tolerant turf for sale on Turf Online’ web site is relatively low maintenance when you compare it to traditional turf. It’s slower growing and so needs less frequent mowing. It’s reasonable disease-resistant too.

Where should I use shade tolerant turf?

  • Shaded areas
  • Play areas
  • Golf greens and fairways
  • Orchards/wooded areas
  • Ornamental lawns

Brand names for shade tolerant turf

  • Garden shade turf
  • Landscaping shade tolerant turf

Wildflower Turf

What does wildflower turf look like?

When your wildflower turf is delivered to you it will look fairly ordinary. You’ll be able to see that there are a great many different plant species growing in the sward but you won’t get the full glory of this product for several weeks. Once wildflower turf has established in your garden, and at the right time of year, it looks amazing. It’ll grow to about knee-height, be full of wild flowers and resound to the gentle buzzing of happy bees.

How tough is wildflower turf?

Wildflower turf isn’t really designed for rough and tumble but it is fairly tough. In the wild, these plants are normally found in meadows and pastures where they are trampled and chewed by sheep, cattle or ponies…so they’re fairly robust.

How much maintenance does wildflower turf need?

Wildflower turf is very low maintenance. It needs one main cut at the end of summer and then a couple of “tickles” with the mower during autumn and winter.

Where should I use wildflower turf?

  • Wildlife gardens
  • As an alternative to a grass lawn
  • Beside a pond
  • Slopes and banks
  • School grounds – as a study area
  • Public areas

Brand names for wildflower turf

  • Meadowmat wild flower turf

Need Help Deciding Which Type of Turf Is Best for You?

Try our turf selector. Just answer 5 simple questions about your lawn and how you want to use it and the turf selector will recommend the best turf for you, your garden and your budget.

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