The preparation work that you do to the ground ready for grass seed or turf is the same and so is the end result.
However, when you lay turf, you pay a premium price for an instant lawn but you also benefit from not needing to maintain the grass as much for weeks after. Alternatively, grass seed is much cheaper and many people love to see the seeds germinate into lush green grass after a few weeks of aftercare.
Whether you use grass seed or turf, creating a new lawn in your garden is a relatively easy task. However, there are some factors you should consider as we discuss in the below pros and cons.
The Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of Laying Turf
- You can lay turf yourself in a few hours
- Creates an instant lawn upon the prepared ground
- Less watering is required after it has been laid
- Can be cut earlier on as the roots are established
- Easier to achieve tidy lawn edges
- Doesn’t wash away in heavy rain
- Can successfully lay turf in the winter if required
Disadvantages of Laying Turf
- Expensive for large areas
- Limited choice of grass types
- Handling turf can be physically demanding
- Not always suitable for shaded or wet areas
- It needs to be laid as soon as it’s bought or delivered
Advantages of Grass Seeds
- Far more cost-effective than laying turf
- Easier to perform patch repairs or create small areas of lawn
- A wide variety of seed types are available
- Can be used in shade and different soil types
- Easier to store and it can be kept for many years
- Application is as simple as spreading it by hand or with a spreader
- No rush to plant the seeds
Disadvantages of Grass Seeds
- Can take a while to grow into established grass
- Birds can attack the newly laid seed
- Requires more aftercare
- Heavy rain may wash seeds away
- Need to grow to at least 7 to 8 cm before the first cut of new grass
The Importance of Ground Preparation
Ground preparation is a crucial step in establishing a healthy and vibrant lawn, regardless of whether you choose to sow grass seed or lay turf. Adequate soil preparation creates an optimal environment for seed germination or turf root establishment and ensures long-term success. By investing time and effort into preparing the soil, you set the foundation for a lush and resilient lawn. Here are key steps to consider when preparing the soil:
- Clear the area: Remove any existing vegetation, rocks, debris or weeds from the designated lawn area. This allows for a clean slate and prevents competition for nutrients and water.
- Soil analysis (optional): Conduct a soil test to determine its pH level and nutrient composition. This analysis provides valuable insights into any necessary amendments or adjustments required to create an optimal growing environment.
- Soil aeration: If the soil is compacted, use a garden fork or mechanical aerator to loosen it. This helps improve drainage, oxygen circulation and root penetration.
- Level the ground: Smooth out any uneven areas to promote an even lawn surface. Fill in low spots with topsoil and remove excess soil from high spots.
- Amend the soil (optional): Based on the soil test results, add organic matter or soil amendments such as compost, peat moss or well-rotted manure to improve soil structure, fertility and moisture retention.
- Loosen the topsoil: Use a garden rake or tiller to gently loosen the topsoil, breaking up clumps and creating a fine, crumbly texture. This provides a favourable seedbed or contact surface for turf roots.
- Grade and slope: Ensure proper grading and slope to prevent water pooling or runoff. Gradual slopes away from buildings or structures promote efficient drainage.
- Final soil preparation: Rake the soil surface to remove rocks, clumps and debris. Smooth the soil, creating a firm yet slightly loose bed for seed or turf installation.
By following these soil preparation guidelines, you optimize nutrient availability, moisture retention and root establishment, leading to healthier and more resilient grass growth. However, it’s crucial that you remember to adapt these steps based on the specific needs of your lawn and local conditions.
Deciding between grass seed or turf is a matter of personal preference and whether you want to see instant results.
In terms of the quality of the grass, even if you used the best grass seed on the market, the turf equivalent will still look the same (and vice versa). Often your budget becomes a significant factor because purchasing a large amount of turf can certainly become expensive. However, if you were to buy a large box of grass seed, it covers a much large area at a far more affordable price.
If you require further information regarding grass seed vs turf, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.