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Grass Seed or Turf?

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to consider when making the decision of whether to grow grass seed or lay a lawn using turf, but one of the primary considerations is cost. By sowing a lawn from grass seed, you will potentially save a large amount of money as opposed to using turf, typically 75%-90%. This means that certainly for larger areas, grass seed is much more cost effective. See below a summary of the relative merits for each option.

Grass Seed Advantages

-        As above, sowing seed is the much more cost effective way of sowing a lawn, particularly on larger areas.

-        A much wider variety of grass seed mixtures are available than turf, meaning that you can select a seed mixture relative to the conditions you are sowing in to, the purpose for which you will use the lawn and the amount of time you wish to spend maintaining the lawn. For example if your lawn is shaded by trees there are specific mixtures available; if your lawn is to take a lot of wear from children or animals a hard wearing mixture can be selected, etc.

-        Grass seed can be used in situations where turf would not be suitable, for example overseeding and renovating an existing lawn, or repairing a diseased or damaged patch. You can again buy specific grass seed mixtures for these purposes.

-        Creating a lawn from scratch can actually often be done more easily from seed as it is particularly easy and quick to spread compared to the labour intensive job of laying turf.

-        There’s much more satisfaction in creating a lush lawn from seed than there is from turf! 

Grass Seed Disadvantages

-        A degree of patience is needed in creating your lawn as it will not be an instant green carpet as would be the case in laying turf, and it can take longer before the lawn is ready to use.

-        Heavy rain immediately after sowing can wash the seeds away.

-        Grass seed is best sown in the spring or the autumn and is not suitable for sowing in adverse weather conditions, see grass seed germination.

Turf Advantages

-        The appearance of an instant lawn and can be used very quickly after laying.

-        Can be laid all year round.

-        Not susceptible to heavy rainfall in the first couple of weeks as grass seed is.

Turf Disadvantages

-        Comparatively a much more expensive way of creating a lawn compared to grass seed.

-        Limited choice available which may not be suitable for your specific conditions and purposes.

-        Laying of turf can be time consuming and requires some care to ensure the lay is even and the strips knit together effectively. Rolls are relatively heavy and they need to be laid immediately upon receipt…it will not keep like grass seed will.