Turf or Seed my lawn?

Which makes the best lawn: Turf or Seed ?
Whether it be Spring or Autumn fall, thoughts turn to lawns.
Which is best, a seeded or turfed lawn?

turf or seed my lawnHere is my ‘Seed or Turf my lawn’ guide and checklist.
Which is best? – I can honestly say that I have seen fine examples of both, seed and turfed lawns.
It will be a matter for you to decide, either one can give great results.

Laying turf
On the plus side:
It is possible to lay a turf lawn almost any time of the year, weather permitting and subject to any additional care that may be required (extra watering when hot and dry)
Once it is laid, turf looks good immediately, you can start using it after about a week, I don’t mean heavy use but certainly use it to walk on and sit on.
If laying it yourself, most are often surprised how satisfying it is to lay a new lawn, hard work on the back but nonetheless enjoyable.
Lawn turves are readily available from Garden Centres, Nurseries and specialist suppliers.

On the minus side:Do all major lawn care work in the Autumn fall
It’s not going to be cheap.
Best quality turf is expensive, but best quality turf gives best quality lawns.
The laying of the turf is labour intensive, it involves heavy lifting and can be hard on the back, especially for the novice.

Lawn care turf buying tips:
When choosing your turf, always check the turf for quality.
Have a close inspection, check for even thickness, should be around ½in to ¾in thick.
The grass should be thick with no bald patches.
The colour a mid to dark green with no signs of yellowing or brown patches showing whatsoever.
When picked up the turf should remain intact, no falling away of bits and pieces, it is after all, a mat.
It is unwise to purchase any turf that is shrivelled, dry or showing signs of weeds.

Sowing lawn seed
On the plus side:
This is the cheaper option, it will cost far less than turfing your lawn.
You will have far more control over which grasses (seed) are in your lawn, giving more control over difficult areas like heavy shade from trees.
It’s easier on the back.
Sowing your own lawn is more rewarding, you will have the satisfaction of saying, I created that lawn from seed.

On the minus side:
You are going to be limited on your choice of timing, Spring and Autumn fall only.
It’s going to take some time, months, around 6 months before you can use your lawn.
After sowing you must keep a careful watchful eye on it’s development, you can’t just sow it and leave it.
Meaning, generally, more hassles to contend with.
Depending on the time of year, you may need to spread netting over the area to prevent the birds from feasting on your newly scattered seed.
Weeds will make their way in more easily with seed, often blown in on the wind, from next door.
Your at the mercy of Mother nature to a greater extent than with turfing.

Lawn care seed buying tips:
Always seek advice from reputable seed merchants and suppliers.
The initial preparation for both seeding or turfing is just about the same, although perhaps a little extra time will be spent on the seed bed making sure of a fine tilth for good seed germination and also eradicating all weeds from the area.

So there you have it, if it’s a small area and cash is not an issue, I would turf as it is by far the quickest and easiest option.
If you like the idea of creating something from nothing, then go ahead and seed your lawn.

It’s the larger areas where the various issues become more apparent, for larger areas seed is much cheaper, but don’t forget, you will still need to wait a while before using.

An additional side note when employing a landscaper professional to create your lawn.
If you are in no position to do the work yourself and decide to get someone in to do it for you, it will most likely be a landscaper – gardener.
I suspect you will probably find that they will advise you to lay turf.
This has always been my experience in the past.
In fairness, solely from a business and customer satisfaction viewpoint, creating a lawn is rather unique and quite unlike any other garden business transaction.
It’s all about perceived value, a promise of something, that may or may not happen for reasons beyond both parties control.
For both parties, turf is best and I can completely understand the reasoning behind it.

This is why:-
For a professional to come in and seed a lawn there is not much doubt, issues will arise, and most likely lead to mistrust and customer dissatisfaction.
One your going to have to pay up front for a ‘promise’.
You will need to wait for approx 6 months give or take before you can use your ‘promise’
During the wait time there are so many variables taking place (nature being just one), the chances of complete satisfaction on both sides is minimal.
If you are insistent that your new lawn should be seeded then it is fairer all round if you treat it as two jobs – Preperation and seeding.
And then – After care for a full season of growing.

Whereas on the other hand – Lay Turf, job done, instant appeal, everyone happy.
OK, there is still a slight risk of issues but these can be easily sorted out.
Both parties happy and what’s more, you can see it and use it almost straight away.