Before we go any further, the first thing we should say is that in answer to the above question there is no ‘better’ option, whether you choose turf or seed will come down to a whole host of factors that differ from one person to the next, and we’ll go into more detail with this below. So, rather than tying yourself in knots deliberating at the garden centre with a roll of turf in one hand and a bag of seed in the other, read on and arm yourself with the knowledge you need before deciding which is the solution for you.
Grass Seed: Advantages
- More cost effective – a fraction of the cost of turf, you can afford to be more frivolous and experimental with grass seed.
- Easy to spread – either scatter by hand or with a spreader and in just a few minutes you’re already half way there creating your new lawn
- Is more resilient than turf, and will establish itself (albeit slowly) even in conditions that aren’t ideal for grass growth, eg. In shaded or dry areas
- Seeds for many grass types are readily available, and will remain available years down the line when you require them for repair work
- Easy to store, transport, and best of all it keeps for years
Grass Seed: Disadvantages
- Doesn’t give the instant results that turf does, patience is required as the grass slowly establishes of the course of 2 months or more
- Vulnerable to being washed away by rain or eaten by birds as it lays loose on the soil, thus the whole area will need to be protected by netting in the interim, which is more work and cost to add on
- Needs a lot more care and attention, especially in the early stages of development
- Provides near instant results – with a little nurturing it’ll be fully bedded in within 4-6 weeks and ready to walk on within 1 week
- More resilient than seeds initially. There are no issues with having to redo turf like you would with washed away or bird eaten seeds
- Can be laid all year unlike seed which is strictly a summer job
- Less initial watering required to ensure health and survival than with seeds
- Far more costly than seeds, especially over a large area
- Labour intensive to install- rolls of turf are heavy, and you’ll need good access to your garden in order to unload the turf from the delivery vehicle
- Must be laid soon after delivery
- Range of grass species readily available is much more limited than with grass seeds
As you can see there are clear advantages and disadvantages to both methods, you’ll get more grass for your buck with grass seed and it’ll take to the ground far better than turf, on the other hand if it’s used in the right places turf is easy to lay and nurture. Perhaps the best rule of thumb is to think of seeding as better for playing the long game, especially necessary if you’re starting from scratch on a plot, you’ll need to get it right. Turf is great for patching up small areas and covering slopes, as these are essentially no go areas for seeds.