Make Sure You Research Cheap Turf Suppliers Thoroughly
There are a lot of people selling turf in Scotland. As with most products, prices range from low to high. We all love a bargain, but what are the risks and benefits involved in buying cheap turf?
There are two main aspects to turf supply. The quality of the turf itself and the quality of the service. We could also go into things like environmental issues, sustainability, supporting local businesses – but I don’t want to turn this simple blog into a rant so I’ll keep it simple.
You’d think wouldn’t you, that turf is turf and it’s the same the world over? But it’s not. I’m a gardener and a granny who likes to cook meals from scratch, knit jumpers for the grandchildren and mess about with bees. I’m an old-fashioned home-body and whilst I like value for money, I don’t like spending out on poor quality products.
Fresh is best
Now I know from experience that when I buy vegetables fresh from the grower, they taste a lot nicer than when I buy them from the supermarket. That’s because they’ve literally come straight from the plot to my pan. I’ve read somewhere that really fresh veg is more nutritious too.
Fresh turf is a beautiful, vibrant green colour and smells divine. If turf has been rolled up for too long the grass will turn yellow and it will begin to smell "off". Old turf may be discounted by the retailer but it rarely establishes well - if at all - and usually leads to disappointment.
Turf is much the same (although you’re not going to cook or eat it). The fresher it is, the better it performs. So when it’s been sitting outside the DIY on a pallet for a couple of days, the quality will have deteriorated. True, you can probably pick it up at a reduced price because the retailer will be wanting to get rid of it. But where’s the sense in that if it will need lots of TLC to get it to make a great lawn?
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy turf from a garden centre. It’s always best though to find out in advance what day the turf will be delivered. Then you can pick yours up on that very same day. While it’s still fresh.
Don’t lower your standards for the sake of a few pennies
I buy my veggies from the local farm shop. They cost more there than they do in the supermarket, but I like them. I don’t care if they’re dirty or wonky. I don’t want to pay somebody to wash and peel carrots when I can do that myself. I don’t mind paying a bit extra to have food that I’m proud to serve up to my family.
It’s quite possible to buy turf, even in this day and age, that is cheap but substandard. Sometimes cheap turf has weeds in it, sometimes the rolls are weak and hard to handle. Sometimes cheap turf is beautiful. It pays to see a sample before you buy. Or at the very least, go online and check out reviews etc.
When I go shopping, whether it’s online or in person, I like to take my time deciding. I want to weigh up my options. Compare products and prices and then make an informed decision. I don’t want a shop assistant bugging me, but I do want to be able to ask questions and get an intelligent reply.
The bigger the purchase, the more importance I place on customer service. I might not be interested in where my chocolate bar was made, but I will want to know what day my turf will be delivered and how the driver will unload it.
If I’m buying online, I want the website to be easy to use, with plenty of info, a phone number or an email address in case I need to contact someone and of course it must be 100% secure before I put in my payment details.
Poor customer service is a deal breaker for me. Even if the product is the cheapest on the market, if I don’t feel looked-after, I rarely have the confidence to buy from that supplier.
Make sure you feel comfortable with the supplier, check their credentials, get recommendations and THEN look at the price. Paying an extra 10% on a pallet of turf could mean an extra 100% support when you have a question to ask. Saving the money and having no recompense if something goes horribly wrong, could well work out more expensive in the long run.
Paying premium prices is a bit like buying insurance – damned if you do and damned if you don’t. That’s why it’s important to find out about the supplier and the products before making your decision. Decisions based solely on the cheapest price are risky.