Thursday, 8 September 2016 11:53:40 Europe/London

Should I use turf or grass seed?

What is the difference between turf and grass seed?

Creating a new lawn?  It’s a good investment and will make a big difference to your life, but what is the best way to go about it? Should you use turf for instant impact or should you use seed for economy? Turf or grass seed – which IS best?

This article compares the pros and cons of turf and grass seed and hopefully it will help you to decide.

Preparing the soil

Soil preparation is exactly the same for turfing as it is for seeding. 

  1. Remove all vegetation and debris
  2. Cultivate to at least 15cm deep – add more soil if necessary
  3. Level, rake and firm down
  4. Apply pre-turfing/sowing fertiliser
  5. Rake again
  6. Lay turf or sow seed

Main differences between turfing and seeding



Grass Seed

Time of year for lawn creation

Any time of year

Spring or Autumn




Time taken to establish fully

3-6 weeks

6-12 months

Needs weeding?


Yes, possibly 3-4 times

Needs feeding?



Needs protection from birds?



Needs watering?



Materials available to buy online for home delivery?



Materials available from garden centre for collection?




As you can see from the chart, when you buy turf you are buying time and convenience.  You can lay turf at any time of year (provided the ground isn’t frozen); visually, the results are instant and you can start using your turfed lawn properly in as little as 3 weeks after laying turf.  No need to protect turf from birds or cats but it is vital that it is laid as soon as it is delivered.

With seeding, you save money but make extra work for yourself with weed control and keeping hungry birds at bay.  It may also be several months before your lawn is strong enough to cope with children or dogs.

The choice is entirely yours.  I’ve tried both at various stages of my gardening “career” and found that turfing gives better, more even results.  But that’s me – I’m inclined to be impatient sometimes.  I also share my garden with big children, small children, chickens, dogs and the neighbours’ cats so whatever I do out there - it has to be robust from the outset.

You might find these articles helpful

Order Grass Seed Online

Get a quote for turf


Blogpost: What does turf cost?


Blogpost: How to grow a lawn from seed

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