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Lawn seeds vs turf — which is better for your lawn?

Product Info

We’re often asked for our thoughts on lawn seeds vs turf. Which grows the best? Which leads to the most lush lawn? And which is the easiest to use?

There’s clearly a lead time to sowing and growing a lawn from seed vs the nearly instant gratification you might see from using turf. But does it lead to the best results for your lawn? 

Today we’ll explore the difference between lawn seeds vs turf, and the pros and cons of each.

image of a hand holding grass seeds to be planted in a dirt area in a lawn

Lawn Seeds vs Turf – What’s the Difference?

What is a seeded lawn?

Sowing a lawn from seed means you are planting seed in a prepared base and waiting for it to germinate and grow. Seeded lawns are commonly grown from a blend of grasses. This can lead to a lush lawn, but may also lead to inconsistent germination and growth.

While the seeds are germinating and establishing – which can about eight weeks to happen – it’s important that the soil is kept damp and free of both weeds and foot traffic. 

What is a turf lawn

Laying a turf lawn means you are rolling out established grass which has been grown elsewhere, then cut and transported to you. It must be laid immediately so its soil doesn’t dry out. Then it must be kept damp and free of heavy foot traffic for its first few weeks. 

close up image of new grass growing from seed in fresh dirt for lawn seeds vs turf

Pros and Cons

Whether you’re growing a lawn from seed or turf, the key to success is to prepare your base. Both seeded and instant turf lawns need about a 100mm base of uncompacted, good quality soil. This will help the root system of both germinating seed and a newly laid turf. 

Top dressing with a premium soil conditioner is also important. This will give your soil a boost of nutrients and trace elements that are essential for growing a healthy lawn. 

Pros of a seeded lawn

Seeded lawns tend to suit keen, budget-conscious gardeners who are happy to spend time on their lawn and wait for it to grow. The pros of seeding a lawn in southeast Queensland include:

  • It’s more budget-friendly than laying a turf lawn.
  • It’s less labour-intensive than laying a turf lawn (apart from prepping your base and time spent watering). 
  • Once you’ve sown the seeds and spent time watering them in, your outdoor time is free for other activities until your grass reaches around 100mm in height. Only then is it time to mow.  

Our grass seed suggestions: Sun or Shade Lawn Seed and Strong & Hardy Lawn Seed

Cons of a seeded lawn

Of course, there are also some cons of sowing a seeded lawn, including:

  • A lot of ‘waiting’ time for your grass to establish, grow and become lush. It will take at least eight weeks but sometimes up to a year for a seeded lawn to fully establish. 
  • Potentially uneven germination. Lawn seeds are usually a blend of grass varieties, which means they will germinate and grow at different paces. This can result in a patchy lawn that must be re-sown across its lifetime. 
  • Being at the mercy of the weather. Weather can negatively impact germinating seeds, so you will need to choose your time of year carefully. Early autumn is the best for our climate. Your worst weather enemies are extreme heat, high winds, and high rainfall.
  • A lot of water use. When you seed your lawn, you’ll use a lot of water, so your seeds don’t dry out as they germinate (which can be between 5 – 21 days), and also germinate in place. You might need to water early morning and early evening if the weather is dry and hot, spraying a fine mist over the soil. This process can be time consuming.

image of a workman lying fresh turf with the turf rolled up and pressing it down

Pros of a turf lawn 

At Rock’n’Soil we source our turf range from a supplier with over 50 years of turf farming experience. The turf is cut the same day you’ve scheduled to lay it, meaning it’s fresh and green on delivery. 

The positives of laying a turf lawn in southeast Queensland include:

  • It’s the most effective, fastest way to establish a lush, green lawn, because you are ‘transplanting’ an already established, healthy lawn. 
  • There are more months in the year that are favourable to laying turf than seeding a new lawn. 
  • There’s a wider range of turf varieties than there are lawn seeds. And some turfs (such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Turf) are not available as lawn seeds. 
  • Turf tends to have better weed suppression as it grows. 
  • It can quickly transform the look of your property, in a matter of hours. Within weeks, your turf lawn will look like it has been there for years. 
  • It can be used and enjoyed by you and your family within six to eight weeks.

Cons of a turf lawn

The cons of laying a turf lawn include:

  • It’s more expensive than seeding a lawn.
  • It’s more labour-intensive. You’ll need to prep your soil and work quickly and hard to lay out the turf rolls and spend time watering it in afterwards.
  • You won’t have much time to get the laying done. The turf needs to be laid as soon as possible to stop it from drying out.
  • Your mowing schedule will start much sooner than with a seeded lawn. 

image of a lush green lawn surrounding by edging of gardens with two homes in the background

What’s better for your lawn?

When it comes to lawn seeds vs turn, there’s a lot to consider when determining what’s better for your lawn. Time and budget are the two main determining factors. A seeded lawn will take time to establish a lush and healthy green lawn, whereas a turf lawn is instantly green and ready to mow and use after only a few weeks. 

Of course, you’ll also want to look at all the other pros and cons above to see what will suit your lawn, your space and your time best!

Get in Touch

At Rock’n’Soil our expert team wants your lawn to grow and thrive. Ask us anything anytime about lawn seeds vs turf (if there’s one thing we like to chat about, it’s lawns). And once you’ve got your lawn laid, you might want to think about some other DIY projects – such as garden paths, a show stopping feature corner or even sprucing up your outdoor space generally! 

Our product info and how to pages are full of other tips and ideas for all your backyard needs. Check them out and find your next garden project today!