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Turf vs. Seed

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Production team | 16:32 UK time, Thursday, 3 September 2009

Hi all. There's nothing like a beautiful lawn. But it can be very hard to get that lovely carpet-like finish we all want. On tonight's show Toby and Alys will be comparing the benefits of both a turf-laid lawn and one grown from seed. If you're planning a new lawn, there's no right or wrong time to turf an area but there's only a short time in spring and autumn when you can sow seed. So here's some of the pros and cons to think about if you're trying to decide which route to go...

A turf lawn

  • has an instant effect and can be walked on very soon after laying
  • is more resilient to extremes of weather while establishing
  • is less likely to get infested by weeds
  • won't be scratched up by birds / cats
  • doesn't need quite as much soil preparation
  • is expensive and you get what you pay for - watch out for delivery charges
  • must be laid almost immediately once bought
  • is relatively heavy so laying it is hard work
  • must be kept moist while establishing or else it will shrink and gaps appear

A lawn from seed

  • is much cheaper and quicker
  • doesn't involve heavy lifting
  • doesn't need to be sown immediately after purchase
  • offers wide range of mixes available for every situation; you can even make your own by buying more than one sort and mixing together
  • is slow to establish and you've got to keep off it until it does
  • can be washed away by heavy rain
  • may be destroyed by birds or cats
  • doesn't give an instant effect - in fact it looks pretty messy to begin with and you cannot cut edges until it's fully established
  • if germination is patchy, weed seeds can take over

Also on tonight's show we'll be visiting Sara Cox to see how her first year growing vegetables has gone and we'll be visiting Carol at Glebe Cottage, where her borders are bursting with colourful crocosmias.

That's all for now, enjoy your gardening weekend.


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