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Seeded Lawn vs Instant Lawn | Which is better?

Seeded lawn vs Instant lawn

When it is time to replace your lawn, would it be better to have: a seeded lawn or instant lawn?

You need to regularly maintain your lawn to ensure it is healthy and long-lasting. We do our best and what is necessary from the regular watering and mowing, and even fertilising, aerating and topdressing. However, there will come a time when our lawn is just no longer looking its best no matter how much maintaining, watering, seeding or fertilising we do. Other times neglect or just overall lousy weather could take its toll on our beloved grass. Even home and yard improvements and maintenance like building a new deck or pipes bursting, for example, could sacrifice our lawn.

When the time comes, homeowners with a lawn that has reached its peak will inevitably have to make that critical decision: seeded lawn or instant lawn? Or should you keep away from a natural lawn and go Artificial Lawn?

There are several things you need to consider to make the right choice, such as our budget, time, individual needs, preferences, and final result.  Will it be better to seed or to lay down instant lawn?

Lawn and soil preparation for seeding or instant lawn

Whether it is for seeded lawn or instant lawn, the soil preparation is almost the same. That is why, in that aspect, seeded lawn and instant lawn are virtually equal in cost of labour and materials when it comes to preparing the area.

In preparation for seeding or laying down the instant lawn, the soil needs to be tilled, cleared of debris and other unwanted organic materials, covered with rich topsoil or compost and then levelled. You may add fertiliser as well if the soil lacks nutrients, or to ensure healthier grass growth. Just be careful not to overdo it.

So the question remains whether a seeded lawn is better than an instant lawn. To help you decide, we will lay down some comparisons on the pros and cons of both seeded and instant lawn.

Gardener installing instant lawn

Cost

One of the most important things people consider when spending on anything is cost and the investment on a lawn is no different. We know for a fact that buying seeds and sowing them yourself will cost much less at face value, than if you will purchase instant lawn to cover the same area. 

If you are determined to do the work yourself, then instant lawn could cost ten times more than buying seeds. However, this is just one thing to consider.

Money is just one cost, but your time and effort are also valuable too.

Time frame to see results

It may need not be said, but seeding takes a much longer time before you see the fruits of your labour, which is about 6 to 8 weeks. Even then, you may only see scattered growth and your whole lawn may still look relatively bare.

Unlike instant lawn, which is… instant! As soon as you install your turf, you can enjoy looking at your green yard and smell that fresh grass wafting in the air.

Instant lawn being laid on soil

The right time to seed or put instant lawn

Also, another factor is the right time for the application. Seeds need very particular temperature, or they could fail to germinate. You need to make sure that the soil is consistently at 10 to 18°C for cool-season grass and 18 to 22°C for warm-season grass. The key is consistency—the ground needs to be consistently at the required temperature. If it fluctuates too much, the seeds may fail to germinate.

Compare that with an instant lawn which you can lay as long as the ground is not frozen. There is a broader window for laying down the instant lawn. Since instant lawns are already grown, they are not as sensitive to soil temperature changes. The ideal season for laying an instant lawn is in spring, but you can still install it in either summer, or autumn, and some varieties will even survive when put in winter.

With instant lawn, you are not pressed for time as to when you can have that beautiful lawn you want. In contrast, you need to be very vigilant with the time and temperature as to when you will sow your seeded lawn.

Effort and results

At the end of the day, sowing your own seeded lawn requires just as much, if not more effort than laying the instant lawn.

Spreading lawn seed on lawn

Once you have seeded your lawn, you will need to maintain it with constant watering several times a day. Although the same may is true for keeping an instant lawn, watering seeds is trickier, especially if there are slopes on the lawn which could cause erosion. Not to mention the seeds could get blown by the wind and eaten by insects and birds. There are just so many risks in seeding compared with instant lawn.

There is also a risk for the seeds to be washed away if there is heavy rain after you have sown and the grass has not established. Uneven or improper sowing could also result in a patchy lawn, which you need to resolve through reseeding several weeks after. Too little seed results in a patchy lawn, but the same could happen with too much. If there are too many seeds sown in one area, the seeds will compete for nutrients, also resulting in failure to grow properly. Other times, the seeds just would not germinate because of other factors such as soil temperature, and it could be particularly challenging to get even growth throughout the lawn. Beginners, especially, could struggle with adequately caring for a seeded lawn from sowing until it is established.

If you lay down the instant lawn, it is all there, and all you need to do is maintain it until the roots have established. There is no guessing if you have covered all that you need to cover because it is plain to see. Just cut to size and shape, and lay the instant lawn properly, and you can be sure that it stays there as long as you give it proper care.

Seeded Lawn or Instant Lawn?

Seeded lawn vs Instant lawn

To summarise, there are so many things to consider when choosing from either seeded lawn or instant lawn. 

A seeded lawn may save you a lot of money at the beginning, but the challenges you may face upon its application could cost you even more, especially if you have not done it before. Seeding the lawn involves a lot of guesswork for the inexperienced. You cannot be sure if you have applied evenly. You are also at times, at the mercy of the climate and weather and other natural factors beyond your control. You will sow your seeds, and it is all a waiting game until they germinate and grow. You need to wait several weeks to find out if you will have a lush green lawn or a patchy mess of weeds.

While the instant lawn may be more expensive at first, it is more cost-effective in the end. Consider it as an investment. When you lay instant lawn, you are assured that you have covered your lawn correctly and the grass will grow as it should without much worry. You can enjoy your grass sooner and will not be afraid of it not growing, as long as proper care for and maintain it properly. In the end, it is all up to you. Think not just about the monetary savings, but the time and effort you need to put on it as well. Thinking about instant lawn? Check out our Instant Lawn Hobart Services page. We could transform your yard in 3 days or less.