New Lawn Options

New lawn options - Hydroseed vs Instant lawn vs Hand seeding

So, the time has arrived to start getting the outside of your property ready for the long-awaited Summer BBQ’s and entertaining. Your new build has finally been completed but where the lawn should be is currently a hard dustpan that looks more like a moto-x track. Unless you and your guests are avid dirt bike riders this simply won’t do.

With limited time and a now greatly reduced landscaping budget (thanks construction company), what is the best new lawn option? The choices seem daunting. Turf? Seed? Hydroseed? What is the difference in terms of cost versus results?

Strictly speaking, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this question. However, there are a variety of options depending on a number of individual requirements. Factors like time of year, lawn preference, lawn use, and budget all influence the final decision.

So, you realise that you have left the landscaping far too late and now you are under pressure to sort out the dirt track in a hurry.  Enter option 1.

Turf

Turf farms grow a few varieties of lawn on large farms. The lawn is harvested using a sod-cutter or turf harvester and supplied in rolls approximately 1 square metre in size. These are placed and rolled out on site to provide an “instant lawn”.

This is a great all-year-round solution. Instant lawn can be laid all year round and provides an instant result. This application would suit smaller areas that need to be covered in a very short time frame.

The drawbacks on laying instant turf are numerous; there is only a limited variety of turf grown in and around New Zealand, so if you are after a specialized lawn variety you may do better to consider an alternative. Laying turf requires a significant amount of preparation and care once laid. If the lawn isn’t aerated the lawn may grow laterally instead of vertically creating a very matted lawn, which will require regular de-thatching. If turf isn’t installed correctly it can create corrugations in the lawn, which are difficult to eradicate.

The cost of paying a landscaping company to lay the turf can be expensive. Should you choose to do this yourself – be warned this is a labour-intensive exercise.

It may be best to look at another option…

Seed

After seeing the quote from the landscaper, you decide to delay the Summer BBQ and take on a few extra shifts at work to pay for the new lawn, but there is another way.

Hand seeding a lawn seems easy enough. Just go to your local hardware store buy a few packs of lawn seed and sprinkle it around on the dirt? Easy as. Not so fast..

While seed does deliver beautiful results if done correctly, it is the most technically difficult of all the new lawn options. There are a variety of seeds available and choosing the correct seed for your application is important. A correctly chosen, prepared, sown and maintained seed lawn will deliver a denser, more uniform lawn in the long term.

While it is a cheaper alternative the difficulty of achieving a good result can be a deterrent to many people. Seed lawns have a window period in which they can be sown; usually mid- September to end of April, before or after that the chances of a good strike diminish rapidly.

Seed lawns take time to establish and require frequent, moderate irrigation applications which can be tricky if you don’t have a good irrigation system installed. The chance of a good seed strike is reduced if the new lawn is not kept continually damp.

This begs the question – is there an option that strikes a balance between cost and quality?

Hydroseed

This option for a new lawn strikes the happy medium between seed and turf. A mixture of seed, fertilizer, mulch, and water are blended together and sprayed onto the area to create a new lawn.

The combination of these elements results in a lawn that can germinate in 7 days with the right conditions and is easier to establish than seed, but cheaper than turf. Results show that properly hydro seeded lawns will establish faster than seeded lawns and are easier to germinate. While the results are not as instantaneous as laying new turf the cost difference is significant and makes this a viable option on larger lawns or lawns where there are no tight time constraints.

While hydroseeded lawns will still require a good irrigation system, the seed is not entirely dependent on the irrigation system because the mulch is able to greatly reduce water evaporation upon application.

Hydroseed is available in a number of different varieties which makes it suitable for a variety of applications; from erosion control to establishing a new sports pitch.

Each option has its merits and no solution has all the answers. If you require a primo lawn and are up for a challenge with no time constraints a seed lawn will be a good solution. If you need to get that back area under control in a hurry at any cost, ask about the turf option. If you have a medium to large area that requires a decent lawn but don’t want to spend a fortune hydroseeding is your best bet.

Whichever option you decide to pursue make sure the area is correctly prepared ahead of time and that you have a plan with the irrigation as these factors are crucial in the establishment of any lawn.

Should you decide to utilize the services of a professional contractor, it is always best to choose a team who have the right gear, technical ability and reputation to deliver on your needs.

For some more personal advice, contact LawnFix on 0508 LAWNFIX (529 6349) or visit Our Services page for more information on what we can offer you.