The Best Turf: Reviews of Different Types, Products & Suppliers

by Jason Lyons

Whether you’re figuring out how much it costs to lay turf, or you’ve already decided to create a new lawn, it’s only reasonable you ask, ‘Which is the best turf?

After all, not only are the many turf producers but there are also different types of turf.

So what type of turf should you buy for your garden and where should you get it from?

In this article, I’ll give you my top picks and explain how to buy the best turf for your garden.

roll of medallion turf

Rolawn Medallion

Best For Most Family Lawns

Rolawn turf contains a mixture fine grasses as well as hard wearing species. This creates a lawn which not only looks fantastic but also stands up to wear and tear.

roll of harrowden turf

Harrowden Turf

A Good Budget Option

If you’re not so bothered about absolute perfection, Harrowden Lawn Turf is a good choice for budget-minded garden owners, creating a neat lawn which will establish and grow quickly.

roll of shadesman turf

Shadesman Turf

Excellent For Shaded Lawns

Produced specifically for lawns which are covered by shade, Shadesman turf won’t lose its colour or vigour in areas where low light is a concern.

roll of tillers greens turf

Tillers Greens Turf

Best For Ornamental Lawns

For those who want a bowling green lawn. Tillers Greens Turf is produced ti US Golf Association tournament standards and produces beautiful formal lawns which tolerate very close mowing

roll of meadowmat turf

MeadowMat Turf

For Creating Wildflower Lawns

Perfect for creating a widlflower lawn which will attract bees, insects and birds into your garden. MeadowMat roots quickly and looks better adn better year after year.

How to Choose the Best Turf For You and Your Garden

Choosing the correct turf for your garden isn’t complicated but never-the-less, it is important if you want your new lawn to;

  1. Look good
  2. Last over the long term

There are 3 main things you need to consider;

1. How You’ll Use Your Lawn

  • For family lawns that’ll stand up to moderate wear AND also look really good, it’s worth paying the little bit extra for. Rolawn Medallion This contains finer grasses which tolerate close mowing for a more formal look but also harder-wearing grasses that’ll stand up to wear.
  • If you simply want an area of grass for the kids to play on then choose a budget product like Harrowden Lawn Turf. It contains hard-wearing grasses that’ll stand up to the wear and tear from kids and pets rolling around on it.
  • For serious lawnsmiths who want to create a lawn which resembles a bowling or putting green, Tillers Greens Turf is the one to choose. It’s perfect for close mowing with a cylinder mower. Beware though, it isn’t cheap and takes a lot of looking after.
  • If you want to create a wildflower meadow in your garden, MeadowMat is fantastic. It contains lots of native wildflowers and creates a beautiful area of colour which attracts bees, insects and birds. It’s very low maintenance and looks better and better as time goes by.

2. The Environment Your Lawn Lives In

There are two main environmental factors to consider;

The Soil

Do you know what type of soil your garden is made up of? Whether its loam, sand or clay based?

What about the pH of the soil?

Soil can become very scientific very quickly and if you’re not interested in learning then choose either Rolawn Medallion or Harrowden Turf or Shadesman. All of these have grass types which grow well in most types of soil.

If you want to create an ornamental lawn with Tillers Greens Turf, then ideally the soil needs to be sandy and slightly acidic. If it isn’t you’ll need to make corrections to the soil.

For wildflower turf like MeadowMat, you ideally need nutrient deficient soil. Wildflowers typically don’t do well in fertilised, nutrient rich soil. When laying wildflower turf, remove the top 10cm of soil and lay the turf on the sub soil.

The only other type of soil you should ideally try to fix is clay based soil. It compacts easily and is prone to water logging. At the very least, you should try to rotavate in a good quality sand or loam based soil to help with drainage. The best solution would be to remove the top 10cm – 15cm and replace it, however, this can get expensive!

The Amount of Shade

Most turf will cope well in partial shade as long as it gets a couple hours of sunlight during the day.

However, if your is constantly covered in shade cast by your house, garage, shed, trees or hedges then a turf specifically for shaded lawns like Shadesman Turf is really your only option.

3. Your Budget

Creating a new lawn from turf can get expensive, especially when you have a large area to cover. Saving just £1 per square metre of turf can really add up when applied to a whole order.

That being said, it’s best not to sacrifice quality for price. Lesser quality turf can come riddled with weeds and weed grasses, it tears easily and is difficult to lay. You’ll just be buying a problem you need to fix.

Just buy the best turf you can afford.

Also making changes to the soil can get expensive too so look at the job as a whole and cost everything up to make sure you can create the lawn you want within budget.

Turf Reviews: A More Detailed Look at My Recommendations

All of the products I’ve recommended are products I have personally used while either renovating my own garden or those of other properties.

I’ve based these recommendations on price, quality and visual appearance.

Rolawn Medallion

rolawn medallion

If you want a lawn which will cope with both moderate wear while still looking really good, then Rolawn Medallion gets my top recommendation. In fact, I have this turf in my front and back gardens.

Rolawn a one of the biggest names in the turf industry. They’re official supplier of the Royal Horticultural Society and their turf has been featured in many award winning gardens.

Ordering is easy and their customer service is excellent.

Their turf is made up of;

  • 25% Dwarf Perennial Ryegrass
  • 45% Strong Creeping Red Fescue
  • 30% Slender Creeping Red Fescue

The ryegrass gives the turf its ability to cope with wear and the red fescue provides a very fine, luxurious appearance.

It’s easy to lay as the turfs are generally straight and they’re a consistent thickness. Occasionally you might come across a turf with a torn or tatty edge but you could say the same about most turf.

On well prepared ground it establishes fairly quickly and you’ll be able to use your new lawn within a few weeks.

Harrowden Turf

harrowden lawn turf

Harrowden are one of the biggest turf suppliers in the UK and if you’re on a budget then Harrown Lawn Turf is one of the best budget turfs you can buy.

The company is easy to deal with and delivery is generally very quick so make sure you’ve prepared the area before ordering.

It’s made of the following grasses;

  • 35% Perennial Ryegrass
  • 65% Slender Creeping Red Fescue

The ryegrass establishes and grows quickly and the fescue creates a nice looking lawn that’ll cope with hard wear.

That said, it’s a budget turf so don’t expect your lawn to look like a football pitch or bowling green.

If you simply want a grass lawn and you’re not interested in dedicating time to look after it, or you’re creating a play area for the kids then this turf is perfect. I use it all the time for turfing gardens in rental properties.

However, if you want a lawn to have that luxury look and feel, pay the extra and invest in Rolawn Medallion.

Shadesman Turf

shadesman lawn turf

If you lawn resides in shade for most of the day then Shadesman Lawn Turf is fantastic.

It’s produced by Turf Online and is made from 100% Supranova poa supine which started life as a wild grass which spent most of the time under snow in alpine meadows.

Over the years it has been cultivated into domestic grass which tolerates shady conditions exceptionally well. Be aware though, that in the deepest shade you might have to overseed your lawn annually to keep it looking its best.

Ordering is easy and delivery takes a couple of day so get the area prepped before ordering.

Each turf is cut to the same size and thickness so laying it is easy. That said, Supranova poa supine is a slow growing grass so expect it to take longer to establish and bed in than regular turf. Once it has established, you’ll have a beautiful looking lawn.

And the added benefit of slow growing grass is that you don’t meed to cut it as often!

Tillers Greens Turf

tillers greens turf

Suppliers if ornamental turf are few and if you want a putting green type of lawn, it’s even harder to find a supplier.

However, Tillers Greens Turf is produced to US Golf Association specifications and Tillers even supplied their turf for Donald Trumps Gold course in Scotland.

So as you can expect, this is the very best of the very best.

You can’t order online, you’ll have to call them but their customer service exceptional and staff are very knowledgeable.

Delivery is fairly swift and the turf is easy to lay as its cut very straight and evenly. And I’ve never had a piece that was tatty or torn.

However, their are two big caveats;

  1. It’s expensive, and
  2. It takes a LOT of looking after

You shouldn’t even think in buying this turf unless you’re a serious lawnsmith who has the knowledge and can dedicate hours every week to looking after it.

It won’t cope well with the kids playing football on it and should only be used in formal gardens where the lawn has little use.

If you have a formal garden and you want a masterpiece of a lawn, there is no better turf.

MeadowMat

meadowmat turf

If you prefer the grassy areas in your garden to be a little wilder, then MeadowMat wildflower turf is a brilliant option.

Rather than containing your typical lawn grasses, MeadowMat features 34 species of grasses and wildflowers which creates the most colourful display during spring and summer.

It’ll attract bees, butterflies and insects which in turn attracts birds.

During autumn and winter, they turn into attractive seed heads which fall and create the next year’s blooms. Each and every year, your wildflower area will get thicker and more colourful.

However, Wildflower turf is over 3 times more expensive than regular turf.

To illustrate, Rolawn Medallion turf costs around £120 for 20m2. MeadowMat costs around £400.

That being said, it’s very low maintenance. Simply strim it all back at the end of the season and leave the debris there for a few days while the seeds fall into the ground and then go pick it up and dispose of it.

If it’s within your budget, MeadowMat will make a beautiful addition to your garden.