Posted 20 September 2023 by AusGAP

AusGAP certified turf vs non-certified turf

AusGAP certified turf vs non-certified turf

Turfgrass is a critical component in many landscaping and sporting applications. In order to ensure that turfgrasses meet the highest standards of quality, safety, and sustainability, AusGAP, Australia’s leading turfgrass certification program has been established. But what is the difference between certified and non-certified turf? In this blog we will explore these differences and the benefits for the end consumer.

What is AusGAP certified turfgrass?

AusGAP certification is a comprehensive program designed to ensure that the turfgrass you receive meets stringent industry benchmarks. This includes the planting, production, harvesting, and delivery of the turf. AusGAP certified turf is genetically pure and true to type and carries a quality guarantee ensuring that at the time of delivery it is free of weeds, pests, and diseases. AusGAP ensures this through its programs policies and procedures including biannual inspections, training, and education.

What is the difference between AusGAP certified and non-certified turf?

AusGAP certified turfgrass is distinguishable from uncertified turf by the rigorous certification process and the resulting standards of quality. AusGAP certified turf is verified to meet a certain level of quality, environmental sustainability, and safety standards. On the other hand, uncertified turf may not meet these standards, and there is no guarantee of their quality.


AusGAP certified turfgrasses are of higher quality than uncertified ones. AusGAP certified turf producers undergo rigorous inspections and audits to ensure that their turf meet strict quality standards. This includes aspects such as turfgrass selection, preparation, planting, growing, and harvesting.


Producers of AusGAP certified turf are required to follow strict safety protocols and guidelines. This ensures that certified turfgrass is produced to WHS standards created by AusGAP, this includes chemical regulation, licensing, and documentation.

Environmental sustainability:

AusGAP certified turfgrass is not only better for the environment, but it also requires less maintenance and has a longer lifespan, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run. These turfgrasses have spent years in research and development searching for more stress tolerant and drought tolerant characteristics to ensure the best turfgrasses are on the market leading to lower input grasses for the consumer.


AusGAP certification is a testament to the quality, safety, and environmental responsibility of turfgrass production. Therefore, when a turfgrass producer is selling AusGAP certified turf, it demonstrates their commitment to excellence and their willingness to adhere to strict standards.

What are the potential risks of non-certified turf?

Weed, Pest, and Disease Risks:

Non-certified turf often lacks the rigorous testing and quality control that certified turf undergoes. This can mean potential infestations of pests, diseases, and weeds that can quickly spread across your greenspace. What seems like an initial cost-saving measure can quickly turn into a battle against weeds, pests, and diseases, requiring expensive and time-consuming interventions.

Inconsistent Quality:

Non-certified turf lacks the rigorous quality control measures that AusGAP certified turf undergoes. For example, this can lead to inconsistencies in colour, texture, and overall appearance across your turf, resulting in an uneven and less appealing landscape.

Incompatible with Project Requirements:

Certain projects, such as commercial landscaping or community spaces, may have specific requirements that specify the use of AusGAP certified turf for consistency, health, and environmental considerations. Opting for non-certified turf could lead to compliance issues.

Potential Hidden Costs:

While non-certified turf might initially seem more affordable, the hidden costs associated with poor quality and replacement can quickly add up. AusGAP certified turf’s upfront investment often pays off in the long run by minimising these potential hidden expenses by offering a quality guarantee.

The differences between AusGAP certified and uncertified turfgrass are significant. AusGAP certified turf offers quality assurance knowing it was grown with processes and procedures that are industry leading, while non-certified turf may not meet these standards. By choosing AusGAP certified turf, individuals and organisations can have peace of mind know they are making the best choice for their project.