How to Choose Between Sod and Seed for New Lawns


Maybe you are starting with a bare patch of dirt in need of a lush lawn. Or maybe that lush lawn has withered away and is in need of intensive repair. Whatever the reason, you have two choices when it comes to growing a healthy lawn – sod or seed. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and much depends on your circumstances, budget and schedule.

Why Choose Sod?

For a quick fix or to have the most coverage in the shortest period of time, sod is the best answer. This product is basically strips of grass that are delivered to your home and spread out on the bare earth, much like a grass carpet. Once they have been watered well and the roots are given a chance to take hold, the sod will grow together and form your lawn.

It is fast and requires little work after the sod has been laid. But choosing sod is also the expensive route, costing you many times more than spreading grass seed would.

You also need to choose the best time to lay the sod. If a dry spell hits before the roots have a chance to dig in, you can lose parts or all of your new lawn. Frost will also be devastating to newly laid sod, causing the plant to go into dormancy before it has a chance to take root in the new soil.

Sods can work for repairs, but it does require you to cut out the damaged section first. If you simply lay the new soil over top it may root, but you’ll end up with an uneven ground that is difficult to mow well. If the damaged area is small, seeding is the best option by far.

Why Choose Seed?

Seed is inexpensive – only a small investment is required to cover a large area of your yard. It’s also much easier to use when you’re dealing with lawn repairs. By overseeding your yard you can turn a patchy area of turf into a lush and thriving lawn. Perfect for filling up bare corners or filling in where pests or other conditions have caused damage, seeds need to be sown properly and watered well until the lawn is established.

It’s a good idea to fence off the seeded area for the first few weeks, as walking on the surface will damage any new sprouts. You may also need to feed the area as the seeds sprout, spreading a very light layer of compost to help give the plants a boost.

Seed is certainly more work in the beginning stages and may not have as high as success rate as sod does, but the cost is a big benefit. You also have much more choice in grass variety with seed. There are plenty of options out there and you can even create grass mixtures that are best suited for property. Although sod farms may present a few options the choice there is much more limited.

Whichever method you choose, with proper care both sod and seed will result in a healthy lawn that you can enjoy for years to come.

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