Gardening Tips, Landscaping Tips — September 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Your New Lawn: Seed vs. Sod


With the increase in vacant homes for sale over the past 5-7 years, more and more home buyers are having to remove large sections of dead grass and start over. One of the first questions all of us face is do we try spreading seed or pony up the extra $$ for the instant gratification of sod?

The answer depends on how much you want to spend and how long you want to wait.

Benefits of Sod:

– Instant lawn!!!  You wake up with a dirt covered yard and go to bed with a plush, green yard while making your neighbors envious.

– Solid coverage: Since you’re laying the sod like carpet, you can be sure every sq inch of your desired space has grass. When it’s done properly, seeding can also provide complete coverage, but it takes a little more work to ensure it.

– You can use your yard!  Although foot traffic should be kept to a minimum with newly laid sod, homes with kids and pets will have much more success with sod. Seeding requires the area to be undisturbed until the seeds have germinated and started to grow roots down into the soil. Even then kids and pet traffic can kill the delicate seedlings. If you have kids and pets, sod is the way to go.

Benefits of Seed:

– Cost savings:  Sod is much more expensive than seed, although you can save some money if you do it yourself. Even then, a couple bags of quality seed are far cheaper than a couple palettes of sod.

– More choices: With mail order being an option for seed, you have access to a lot more varieties of grass than what your local sod farm offers. However, it’s important to make sure whatever you choose is well suited for your local climate.

– Weed control: Although many sod providers say their grass is weed/fungus free, it’s almost impossible to guarantee that. With seed, if you’ve prepped your soil properly and taken care of any weeds before hand, it becomes easier to grow a relatively weed free lawn. Just make sure you keep an eye out as your seedlings grow to pull out any stubborn weeds that snuck in until your new lawn is thick enough to keep them out.


(Water consideration: One thing to remember is maintaining a lawn that is the envy of all your neighbors requires a work and a LOT of water. If you live in an area with hot summers and low rainfall, consider adding smaller areas of lawn complemented with planting beds and hardscaping)