Should I Lay Sod or Reseed My Lawn? Redoing an existing lawn or if you have a brand-new house that needs landscaping, a common question is should you lay sod or seed the lawn? Even if you have an existing house that has a lawn that needs help, reseeding a lawn versus sod is a common predicament. So, which is the best? Should I lay sod or reseed my lawn?
First, let’s talk about some benefits and disadvantages of seeding a lawn versus sod.
Let’s talk about what you have there now. Do you have a blank canvas to work with or are you going to have to start over? Examine the lawn for any weeds first. If your lawn has more than 50% weeds, moss, tough thatch, or clover, it may be time for a do-over.
Test your soil. This is a part of any successful lawn project. Testing can eliminate the guesswork on what type of nutrients to add to the soil and what type of seed or sod to use.
Benefits of using sod.
- Instant results
- Immediate erosion control.
- Limited weeds
Disadvantages of using sod.
- High cost
- High labor
- Restricted grass choices
- Difficult growing conditions
- Short transplanting window
I’m going to tell you right now I am not a fan of sod. I believe there are way more advantages to seeding a lawn versus sod, and let me tell you why.
Advantages to Seeding or Reseeding a Lawn
The amount of prep work needed to prepare an area for seeding a lawn or reseeding versus preparing the area for sod is almost the same when it comes to labor. Laying down sod actually takes longer than seeding a lawn so when it comes to prepping for the grass, sod may take longer, which can add to labor expenses.
Sod is created and grounded in the ideal temperature and environment. Even if the sod farm is no more than 10 miles away, microclimates in elevation and temperatures can affect the growth rate and health of the plant. Sod farms use specific temperatures and perfect soil conditions in order to grow the best-looking grass possible. When you transfer that to soil that the grass is not familiar with, it will have a hard time adapting, catching route, and that’s why you see a lot of sod-laid yards die rather quickly.
Sod is also a lot of work and can really only be ‘installed’ in warmer months. I’ve had people want sod in the dead of winter, which to me, is just a waste of money and time. Chances are, the shock to the grass will cause it to die faster and because most of the ground and plants are dormant, the sod just won’t take hold.
Reseeding or seeding for the first time means the grass seed has a chance to adapt to your soil, micro-climate, and nutrients and can more easily establish a long-term, beautiful lawn.
Seeding is also much less expensive. The cost of premium grass seed is much less expensive than sod for the same size area.
You also have more choices. Because we recommend seeding over sod any day, we can offer you the right choice of grass for your soil and air condition. There is a lot of flexibility for grass options when you choose to reseed vs. being stuck with what the sod turf company offers.
You don’t have the instant lawn that makes your neighbors envious, but if in 6 months your lawn is still going strong while that sod lawn down the way has turned brown in patches, gotten thin and has started to die, it’s worth it.
However, you do have to tend to each one but I have found that sod takes much more care, attention, time and babysitting than seeding or reseeding ever will.
So when is sod a good idea?
Sod is a great ‘quick fix’. It might be good for an open house or to sell a home quickly and you don’t have a chance to let the grass grow.
It can be good for instant beautification for weddings or venues so long as you don’t have to maintain the yard thereafter.
But honestly, other than that, there are not a lot of great reasons to choose sod over seed. It may take longer but you will be rewarded greatly in the long run with a healthy lawn, healthy grass and a lawn to last.
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