Are you debating whether to establish your lawn from sod or seed? There are several factors to consider before making a choice. Either option can lead to a beautiful lawn, but the amount of time and labor involved varies greatly.
Sod is basically mature grass, rooted in a layer of soil and sold in pallets of rectangular pieces or rolls of long strips. When you choose sod, the producer has already done the hardest work for you—planting in prime conditions to germinate the seed and then providing optimal care while the new grass is at its most vulnerable.
Premium sod farms, like NG Turf, grow multiple varieties of high quality certified sod, selected specifically for top performance in your geographical area. The sod arrives at your home or business ready to lay on prepared soil.
There are many advantages and few disadvantages to sodding your lawn.
Advantages of Sod
Freshly installed sod instantly gives the look of a finished lawn for instant curb appeal.
With proper installation and consistent watering, new sod typically takes just two to three weeks to become fully established.
Instant Erosion Control
As soon as sod is installed on slopes or areas with erosion trouble, it begins absorbing run-off water and holding soil in place.
Sod can be installed in any season, just as long as the ground is not frozen, allowing you to oversee the project when it is convenient for you.
Once roots are established—usually about two weeks from installation—sod is ready for normal use, including play, pets, and entertaining
Sod farms roll their fields and carefully monitor soil conditions to produce a beautifully even product.
Considerations for Sod
Higher Initial CostWith sod, months of work to get the grass to germinate and mature is done for you, and of course there is a higher cost associated with that.
Short Installation WindowOnce sod is harvested from the farm, it must be delivered and installed as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of being cut. Whether installing yourself or hiring professional sod installers, be sure to ask about the timing of harvest, delivery and installation.
When establishing a lawn from seed, you are responsible for providing optimal growing conditions. From germination to sprouting and root production, the success of your lawn relies on your consistent care and attention for a few months.
Advantages of Seed
Lower Initial CostPurchasing grass seed and straw is much less expensive than buying sod.
Undisturbed GrowthWhen seeding your lawn, your grass grows continuously in the same climate and soil where it germinated and took root, without the disruption of transplanting.
Considerations for Seed
Length of Establishment
Establishing a newly seeded lawn can take up three months before it can handle even light traffic.
Precise Growing Window
For a successful lawn, seed should be sown during peak growth season for the specific variety of grass. Cool season grasses, like tall fescue, thrive in cool conditions, so early fall is the best planting time. Planting seed at the wrong time can lead to failed germination and grass that is more susceptible to insects and disease.
High Initial MaintenanceWhen establishing new seed, watering is extremely important. A high level of careful monitoring and attention is needed to ensure desired results over a period of a few months.
Seed, straw and soil can wash away or pool with heavy rains until roots are established.
CompetitionWeed sprouts can compete with grass seeds for water, light, and nutrients.
Lack of UniformityMany of the most popular varieties, especially Bermuda and zoysia grasses, lack uniformity when seeded or do not produce enough viable seed to establish a lawn.
The Decision Is Yours
Ultimately, the decision to establish grass from sod or seed comes down to the amount of time and patience you have to devote to your new lawn. Once the grass is fully established, the differences disappear, allowing you to shift to regular maintenance with consistent watering, fertilizing and mowing.
If you are considering new sod for your lawn, consult our Certified Turfgrass Professionals at 770.832.8608 or info@NGTurf.com