seed vs sod

Sod or Seed: Which is right for you?

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

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. 

pallet of farm fresh sod from NG Turf, Atlanta, GA

Advantages of Sod

sod giving a home instant curb appeal, benefits of sod
  • Immediate Results

    Freshly installed sod instantly gives the look of a finished lawn for instant curb appeal.

  • Quick Establishment

    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.

  • Installation Flexibility

    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.

  • Less Waiting

    Once roots are established—usually about two weeks from installation—sod is ready for normal use, including play, pets, and entertaining

man laying fresh sod rolls, increase in home improvement projects during pandemic concept

 

  • Even Growth

    Sod farms roll their fields and carefully monitor soil conditions to produce a beautifully even product.

Considerations for Sod

  • Higher Initial Cost
    With 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 Window
    Once 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.

Seed

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 Cost
    Purchasing grass seed and straw is much less expensive than buying sod.

  • Undisturbed Growth
    When 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.

close up of a page of a calendar
  • High Initial Maintenance
    When 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.

  • Possible Erosion

    Seed, straw and soil can wash away or pool with heavy rains until roots are established.

  • Competition
    Weed sprouts can compete with grass seeds for water, light, and nutrients.

  • Lack of Uniformity
    Many 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.
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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

 

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