The Grass Seed Vs. Sodding Debate
When it comes to landscaping and planning your perfect outdoor space, you are going to have to choose between seeding or sodding for your yard. Both approaches result in beautiful and healthy lawns but their methods of care and installation differ significantly at the start. So get rid of your existing grass, expose that soil, and start establishing a new lawn!
What Are Rolls of Sod?
Sod is pre-cut mats of live mature grass that have been pre-grown by a farmer. Harvested sod mats or rolls consist of the grass and a soil layer that is held together by the grassroots. Sod installation, or sodding, is recommended for faster results but can be tricky to install.
Reliability. Sod arrives already established, alive and ready to go, while grass seed can easily dry out, get washed away, or just fail to germinate.
Instant results. Sodded lawns offer immediate gratification. It won’t be ready for normal use right away, but it instantly gives a visually pleasing lawn.
Fast establishment. New sod takes only two to three weeks to establish a healthy root system in the ground, which saves you time in maintenance and gives you more time to spend using your new lawn.
Erosion control. Sod can hold soil in places where there are hills or slopes with erosion problems.
Less time strain. Sod can be installed at any point in the growing season, excluding very high temperatures like in late summer. Sod does take root the quickest when it is laid during the peak growth period for its type of grass.
Fewer weeds. Stater-certified and quality sod has little to no weeds and sod outcompetes weed seeds that try to grow early on.
Quick traffic turnaround. Once the root system is established, your sodded lawn is ready for normal traffic. The general rule of thumb is to wait two to three weeks.
Forgiveness. Most sod is hardy and when properly installed it will take root very fast. There is a reduced risk of failure from neglect, erosion, or from seed stealing birds.
Higher initial cost. Sod has a higher price tag than seeding the same area of lawn.
Higher labour expenses. Satisfying results may require professionals as poor installation can quickly lead to poor root establishment and visible seams making an unsightly lawn.
Fewer choices. The varieties of grass available for sod are limited to farmers’ choices, creating fewer options for your unique outdoor experience.
Different growing conditions. Your yard’s conditions, like light and soil, may be very different from where the sod was grown. Shady lawns can be challenging as sod is grown in direct sun.
Short transplanting window. Sod must be laid as soon as possible once it has been cut, ideally within 24 hours.
What Is Seeding?
Seeding is when you lay down a thin layer of grass seed to grow your soon-to-be lush lawn, optimally in the early fall. This allows you to have more influence over each step of your grass’s establishment to amazing green turf.
Lower initial cost. Premium grass seeds cost much less than sod to cover bare soil in the same size lawn.
Less labour. Seeding is a simpler process than sodding, making even a first-timer capable of avoiding most issues or mistakes.
More choices. Seeds offer more varieties of grass seed to best suit your needs and lawn environment. Remember to choose grasses suited to your location and conditions unique to your yard to avoid more maintenance.
In place. When using seed, the grass will continue to grow in the same place they germinate and establish roots. When they have a healthy root system, they can stay strong and undisturbed.
Power washing paved areas in the early spring can help elevate your outdoor space by getting rid of unwanted dirt and debris and, therefore, help to accentuate special shrubs and plants that you’ve taken the time to prune. One of the best tools to have is a paintbrush, a fresh can of paint, and a pressure washer.
Defined seeding window. To get a healthy lawn, grass seed must be sown during the peak growth time for the type of grasses you use for them to flourish at all. Poor timing can lead to failed or weak grass results.
Slow establishment. Speed of grass seed germination can vary between types of grasses, but freshly seeded lawns require 10 to 12 weeks before handling any foot traffic.
Greater maintenance. Frequent watering is critical during seedling establishment. Newly seeded lawns require careful monitoring to ensure good results.
Erosion potential. Planted seeds are at a high risk of washing away in heaving rains until roots are established. This causes a high chance of failure with poor weather and surface soil erosion.
Weed competition. A newly seeded lawn is vulnerable to competition from weeds for light and nutrients. Avoiding planting in spring and seeding in the fall helps as weeds are less active in the fall.
Longer maturation time. A freshly seeded yard needs a full growing season before it achieves a dense look and before it can withstand major lawn traffic and use.
Seeding Vs. Sodding
The choice is up to your needs when choosing. Replacing your existing lawn or creating a new lawn and whether you choose sod or seed, make sure to nurture and maintain your grass of choice with proper and regular conditions, fertilization and watering of the sod to get the beautiful lawn of your dreams.