When establishing a new lawn, a common question asked is, “Should I seed or sod?” Both have advantages and disadvantages. There are three important decisions when considering establishment methods: 1) turfgrass selection, 2) site preparation, and 3) care of the new lawn. These considerations will be discussed for each establishment method.
The pros and cons
The most important difference between seeding and sodding is the time necessary for developing a mature or durable turf. Sodding is essentially transplanting a mature turf that has been cared for by a professional. Seeding involves the same process used in the establishment of sod and can be accomplished by a professional or the homeowner. The number of variables involved in seeding make it difficult and many times unsuccessful for the homeowner. The following outline lists some of the advantages and disadvantages of each establishment method.
- More grass types and varieties to choose from
- Less expensive than sodding
- Stronger root system development initially
- Initial establishment is longer
- For best results, time of seeding is limited mainly to late summer and early fall
- Moisture is critical for the young seedlings
- Rapid establishment and relatively weed-free in the beginning
- Good for slopes or areas prone to erosion
- Can be laid any time during the growing season
- Less selection or control over kinds of grasses, especially shade tolerance