Is your new construction lot ready to “go green?” Does your lackluster lawn need a bit of love? Now’s the time to talk about how to turn your turf (or lack thereof) into a green oasis. Making the right decision between grass seed vs sod starts with knowing your soil. If existing weeds have taken hold of half the yard or more, it’s more than likely time to start from scratch. If weeds aren’t overpopulated, consider building on what’s there with supplemental grass seed. Other key factors like cost, time and maintenance play into the decision, too. Brothers Grimm breaks down the two very different options so you can pick the best path to a beautiful, green lawn.
What is Sod?
If you’re looking for a quick, green fix, sod is the way to go. Sod is a mature grass solution available in squares or rolls (like carpet) and we lay it down on the soil. Sod can cover large areas or get cut to fill small patches to fill holes. Even below the surface, sod becomes established with decent roots in just two or three weeks after installation.
Sod saves time and provides instant gratification. Because the turf is more mature, weeds aren’t competing with the sod like they do with grass seed. Sod also works well on sloped yards because it prevents erosion. It acts like a blanket to keep soil in place.
The cost of sod over seed is a huge drawback. It also requires special rolling and quite a bit of water initially. Plus, it may not do well in shaded lawn areas because it isn’t grown in a shaded environment.
The expense of mature grass and intense labor requirements for installation make sod up to 20 times more expensive per square foot than seed. Some don’t mind the cost because it delivers an instant upgrade, but this vast price difference makes sod ideal for tinier patches rather than large fields.
Grass seed makes sense for larger spaces without foot traffic because the seeds need time to establish. Seed is a wise choice for commercial and residential properties alike, as long as the site is properly maintained after seeding.
If you’ve heard the saying “the grass is greener on the other side,” you’re probably thinking the grass is definitely greener on the sod side. That may be true of installation, but seed can go the distance. This cost effective grass solution develops deeper root systems than sod. This makes it a long-term tool especially for large-scale lots.
Seed also comes in several types of grass, so you have the additional ability to choose a type that grows well in your local area. Options include Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue and more.
Seed needs about six weeks of growth time to establish itself, which means six weeks of staying off the grass. For solid growth, seed should be spread evenly across the soil and receive consistent watering. This watering process might not be a problem for residences or commercial properties where irrigation systems exist already, however, water runoff across exposed soil can lead to lost seed, particularly on sloped land. The planting window is much narrower compared to sod.
At around $.02 per square foot, even the most expensive seed is still less expensive than $0.35 per square foot sod. Is the fresh, finished look of sod worth this extra expense?
Ohio Weather Factors
Weather is always a factor when it comes to planting and landscape installation. Temperature dictates the time of year that’s best for planting seed. To plant in the spring, be ready early in the season – ideally in April – so the seed gets established prior to summer. Seeds compete with much more weed growth during the summer, so for complete reseeding, wait until September.
Sod on the other hand, isn’t tied down to specific timing like seed. Lay sod in the spring, fall or summer, but give it consistent water during those hot summer months. Weeds aren’t competing with sod like they do with grass seed, since the sod is mature grass.
Brothers Grimm Landscaping
Whether you’re looking to amp up the curb appeal of a residential lot, or cover a wide space of commercial property, Brothers Grimm can help you weigh the pros and cons of both seed and sod. Spring is nearly here, so talk to our team today about achieving and maintaining a healthy, vibrant lawn.