Sod vs. Seed: How to Choose

Sod VS Seed: How to Choose

Whether you are completing a new construction project or finishing up a landscape renovation one of the last items to take care of is installing or repairing the lawn. A poor lawn can leave a nicely done landscape or patio look unfinished. Deciding how to finish out the yard is just as important as any other aspect of the project. The two most common options to consider are sod and seed. Before you decide which option to go with, there are a few questions that need to be considered that will help make the decision. How the lawn will be watered, time of the year, and budget all play a role in choosing between sod and seed.

How Will The Lawn Be Watered?

The first, and most important, question to consider is how the new lawn will be watered. Brand new sod requires excessive amounts of water every day for 2-3 weeks, depending on weather conditions. Sod will require a lot of attention to make sure it stays healthy and takes root. Having an irrigation system is almost a must if sod is desired. If you do have an irrigation system, sod is a great choice that can give instant satisfaction. If there is no irrigation present, seeding the lawn would be recommended. Seeding does not require as much water or attention but does not provide immediate green space like sod would.

What Time of Year Is It?

Knowing what time of the year the lawn is being installed is just as important as the watering. Seeding fescue cannot be done at any time throughout the year and has a smaller window of opportunity compared to sodding. Early fall presents itself as the best time to seed a lawn, when the temperatures are staying around the upper 60’s and lower 70’. This time of year, along with adequate water, gives the best germination and sometime gives results just as good as sod. Early spring is also a great opportunity to seed. With the correct watering, sod can be installed almost any time of the year, except for winter. Since it comes already growing, we do not have to worry about temperatures for germination.

What Does My Budget Allow?

One more factor that helps in making the decision is your budget. Installing sod tends to be more expensive than seeding the lawn but offers instant gratification. Seeding is much less costly, but it can take longer to get the green yard that you want, and sometimes takes another application if it does not germinate properly.

When finishing off your landscape project, how you finish the lawn can make all the difference. Asking yourself these three questions can help make the decision between sod and seed much easier and get you that lawn that neighbors are jealous of.



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Rost, Inc. began in 1985 with a vision of creating stunning and unique landscapes for central Missouri. Founders Tim and Toby Rost began landscaping while attending the University of Missouri.