Planting Grass Seed or Laying Sod?
Creating a healthy new lawn from a bare patch of dirt can be much work and requires research into important decisions, as many will need to be made. The first and most crucial decision to make is selecting your grass variety. You want the grass that suits your specific expectations for the lawn that you’ve envisioned. Once the variety has been chosen, you need to decide if your lawn is going to be established by planting grass seed or by laying grass sod. There are some important considerations when making this decision, so let’s take a look at them.
The grass species that your new lawn will grow is the first consideration in deciding to plant grass seed directly or lay sod instead. Some grasses, like hybrid bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, seashore paspalum, and many zoysia grasses, do not produce seed or are extremely difficult to harvest commercially. Therefore, if using one of these for your new lawn, the decision is simple: you’ll likely use grass sod, or sprigs and plugs in some cases.
I live in the Southwest United States; most homeowners here have Bermuda grass in their lawns. Although some very attractive seeded varieties have been developed over the years, most people use a hybrid bermuda grass for their dense, green, low-growing properties. These hybrid varieties can only be established vegetatively. Grass sod is by far the leading method. So, first determine if the grass you have selected is available in either seed, sod, or both. Then choose what best fits your situation.
Most grass species are available in a sodded form. Sod is by far the fastest way to establish a new lawn. There’s no time wasted germinating grass seed and waiting for the grass to fill in over the next several weeks. Sod can give you a beautiful, green, new lawn literally overnight. Many turf grass professionals prefer to establish lawns with sod. However there is a drawback: Cost! The price per square foot of laying sod will make a good dent in your wallet when laying grass in a large area.
It’s all about economics. If you have a small lawn or are just renovating a small area of your yard, laying grass sod may pencil out and be economically feasible. On the other hand, if establishing grass in a large area, planting grass seed may be more work, but will be cheaper.
I’ve seen some beautiful lawns established by both planting grass seed and laying sod. Be sure to choose the grass planting method that’s right for your specific situation.
Visit the PLANTING GRASS SEED page or GRASS SOD INSTALLATION TIPS post for step-by-step instructions.