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Your New Lawn - Sod Or Seed?30 September 2011
Whether you have a brand new house with no yard or you're just starting over after your old lawn died, there are two ways you can go to create your new lawn. Do you want to go with sod or seed? There are factors to weigh before you make your decision and pros and cons to sod vs. seed.
A bag or two of seed is always going to be less expensive that buying a truckload of sod strips. You can certainly afford to go after the highest quality seed available as it is an inexpensive way to go. Sod is the more expensive option, especially when you consider the cost of the sod, delivery charges, and paying hired labor to lay the sod.
Putting down sod and having an instant lawn can satisfy your immediate gratification needs, whereas starting grass from seed takes time. It can take a few weeks for the grass shoots to start showing themselves, and much longer before the new grass can bear having people walk on it.
As far as the time it takes to seed vs. sod, it takes longer to lay sod than it does to spread seed. However, the results at the end of the day will be very different.
Laying sod is certainly more labor-intensive because sod is heavy. If you're a DIY kind of person your best bet is to bribe some of your stronger buddies with pizza and beer or hire some local high school football players who don't mind flexing their muscles to help you out. After the sod is down you need to roll over it with a roller you can rent and fill with water. This is also heavy labor.
Throwing some seed down requires a wheeled spreader and your ability to push that spreader. You can then lightly rake the soil and roll over it with an empty roller. There's a debate about whether to cover the seed with peat moss but if you do, it would be the last step.
You have a bigger selection of seed choices than you do sod choices. This shouldn't matter if your sod options work well in your area. The companies who sell sod should be selling what works for your local climate, if not, you might want to consider seed. You should also make sure your choice works with your landscape and whether your yard is in shade or gets lots of foot traffic.
No matter which direction you want to go, sod or seed, you will still need to prepare your yard for grass. Leveling and firming your yard is a must and so is putting down good top soil. Both lawns require lots of water to get them started and neither one should be attempted in the middle of summer.