growing grass on a lawn using sod

Sod vs Seed: What is the Best Way to get a Green Lawn this Spring?

Depending on your regional climate, a green lawn may come naturally come Spring. For those of us lacking ample sunlight and precipitation, it’s important to get a jump start on Spring. This ensures that, when warmer weather finally begins to rear its head, so too does our lawn. If you’re a new homeowner, you may be looking at your dirt patch of a yard wondering how to make it lush and green come summer. There are two primary methodologies when it comes to revitalizing an old lawn or starting a new lawn. Sod vs Seed. But which works best, and how do they differ?

Sod vs Seed: What are the Differences? 

growing a lawn from grass seed

Let’s start with sod. To put it simply, sod is grass. It’s grass that is grown and harvested for the specific purpose of transplantation. Sod is made like any other crop. When it’s ready for harvest, they take the grass along with a layer of soil entangled within the root system. This sheet is then taken to the transplant site and installed much like a carpet. Once established, the combination of soil and a healthy root system will take hold of the ground. This is what will give you a healthy, lush yard within a week.

Seed is much easier to explain. It’s grass seed grown for germination. Most seed found in the wild will not propagate a yard. The seed you buy at a hardware store is formulated to grow easily under a wide array of conditions. Yet, at the end of the day seed is still seed—you must sow it and then wait for it to grow naturally.

Is Sod Or Seed Cheaper?

When it comes to price in sod vs seed, seed will always win. Seed will always be much cheaper due to the low amount of labor needed to cultivate it compared to sod. On average, seed can be installed for around $0.24 per square foot. On the other hand, sod costs an average of $1.29 per square foot, which is over 137% more expensive!

At the end of the day, it’s best to do a cost-benefit analysis when deciding which option to choose. Ask yourself questions like, how much time do I have? Can I commit to the amount of labor required for each option? Do I have the money to spend on the more expensive option?

Does Sod or Seed Require More Work?

man mowing a beautiful grass field

You could almost compare sod and seed to carpet and hardwood. One is easily rolled out and requires less subsequent maintenance. The other takes time and, while it looks nice, requires more maintenance throughout.

While it’s more expensive, no one will tell you that installing sod is more labor than seeding a lawn. A professional crew or one or two people could roll out an entire yard in a day. After two weeks, you’ll have yourself a yard that looks like it took 2 years to produce.

Seed is a bit more difficult. It needs to be spread evenly in the Fall and it will typically take two years before you see a complete result. Furthermore, you need to constantly water a newly-seeded lawn. Even that proves a challenge as you don’t want to wash the seeds away.

Is Sod or Seed Faster?

When it comes to time in sod vs seed, sod wins by a lot. Without a doubt, a professional landscaping crew can hand you a completed yard using sod in one day. Not only that, the results are immediately enjoyed. Seeding a lawn should also only take a day. However, the results of that job will take months to see. It also takes at least two years before it reaches a point where it’s as lush as it will ever be.

Which Is More Or Less Invasive?

a field with half of it being dirt and the other half is covered in grass from seed

Going back to the flooring analogy; picture a carpeted room—you can vacuum it, shampoo it, and keep it clean. But if your wish is to revitalize it then you have no option other than to rip it out entirely. The same is true for sod—if you plan on using sod as an option, then your old yard has to go. A crew will need to use a shovel, mattock, and/or rototiller to shave off your old grass. A lawn properly prepared for sod will be down to the dirt—that’s about as invasive as you can get.

Seed can be considerably less invasive if your yard is only in need of revitalization. However, if you’re working with a completely barren lawn than preparing it for seed will require just as much preparation. Even then, once your yard is prepared, you still have a lot of work to do if you’re planning on using seed.

Is There a Reason to Use One Over the Other?

Sod can be great, but it’s not always the best option, especially if you lack the budget. Beyond that, seed will give you more options when choosing the specific type of grass you want in your yard. Once again, it comes down to asking yourself what’s most important to you regarding your lawn. If you want something quick, hardy, and easy, then choose sod. If you have the patience and the green thumb, then there’s nothing wrong with choosing seed.

Anyway, you can always turn to professionals when it comes to lawn maintenance. We at Earth Development can help you make your home territory look good with all types of individualized solutions for landscape renovation, lawn maintenance, and other services. Contact us now!