Plant Grass Seed or Sod?

Got big lawn plans? Want to plant grass seed for your favorite types grass to pop up? Debating on spreading seed or using sod? I may have some answers to help the decision making process along. You don’t want to use all your free time thinking about your turf. I am sure you have more pressing things to do like improving your fantasy football team that is currently a mediocre 6-6. Mine is 2-10, so don’t fret.

When to Plant Grass Seed?

Planting grass seed is an easy way to get some turf going, but it will not happen overnight. You will have to plant the seeds at the right time. Fall is a great time to plant most grass types, but spring is a good choice as well. For some cool weather grasses like Rye, winter is the right season. Proper care will make a big difference in the results as well. You can’t just sling some seed around and think you will have the prize lawn of your neighborhood.

Before You Start…

When using seed to start a lawn, soil preparation is a big key to success. Hard ground is no more conducive to grass growth than it is to sleeping. You can rent machines like tillers to get the soil loosened up and ready for seeding. Bigger yards will need a tractor with an attachment to break up the ground in a finer consistency.

Planting Grass Seeds

Once you have the soil ready just plant grass seed according to the directions on the bag. Different types grass will have different planting ratios. Add some starter fertilizer to the soil next and then some wheat straw to cover the seeds. This protects from birds and also cold weather. It also keeps the seeds in place better. One missing ingredient….H2O of course. Be sure to water the seed and fertilizer you just spread. Then regularly water at least every other day.

When You Are in a Hurry

If you need a lawn in a hurry and you have no time to plant grass seed, then sod is the best solution. No waiting for grass seeds to pop up. You can buy sod in squares or rolls and have a nice lawn laid out in a day’s time. You will need to do the same type of soil preparation though. Sod won’t grow on rocky, hard ground any better than seeds.

It will take a few weeks for the sod pieces to grow together, but the base of the turf will be set from day one. This is a much more efficient way to get a lawn started. Adding sand between the sod pieces will speed up the growing together process.

Comparing Seeds with Sod

It didn’t take long to break down the sod laying process compared to seeding. Putting out sod is simpler, but is still hard work. If you are doing it alone, it will be a tough day’s work so I suggest getting at least one helper. That lazy nephew of yours needs something to do besides play on that ipad anyway!

Why would anyone choose seeding then?

Good question. Sod is more expensive than grass seed, so you can either use extra money or extra time to get your grass growing. That choice is yours.

Over the long haul, I would choose sod. Depending on what types grass you choose, you may have to add seed every year to fill in thin spots on a seeded lawn. With sod you will likely only need to add some fertilizer and a bit of sand here and there. With proper care, seeding a lawn will make a lawn look as good as a sodded one. But there will be more work involved with the seeding over time. So if you have the money, choose sod. If you are on a green thumb budget, choose seeding. Let it settle and watch it grow.

Do you have some awesome tips when planting seed or using sod? Please share them with me and leave a comment below. Other Folks might benefit from your experience! Thank you!

Happy Mowing!

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