While a thriving and luscious front lawn is symbolic of an attentive homeowner, achieving a gorgeously thick carpet of green grass and maintaining its vibrancy can pose a challenge. For those yard care enthusiasts in a bind, you can turn to sod for quick coverage, or you can put your patience to the test with grass seed. 

If your lawn care specialist neighbors have planted a seed in your mind, studying the pros and cons of grass seed vs. sod can help you move one step closer to a rich and lush lawn in your backyard. Ready to give your green thumb a go? Read on for more insider tips and tricks. 

Know what you’ve got

If you have new construction or a yard in need of repair, you have a few choices: grass seed or sod. Yards that need repair benefit from grass seed, and you can buy grass seed online tailored to your lawn’s specific needs.

For those lawn care amateurs, dirt yards often benefit from sod, as it helps you achieve an instantly grassy yard seemingly overnight. However, before you choose seed or sod, test your soil. Bring it to a local gardening center so the experts can evaluate the pH, organic ingredients, and nutrient count. Then, you can adjust your soil accordingly until it’s conducive to optimum growth. 

Reasons to use grass seed

With grass seed, you can grow an entire yard of grass, or you can fill in unsightly dry patches in your yard. Although, it’s worth mentioning that grass seed requires ample patience and dedication, as you must wait for it to grow and regularly water it. Despite having to keep a watchful eye on your seeded lawn post-planting, grass seed boasts several benefits. 

For starters, grass seed costs less than sod, especially if you compare the cost per square foot. 

Additionally, grass seed involves a relatively easy installation process, especially if you follow lawn care experts’ instructions to a tee. 

For those homeowners teetering on the fence, remember that you have more grass variety choices with seed than with sod. You can choose grass seed specifically designed for your soil, geography, and maintenance needs. Not to mention, grass seed grows where you plant it. When you start seeding your lawn, the roots can establish themselves rather than having to grow through sod rolls. If you’re still not convinced of the benefits of grass seed over sod, you can reseed in areas that need it, rather than having to replace entire rolls of sod. 

Benefits of sod

Like grass seed, sod features several benefits, too. Most notably, sod gives you an instant yard, while grass seed needs to germinate and grow, which takes time. If you’re craving instant gratification (must like your underwatered front lawn craves hydration), buy sod in rolls that you must unroll. 

Sod provides homeowners with relatively instant results, although you must wait for the sod to establish before using it. Generally speaking, new sod needs 14 to 21 days to establish itself and root into your yard. 

Once this sod has established roots, homeowners can enjoy its soil-erosion-containing benefits. Additionally, when installing sod, budding lawn care enthusiasts can enjoy an added layer of convenience, given that sod can be installed anytime during the growing season, except during extreme heat and drought. Experts recommend avoiding these temperature extremes, as sod because will need moisture to establish in your yard.

Sod prevents weeds, especially when the sod you purchase comes from a certified grower. 

After the roots establish themselves, your family and pets can play on it.

Disadvantages of sod

If sod seems too good to be true, it is. Sure, it gifts you with an instant yard, but it can stir up financial trouble without the proper precautions. 

For one, sod costs significantly more than grass seed, especially when looking at the square footage price. To make matters worse, installation experts care exorbitant rates to place sod in your yard. If they do a poor job, then your sod might not establish itself. Remember, there is more to installing sod than unrolling it on dirt, especially if you don’t want the seams to show. 

For those curious about other downsides, consider the following: 

  • Sod needs to be installed within 24 hours of harvesting. Sod farms only use a few grass varieties, so you cannot buy sod that fits your yard’s unique needs. 
  • When you install sod, you can only use one type of grass. Unfortunately, some backyards require grass seed suitable shade in some areas and seed varieties that can endure harsh sunlight in others. Farmers grow sod in full sun, so people with shady yards often struggle when establishing sod. 
  • Sod needs to be installed within 24 hours of harvesting. 

Final thoughts 

If you want complete control over the grass in your yard, then grass seed is the best choice. You can choose the perfect seed for your yard’s shade and sun needs. With enough watering and fertilizing, you can grow a rich and luxurious carpet of grass in your yard.

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