new sod, mulch and block retaining wall in Maple Grove MN
Northwood Outdoor Services

Northwood Outdoor Services

Pros & Cons of Sod vs. Grass Seed

Choosing the perfect look for your yard is essential, whether you are moving into a new home or looking to update your current property, it’s no surprise that a lush lawn will improve your property value and complement your landscaping. The two most popular options for your yard are between laying sod and traditional grass seed.

What Advantages Does Grass Seed Have Over Sod?

Applying grass seed over freshly renovated soil is extremely easy and can be a simple D.I.Y. project. There are also other advantages to grass seed over sod provided you have the patience to let grass seed germinate.

Cost-Effective

If you are looking for an affordable option for grass to create a new lawn, regular grass seed is a great choice. In most cases, sod is a more expensive and certainly more labor-intensive process than grass seed. However, grass seed can cover a large area without breaking the bank.

Ease of Installation

Grass seed is as simple as getting a spreader and walking around your yard pushing the spreader to ensure even distribution. Installing grass seed is a quick and effective installation process.

Stronger Root System Development

If you lay down sod, you must wait patiently for the severed roots to establish themselves in your lawn. Grass seed grows strong from the start and can create a deeper root system faster than sod. Deep roots are more drought-resistant and take in more nutrients.

What Advantages Does Sod Have Over Grass Seed?

Sod is great for getting your lawn ready any time of year. It might be the option for you if your lifestyle is busy and doesn’t leave much time for fertilizing and other yard work. You can create a beautiful yard in mere hours once the site has been graded and prepped.

Install, Water & Forget

With sod, you have the luxury of being to lay it down on prepped soil, turning on your sprinklers and let nature do its work. Grass seed on the other hand is delicate and requires protection from birds, animals, foot traffic and the elements. Many will use straw or hay with biodegradable netting over the top of their grass seed to keep it shielded.

You Can Lay Sod Anytime

As long as you give it enough time to root properly before winter arrives and temperatures are mild enough for grass to grow (daytime high temperatures in the 60s with nighttime lows in the 40s), you can lay down sod in any season. It does not need several weeks to germinate like grass seed does, but you will want to be aware of extremely hot weather in the forecast so you can water accordingly.

It’s Great For More Difficult Terrain

On yards with extremely steep slopes, the best option is a retaining wall to reduce the slope and help stabilize the soil. But most properties will have some degree of a hill, especially on homes with walk out basements. Sod will be the best course of action if you’d like that slope to be a turf area. Combing a professional sod installation with sod pins will keep that new turf in place while it takes root over the coming weeks.

Lush From the Beginning

Immediately after the sod is laid, you will have the greenest lawn on the block because sod is actively growing turf before it is cut into rolls and brought to your property. To keep sod green, we recommend watering (ideally with an irrigation system) twice per day for two weeks, then once per day for another two weeks, then every other day after that through the end of the growing season. This schedule is dependent on current weather conditions though.

Sod is Almost Always Locally Sourced and Supports Small Businesses

The vast majority of sod purchased in Minnesota is from a local, often family-owned and operated sod farm, meaning it is a great way to support small businesses. It also means that your grass is well-suited to the local weather. When purchasing grass seed from a big box store there is always the risk that the variety of grass seed that isn’t optimal for the environment or soil type at your property.

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