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When you want to improve your landscaping and increase the amount of grass you have on your property, you have two options… Seed or Sod. Grass seed comes in a variety of different types and allows you to fill in thin areas or grow an entire lawn over the course of one growing season. Sod gives you an instant lawn without any of the waiting that is involved with seeds. Both will produce a lush, green lawn when well cared for, but they do have some differences. Below, we’ll explain these differences to help you make a more informed decision for your property.

Soil Preparation

In both the installation of seed and sod, there is some preparation required for the lawn. In either case, there may need to be the removal of old, dead grass, rocks, tree stumps, or fallen leaves. In both cases, the soil may need to be prepared to handle the addition of the new grass. Adding Gypsum and Lime really help with the soil type in our area and tilling is a must. Nutrients may need to be added to help the grass grow. The cost of this soil preparation is normally included in the cost of the lawn installation, but if the ground is in poor condition, sometimes an additional cost is needed.

Installation

Seed is fairly easy to install once the soil is prepared. The grass seed is added to a spreader and laid evenly over the ground. Then fertilizer and mulch put over it.

Sod can be laid out in rolls or squares.

Both seed and sod have a range of prices depending on the type of grass you select. Seed is less expensive than sod, depending on what soil preparation is needed.  Sod, however, can be more costly, but does give you the advantage of an “Instant Lawn.”

Appearance

Both seed and sod come in a range of different grass type. Seed is typically available in a wider range of options than sod, however, giving you more choices for color, hardiness, and lushness of the lawn.

Seed does take 1 growing season to fill in completely, while sod will give you a new lawn within one day. Because seed takes much longer to cover a lawn completely, weeds can mix in with the grass over time, and may require the use of some type of weed control. Because sod is fully grown grass with no weeds introduced, it doesn’t require the same amount of care.

Planting Season

When adding seed to your lawn,one of the best times of year is during the cooler fall months. The warm days and cool nights help the grass grow quickly, putting down roots that will help it come up stronger and healthier in the spring. Typically we don’t seed after the end of October , starting up again around April due to the Seasonal changes.

Maintenance

Both seed and sod have some degree of maintenance after installation. both will require daily watering for the first two to four weeks to encourage the roots to grow.

Seed may have a greater degree of initial maintenance than sod. Seed also requires daily watering, but it also requires a weaning period from daily watering so that the new grass does not become stunted.

Erosion Control

If the soil in the area you are planting is experiencing erosion, sod can be installed as a form of erosion control.

Seed can be used for this purpose as well but can be less effective short term, as the length of time it takes to put down roots cannot stop erosion quickly enough.