How To Decide If Sod Or Seeding Is The Best Choice For Your Lawn

Seeding or sod – those are your choices when it’s time to rejuvenate your lawn or start over entirely with new turf. But how can you know which is the best option for your yard? Each choice indeed comes with different pros and cons, which is why we’ve compiled a list to help you decide.

Everything You Need To Know About Seeding And Sod

Assessing Your Current Lawn

The first thing you should decide is whether you want to start from square one with an entirely new lawn or repair the turfgrass you currently have. Go over your yard and take a careful look for the following things:

  • How much dead grass is present
  • How much thin grass is present
  • How much of the yard is overcome by weeds

If the last point is something you struggle with, you should estimate what percentage of the lawn is impacted by weeds. If it’s less than roughly 40%, you can likely keep your existing lawn and repair it. However, if your yard is over 50% weeds or damaged grass, it’s best to start over.

Overseeding 101

grass overseeding

Overseeding is the process of dispersing grass seed over the surface of the yard. This process can be used either to thicken up an existing lawn or give you a completely fresh lawn. It’s often performed in conjunction with aeration, a beneficial treatment that breaks up hard compacted soil and reduces the thatch build-up.

Pros

Financial Investment

Overseeding is more affordable than sod installation. Even premium grass seed blends are less than sod rolls.

Time-Saving

If you choose to install your new lawn yourself, overseeding requires relatively little time and effort than rolling out sod. It’s also more forgiving, which is excellent for those who have never installed a lawn before.

More Options

If you opt for overseeding, you’ll have a higher number of grass seed varietals to choose from. This is ideal if your yard has varying conditions such as shady areas, soil conditions, or low-lying areas that retain higher moisture levels.

Cons

Timeframe

Unfortunately, overseeding is best done in spring or fall. While you certainly can overseed in the middle of summer, the cool-season grass varietals won’t establish in your soil as quickly as they might if you were to overseed in fall. That’s because fall is a Goldilocks period for cool-season grass when temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for the new seeds. If you try to seed outside that window, the fresh grass could be more susceptible to diseases and pests since healthy grass can repel these problems more readily.

Growth Rate

Seeds take time to germinate and grow, and if you go with sod, you’ll have a new lawn immediately. On the other hand, grass seed can take up to 12 weeks before it can handle mowing and foot traffic.

Lawn Maintenance

Unlike sod, overseeding requires a great deal of maintenance initially. You’ll need to water at precise intervals, or the grass seed won’t establish. Without blades of grass to hog the sun, weeds are more likely to pop up while the new grass grows. So unless you want to go back to square one, you’ll need to keep an eye out and pull out those pesky weeds.

Weather Influence

If the weather is stormy, the soil and seed can wash away without strong grassroots to hold it in place.

Sod 101

roll of sod

Pros

No Waiting

Enjoying a new lawn with sod is easy and fast – unroll it! Now, it’s important to note that you should reduce foot traffic as much as possible while the grass establishes itself, but from an aesthetic standpoint, your lawn will be ready to go immediately. It also establishes in the soil much faster than overseeding – generally, about 2 – 3 weeks are all that’s needed for the root system to take hold.

Flexible Installation Window

Unlike with overseeding, sod can pretty much be installed any time from spring to fall – though it’s better to avoid the hottest parts of the year.

Less Maintenance

Because sod establishes so quickly, it can help prevent erosion if that’s something your yard struggles with. Further, because sod comes in rolled mats, it can smother existing weeds – a bonus!

Cons

Cost

Sod is more expensive than overseeding, which may not be the best solution for all homeowners.

Time Commitment

Unlike overseeding, which involves pushing a spreader and doing a bit of walking, installing sod is far more work. And if done improperly, sod can develop root rot. Because of this, sod is generally something best left to lawn care service professionals.

Fewer Options

Unfortunately, sod rolls do not offer as many options as overseeding does. You’ll be limited to what is available from sod farmers – yes, sod is grown on farms! So if your yard has considerations to think about – like soil conditions and light availability – this could pose a challenge. And because sod must be transplanted, you’ll need to lay it down within 24 hours of its harvest from the sod farm. If a storm occurs on the day you meant to install your sod, this could be a big problem, and your sod may not establish well.

Let Quality Cut Handle Your Lawn Installation

Whether you go with seeding or fresh sod rolls, the experts at Quality Cut Lawn Service will get the job done right. We offer both sod installation as well as overseeding services near Newark, Delaware. If you’re not sure which choice would be best for your yard, don’t worry! Our team is happy to help you with that decision. Call 302-420-7597 or reach us online, where you can learn more about each service or request a free quote!

And in the meantime, be sure to check out our blog page for more helpful information on improving your yard situation.