Choosing Grass Sod or Seed For Your Lawn

by Rachel Laurendeau on May 23, 2012

Have you recently moved into a new home or are you taking on a new landscaping project in your yard that requires new grass? If so, then you’ve probably thought about whether you would lay sod or plant seed to create your new lawn. Before simply throwing down the new turf or seed, here are some things to think about to help you decide between sod and seed but also to help you choose the best type of lawn for you.

Sunlight and climate– different grasses are better suited to full, partial and low-sun exposure. There also different types that are better suited to particular climates so you’ll want to determine your planting zone and choose a grass that will be hardy for your area.

Soil – the drainage, grade and type of soil in your yard will affect whether or not you need grass varieties that are drought tolerant or that thrive in wet areas or heavy soil.

Traffic – do you have children or pets who will be using the yard or will there be minimal foot traffic? Higher traffic lawns need hardier grass varieties. (If this is a high traffic area, make sure you keep the traffic off until the grass has established. This will obviously be considerably longer if you plant seed rather than lay sod.)

Aesthetics – the look you want will also affect your choice as color and texture varies with different types of grass.

Once you’ve decided what type of grass, fescue or mix will work best for you, you’ll need to find a landscaping company who can provide it. This may be a bit tricky since many companies only carry a limited range of options so you’ll have to shop around until you find what you’re looking for.

Generally speaking, when buying sod, you don’t have a lot of choice as to the type or species of grass that you’ll be putting in. However, if you choose to seed the lawn yourself, you do typically have a wider range of choices. Kentucky Bluegrass is the most common grass seed on the shelf but it would be best to consider the four above points and make your purchase based on that. A great product that I’m using and highly recommend is Eco-Lawn. It is a mix of fescue grass seeds that grow well in full sun, part sun and even shade or under trees. Plus, once it’s established, it is drought tolerant, requires less fertilizing, less mowing, stands up to many pests and can even out-compete many weeds.

Seeding your lawn certainly does not give you the immediate impact that sod does and requires a bit more patience, but, it is certainly a more economical route to take. Talk to your local lawn care expert for more information and to help you choose the best option for you.

Green Tip: If you want to do some more research and learn about pesticide-free gardening, there is a great book available by Carole Rubin called “How To Get Your Lawn & Garden Off Drugs” that is filled with useful information and tips.

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