Planting Grass Seed vs. Laying Sod

Planting Grass Seed vs. Laying Sod

When recovering your yard, you have two major options: seeds and sod. When you plant seeds, you’re just planting grass. Over time, grass grows in to fill any holes and gaps. Grass can even take over for another species of grass, given enough time and enough nutrients. On the other hand, you can also use sod — already grown grass that comes with a complete root structure.

Which is best for you? It depends on your specific needs. Keep reading to get an idea of which is best for your needs.

Fixing Thin Spots, Grass, and Bald Spots

If there are minor cosmetic issues in your grass that you need to fix, then grass seed is usually your answer. Many homeowners sow new grass seeds every year so the grass can continue to flourish. If you’re trying to replace your grass over time with something that thrives in your area, then this can also be an appropriate method. Many lawns actually aren’t a single grass but instead a grass blend. Grass blends tend to be hardier.

Over time, bald spots or “pleasure paths” can start to get cut into your yard. Quite quickly, you’ll probably see the grass around your home sending “runners” to establish themselves on these empty spots. But usually, they can use a little help in the form of seeds.

Planting Grass Throughout Your Yard

If you need to plant grass in an empty yard, sod is usually better. 

It takes a while for seeds to get established. While seeds are getting established, they also shouldn’t be disrupted. So your yard is likely to be muddy and barely usable for some time.

But sod just needs a few days to get established before it can be lightly used and a few weeks to get established before it can experience heavier use. Sod comes with its entire root system intact. All it has to do is start growing into the ground it’s on and it’s done.

Sod is usually the fastest way to correct major issues with your yard and its seed.

Recovering From Water Damage or Flooding

If something major has happened to your yard, such as a flood, it’s likely that your best course of action will be to till up the soil a bit, remove anything existing, and put down sod. While you can put down sod over existing grass, a major concern would be that the grass (and the rest of the yard) may still be saturated or damaged from the flood.

Water damage and flooding can have a tremendous negative impact on the landscaping of a yard. With too much standing water, the grass and its root systems will start to rot. Once it starts to rot, the grass is very likely to die back. In the meantime, it’s not likely to be too aesthetically appealing. But when your grass dies all at once, sod can help. Placed over water damage or flooding, sod can make your yard look like new immediately.

Assessing Your Timeline

Let’s say you have a timeline. You’re selling your house.

In this situation, sod might be best to revitalize an old, worn, or tired-looking yard. Because sod can look like perfect grass within a day (and seed can take weeks or months to establish), it’s almost always the best choice when you need new, lush-looking grass immediately.

Now, some care should still be taken. A major problem with sod is that it can fail to transplant. So if you plant it now, it’s possible that it will start to brown in a week or two and will eventually fail. But by involving a professional, you can greatly increase the chances that your sod will take and that you’ll be able to enjoy a new yard soon.

Transplanting a New Type of Grass

Sometimes you might just decide that you want an entirely different type of grass. Different types of grass may be hardier for your area, may be softer and lusher, or may just be easier to maintain. When fully transplanting new grass, it’s often best to either lay sod or rip all your current grass up to plant seed. Transplanting sod is going to be the easiest method by far as it doesn’t require that you tear out all your old grass. In fact, you can install the new sod directly on the old grass.

So what’s the bottom line?

Whether you choose grass seed or sod depends primarily on the current condition of your lawn.

If your lawn just needs a little help, it makes sense to install grass seed. If your lawn needs a lot of help, it makes more sense to lay sod. 

Since either should be done by a professional, the time to ask for help is now. Contact Clearfork Lawn Care to start your consultation. We plant grass seed and lay sod throughout Dallas/Fort Worth.