The Advantages of Sodding vs. Seeding Your Lawn

When it’s time to establish a new lawn, is it better to plant grass seed or lay fresh sod? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons to consider before making your choice.

seeding a lawn

Seeding a lawn can be an inexpensive way to patch or replace a lawn, but requires more time, attention and care than sodding a new lawn.

Seeding Advantages:

  • A wide selection of species available.
  • Less initial expense than sodding or plugging.
  • Stronger initial root system development.

Seeding Disadvantages:

  • Timing is critical. There’s a smaller time window for planting and establishing a lawn from seeds.
  • Longer time to establish a dense, usable lawn.
  • You may need to re-seed areas where the seeds didn’t germinate properly.
  • Requires constant moisture during germination.
  • Rain or irrigation may wash away seeds from some areas, especially if there’s a slope.
  • Weeds can be a problem while the lawn is getting established.

Sodding Advantages:

  • 103964310 (2)

    Sodding a new lawn with fresh turfgrass provides an instant way to enjoy your yard with predictable results. You may need to invite friends over or hire installers since sod pieces can be heavy and the work a bit dirty.

    Can be planted at any time during the growing season.

  • You get an “instant” lawn. The results are immediate, predictable and visible.
  • You will be able to safely walk on it soon after planting.
  • Immediate reduction of dust, mud and soil erosion.
  • You don’t have to worry about thin or thick patches.
  • High-quality sod is weed free.
  • Careful watering will give you a rooted and established lawn within a few weeks.
  • There’s less care involved with establishing a full, lush lawn.

Sodding Disadvantages:

  • The initial cost is higher than for seeding.
  • Your choice of species will be limited to those that are known to grow the best in your area.
  • It needs to be watered consistently for the first few weeks until it becomes established.
  • Must be properly installed with staggered seams to help prevent weeds from invading between pieces.
relaxing in a new lawn

Perhaps the biggest benefit to sodding a lawn is the immediate enjoyment with comes with it. Summer can be spent relaxing with family and friends.

In the end, the choice often comes down to time vs. money. A quality sod installation provides a nearly instant lawn with predictable results. (You can see what you are getting in advance.) Seeding will take more time, diligence and sweat equity to produce the desired results. And with a sodded lawn, you can take full advantage of summer holidays, from Memorial Day and the July 4th weekend through your Labor Day barbecue party. So instead of growing grass all summer, you can be growing family memories, and that’s a great investment.


1 Comment

  1. Nathan Johnson on April 8, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Thanks for going over the benefits of sod vs seed. My backyard has become a mess and the grass is almost totally dead. I know that I need to do something about it, but I don’t think this grass will come back. Based on what you said here, seeding may have a chance at working and that would save me some money. However, I like the idea of having grass instantly, which comes when installing sod. Thanks for the info!