Sod vs. Seed: Why Laying Sod is Better For Your Lawn
Although a lush, green lawn may look effortlessly beautiful, growing and maintaining its visual aesthetic takes considerable time, patience, and diligent effort.
Whether you're a first-time homeowner establishing a new lawn or looking to start over, you are probably faced with a decision between two of the most debated options: sod vs. seed.
What is the Best Way to Get a Lush Lawn?
Laying sod and lawn seeding are two methods for establishing a new lawn or rehabilitating a damaged one. However, the key difference is the time it takes to grow a mature grass lawn. Sodding is quicker—it simply takes installing a layer of grass sod into the lawn. Meanwhile, seeding is planting new grass from seeds, which significantly takes longer from germination to maturity.
A reason why some homeowners may prefer to plant grass seed is economical since seed is initially cheaper than sod. But, despite the initial cost advantage of seed, sod offers a wealth of benefits that make it a superior option.
The Benefits of Sod over Seed
Sod, also known as turf, is a layer of pre-grown grass that provides an instant, finished lawn. Instead of germinating from seeds, sod is cultivated by sod farmers who grow and nurture the grass to maturity for you.
At Bethel Farms, we have sod grass for sale as rolls and pallets resembling green carpets. These rolls consist of mature grass with a layer of soil, often held together by an organic material or severed grass sod roots. You can conveniently lay sod to your bare soil to establish an almost instant lawn.
Grass plugs are also a great alternative. These are individual grass plants grown in trays and measure about 3x3 inches. Each plug has an already-established root system, which you can plant from 9-18 inches apart to eventually spread and fill your lawn.
The most apparent benefit of sodding is that it provides instant gratification by providing a lush, green lawn almost immediately upon installation. Unlike newly seeded lawns that may take up to 10-12 weeks.
Quick to Establish
It’s worth noting that sod is not ready for regular lawn traffic upon laying. But when handled and installed correctly, it should take just 2-3 weeks for the roots to establish. By then, it should be ready to become an outdoor space for kids and pets to play and entertain guests.
Adding to the benefits of sodding is that you can install new sod anytime during the growing season, except in winter when the ground is frozen, and there is sufficient water to keep the soil moist as the roots establish. Nevertheless, you would want to consider the best times to lay sod to set up favorable conditions to accelerate healthy grass growth.
Overall, this flexibility contrasts the limitations of grass seed, which demands one full growing season to mature and become well-established enough to endure heavy foot traffic.
Until the roots are established and the grass matures, seeds are vulnerable to displacement or washing away during heavy rains. Meanwhile, sod provides immediate coverage that protects against erosion problems.
Freshly installed sod serves as a protective layer to your soil, particularly in areas prone to erosion, like slopes or locations with compromised soil stability. It acts as a barrier that holds the soil and keeps it from being washed away, even in harsh weather conditions.
The time it takes for seedlings to establish and cover your lawn provides leeway for weeds to take root and compete for space. But unlike seeds that may be susceptible to weed during the initial growth stages, sod offers a head start by being cultivated in virtually weed-free farms.
The dense nature of sod leaves little room for weeds to infiltrate. All it takes to enjoy a long-term weed-free lawn is to ensure proper sod installation and that the soil that will receive it is void of weeds, as they can thrive beneath the sod.
Lower Maintenance Requirements
Grass seed takes longer to grow and get established, meaning it will demand lengthier and more comprehensive ongoing maintenance, which involves consistent watering and monitoring throughout the initial growth stage.
Sod, on the other hand, is already a fully-mature lawn with roots that typically adapt to the new soil in just 2-3 weeks with proper care. This quicker turnaround time significantly reduces the need for intensive care, making it a more low-maintenance option than seeding.
Long-Term Cost Savings
Opting for sod over seed not only saves you time and effort but also translates into long-term cost savings. Because it is pre-grown, sod eliminates the need for prolonged nurturing and ongoing care associated with seeding, which naturally entails more expenses.
Mature grass also makes your lawn more resistant to wear, pests, and diseases, potentially alleviating the need for preemptive measures necessary for establishing a newly seeded lawn. The higher success rate of sod also further contributes to its cost-effectiveness compared to the lengthy and uncertain process of growing your grass from seed.
Premium Quality Sod Grass for Sale
With all these considerations, it's evident that sod emerges as the clear winner—a superior option for homeowners seeking to establish an instant yet enduring outdoor space.
At Bethel Farms, we take pride in offering a diverse selection of grass plugs and sod for sale, grown and cultivated for 18-24 months to maximize their growth potential. We harvest sod as you order it to guarantee freshness until they are ready for installation.
Ready to get started? Shop for premium quality sod and grass plugs by visiting our website today!