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Old Houses, New Lawns: Choosing Between Sod and Seed

by Kate McIntyre, All About Lawns Columnist

As you complete your home remodeling project, you might notice that the polished look of your house contrasts with your under-watered, weed-ridden, and sparse lawn. If you are ready to attack your landscaping challenges but need some guidance, Old House Web can help. Old House Web's free lawn analysis gives you a detailed summary of the current health of your lawn, its growing conditions, and how to improve its overall appearance. Once you know the state of your lawn, you will know what steps to take to make it thrive.

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The Advantages of Starting Fresh

Brand new lawns have some distinct advantages over old ones. You have the chance to add proper soil amendments, and you can choose a lawn grass variety that is ideal for your climate, soil conditions, and level of sun exposure. As an owner of an older home, you probably inherited a lawn. If its woes are especially severe, it might be time to consider starting fresh.

Sodding or Seeding Lawns

The two main options for introducing new grass to your lawn are sodding and seeding. Which option you choose depends on the relative amounts of time and money you would like to invest in your lawn. If you would rather devote more money than time, sod is the best choice. If your have all the time in the world and limited financial resources, grass seed is ideal.

Laying Your Sod

Sod comes rolled in long, full-grown rolls. After improving and leveling your soil, you will be ready to lay down the sod strips. Once they are in place, you will have a beautiful instant lawn. Unlike grass seed, sod can be started any time during the growing season. However, you pay for the convenience.

Sowing Your Lawn's Seeds

Grass seed grows best in the late spring or early fall, when temperatures are lower and it takes the soil longer to dry out between waterings. There are more varieties of grass seed than sod available, so if your yard has special growing conditions, such as deep shade, going with grass seed can give you a better match. Grass seed must be kept constantly moist as it is germinating, though, so you would probably find yourself out watering a couple times a day to keep it thriving.

Whether you crave the quick satisfaction of laying sod or prefer the additional options that grass seed provides, a new, healthy lawn is a great frame for showcasing a beautifully remodeled home.

About the Author
Kate McIntyre is a writer in Portland, Oregon. She holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Oregon State University.

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