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Lawn Planting Smack-down: Sodding vs. Seeding?

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

It's a Lawn Smack-down. Which is Better? Sowing or Seeding?

It's the eternal decision when shopping around for lawn grass. Is it better to use seed to plant a lawn or is sodding worth the investment? Here's a little cheat sheet to take with you when shopping around for lawn planting supplies.
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  • Less weeds
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Lawn Seeding Advantages

Seeding your lawn grass has two big advantages: price and variety.

Seed is a lot cheaper than buying sod. But that price difference can quickly even out over time. If the seeding doesn't go so well, you will have to invest in fertilizer, pesticide and other lawn care aids to get the seed growing properly, which, of course, costs money.

Lawn Sodding Advantages

With sod, your lawn, is immediately a lawn. The immediate gratification of having a lawn as soon as you lay it is worth a lot of money to some.

There isn't a mud problem. Seeds take weeks to resemble a lawn and hold down your garden dirt.

The greatest weapon against weeds and decay is a dense, healthy lawn. With sod you immediately start with the best weapon. Weeds will have a hard time getting established against plentiful turf.

Lawn Seeding Disadvantages

Time is your greatest drawback. You have to wait for the lawn to emerge, which leaves more time for weeds to emerge, and more time for mud to keep on getting on your shoes and into your living room.

Also, timing is a problem. The window of opportunity to plant a lawn with seed is limited. In most areas, seeding is limited to late summer and fall, when the cold isn't a factor and when competition from weeds is less intense.

Lawn Sodding Disadvantages

Price is the biggest sodding disadvantage. The initial investment is well above that of seeding and can drive you to seeding.

The other disadvantage is variety. Only certain varieties of lawn grass are offered as sod or turf. Seeding options are wide, while the sod available in your area garden centers can be limited to one or two grass types.


About the Author
Alex Russel is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Since graduating from Syracuse University he has worked at many different media companies in fields as diverse as film, TV, advertising, and journalism. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and History.

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