All You Need to Know About Sod vs Seed

Having a beautiful green lawn is a goal many homeowners strive for. It makes a statement and contributes to the exterior appearance of your home. Achieving that enviable lawn takes effort and homeowners turn to either seed or sod to establish their lawns. Both of these methods have advantages and disadvantages and knowing what to expect with each can help you determine which option is right for you.

What is Sodding?


Sodding is the process of installing mature grass that has been pre-grown and carefully transferred directly to moist soil. It typically takes 2 to 3 weeks for sod grass to take root but it gives you an instant lawn. Sod roll can be purchased in rectangular or square patches to ensure that they fit neatly in your yard. How much you spend on sod depends on how big your yard is and whether you choose to hire an expert for sod installation.

Advantages of Sod


Instant Lawn

Sod is popular because it creates an immediate lawn as soon as it is installed. The grass will still need a few weeks before it’s ready for regular foot traffic, however, as far as aesthetics is concerned, sod provides instant gratification.

Quick Establishment

When installed properly, sod takes just 2 to 3 weeks to become established.

Prevents Erosion

Soil on slopes or other slanted areas is prone to erosion typically because lawn established from seed requires significant watering for the first few months. Unlike seed, sod does not require as much watering and the roots and soil embedded in the turf create a great combat for erosion.


Less Time Constraints

Installing sod can be done at any point during the growing season except when temperatures are very high. Sod typically roots quicker when it is installed during the peak growth period for the type of grass.

Less Weeds

Since sod grass is grown in ideal and controlled conditions, it yields healthier grass which contains fewer weeds then a lawn grown from seed.

Quick Turnaround

Once it has been installed, you can begin to walk on the lawn and enjoy its look and feel.

Disadvantages of Sod


Initial Sodding Cost

A sod lawn costs more than growing a lawn from seed. So if you have a tighter budget, the cost of sod may be a deterrent.

Costly Labour

Installing sod properly is crucial for the turf to establish well. When sod is improperly installed, it can result in poor rooting, gaps and other visible faults. For the best results, have a qualified professional install your sod.

Fewer Grass Choices

When purchasing sod, your choices are limited to the grass variety that is in stock. If you have a unique type of grass in mind for your lawn, you may not be able to find it as sod.

Varying Growing Conditions

Sod is grown under ideal conditions suitable for optimal growth. When sod is installed, the change in the growing conditions may change how your lawn looks. For example, sod is typically grown in direct sunlight, if it is installed in areas of your yard where there is shade, you may notice some change in the grass.

Maintenance and Care


For the first three weeks after installation, sod needs to be watered daily. It doesn’t require as much water as seeds do, but it will require frequent watering initially. Foot traffic on your lawn should be kept at a minimum until the grass takes root. You can also begin mowing your lawn after 2 to 3 weeks. Since sod has less weeds than grass grown from seeds, you’ll spend less time and effort on weed control.

What is Seeding?


Seeding is the process of growing a lawn from grass seeds. Before planting the seeds, your soil should be tested to ensure that the pH level is optimum for seed germination. Testing can also reveal the nutrients that your soil may be deficient in. Planting grass on soil that is in poor condition will lead to less than desirable results and wasted time and money.

Grass seeds germinate and grow when conditions are favourable. So be sure to plant your seed at the appropriate time. If you don’t, your seeds may not grow well and you may find yourself having to begin all over again.

Advantages of Seeding


Lower Start Up Cost

Starting a lawn from grass seed cost much less than sod.

Less Labour Intensive

Growing a lawn from seed is straightforward once you know the basic process and how to do it. There are some common mistakes you should avoid, but overall, seeding can easily be done.

Wide Grass Variety

There are hundreds of types of grass seed. You want one that will thrive in your environment and compliment your home. With so much variety with grass seed, you are almost guaranteed to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Disadvantages of Grass Seed


Small Window For Seeding

Grass seeds must be planted during peak growth periods for that type of grass. For example, cool season grasses need to be planted when the weather has cooled down. Typically, this is early fall. The same is true for warm season grasses.

Delayed Results

Grass seeds require about 10 to 12 weeks of growing time before the lawn is ready to handle even light foot traffic. The weather also has an impact on how well the seeds grow and the pace of growth.

High Maintenance Initially

Seed requires plenty of watering during the establishment phase. You’ll need to water your seeds and seedlings up to four times a day for the first month.

Erosion Possibility

Due to excessive watering, soil erosion may occur before the roots are established.

More Weeds

Lawns grown from grass seeds tend to have more weeds, which compete with the grass for water, sunlight and nutrients. This leads to grass weakness.

Maintenance and Care


Seeding requires frequent watering for the first three-four weeks. This should be done carefully to ensure that the seeds are not washed away with the water. Foot traffic should be avoided until the grass roots are established. Also, do not mow the lawn until the grass is mature.

Contact Us

Lawn installation is a top priority for many homeowners. For best results, hire professional landscapers to ensure sod is installed properly on your lawn. Our experts at JHC Landscaping are well versed in sod installation and know how to lay sod over existing lawn. Call today to learn more about our landscaping services.