Whether establishing a completely new lawn or making repairs to an existing area, proper planning and preparation is needed. The question of whether to seed the area or lay sod can be answered by addressing the pros and cons of each of the applications.
Grass seed is best planted in late summer or early fall, while sod can be planted at any point of the growing season.
Seeds can be planted during the spring, however, but they will have to compete with the weeds that want to take over the lawn.
Grass seed is considerably less expensive than sod to buy. An additional consideration is the transportation issue of moving large amounts of sod to the yard.
Once grass seed is purchased, the homeowner can spread it when time makes itself available, unlike sod, that should be laid within two days. Once the grass seed or sod is in place, they both need a bit of nuturing to become established.
The best time to seed a lawn is in the fall, so that the grass has time to establish itself before the frost. This is also the time many areas of the country enter a rainy season.
If trying to introduce grass on a slope, the seeds or seedlings may be washed away before the root system develops enough to hold them in place.
Sod, on the other hand, is heavy enough to stay in place, and in extreme rainfall, can be staked to keep it secure. The sod will offer erosion control of the slope.
Planting from seed allows for a wider selection of grasses. Mixtures of grasses in the lawn have the benefit of raising the likelihood of success throughout the year. If a disease hits one type of grass, the other types will survive and lawn damage is minimal.
Extreme weather can also wreck havoc on the lawn. Adding a summer grass seed that is drought resistant will cover the bare spots that the early grasses might leave in the heat of the season.
The selection of grasses in sod is limited by comparison, and differs according to climate. It is often difficult to find sod that will grow well in a shady area.
What is all comes down to is that grass seed and sod can both develop into a beautiful lawn that the homeowner can take pride in. Choose the one that fits into the basic design, time frame and budget.