Grass Seed vs Sod

March 25, 2022 | Grass, Sod, posted by Milena

When it comes time to redo the lawn, homeowners often find themselves asking what is the right kind of grass for their lawn. There are several different options to choose from, including seed, and sod. These are some of the most popular options for lawns across the country, but what are their differences? In this post from The Grass Outlet blog, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of grass seed vs sod.

What Are The Differences Between Grass Seed & Sod?

What Is Grass Seed?

Grass seed is very much how it sounds — a seed that grows grass. When it comes to seeding a lawn (that act of planting grass seeds on a lawn), it’s best left to those that are experienced in the practice. Finding the right seed, as well as the right time to plant are the 2 most critical steps when it comes to lawn seeding. Depending on the type and conditions it may take years for a seeded lawn to fully mature to a beautiful green front or back yard, and there’s no guarantee that the grass seed will take to your lawn at all. Grass seed is difficult to get going but can be rewarding to see the fruits of your labor start to turn into a beautiful green lawn.

Advantages of Grass Seed

  • Lower Cost: Grass seed is considerably cheaper than sod, as you’re paying for seeds as opposed to an already active and living patch of grass.
  • Lower Initial Labor Investment: It’s also easier to plant grass seeds than it is to install sod, so long as you follow some of the best practices that you can find easily online. There aren’t many ways to mess up planting grass seed. While easier to get “set up”, given the watering & maintenance required, grass seed requires more work in the long run.
  • More Variety: In many cases, you’ll have more grass options to choose from based on the conditions of your lawn and the environment you live in. Sod providers are more likely to have the most popular varieties in your area as opposed to a more uncommon grass type.

Disadvantages of Grass Seed

  • Defined Seeding Window: For grass seed to properly grow, it has to be planted during a specific time of the year based on the type of grass you’re trying to grow. Some grass prefers cooler temperatures during planting, while others prefer warmer. Rain and other weather conditions should also be taken into consideration.
  • More Required Maintenance: Growing grass from seed requires considerably more maintenance when compared to sod. Watering, careful monitoring, and meticulous attention are required to ensure that grass grows properly from the seed. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to lose up to 50% or more of the seed when it rains due to run off, requiring even more maintenance in the long run as you’ll need to replant large areas of your lawn.
  • Weeds: Grass seed is often vulnerable to competition from weeds for water, nutrients, and light. There are ways to get around weed competition, for instance, planting during a season where weeds are less common, but that season may not be right for the type of grass you’re looking to grow.

What Is Sod?

Sod, on the other hand, is essentially a ready-to-go lawn. With sod, you’re getting pre-grown and cared for grass, with a small patch of soil underneath held together with the root system of the grass. Sod has the benefit of providing a beautiful green and maintained lawn without having to go through the headache of trying to get grass seed to mature. Once installed, sod will take just a few weeks to root into the soil of your property and become a real lawn. Additionally, sod can be installed any time of the year, so you don’t have to worry about planting the grass in the wrong season.

Advantages of Sod

  • Instant Lawn: When sod is installed, it offers instant gratification. It won’t immediately be ready for lawn traffic, but it’ll look great as a finished lawn as soon as the installation is completed.
  • Timing Control: Unlike grass seed, sod can be installed any time of the year since it is already grown. Sod providers, like The Grass Outlet, grow sod at the right time of year and allow it to mature so it’s ready to be installed year-round.
  • Limited weeds: Since sod is already grown and treated against weeds, it will outcompete weeds that try to grow in almost all cases.

Disadvantages of Sod

  • Higher Costs: Finished sod will always be more costly than planting grass seeds. This finished product already had all of the labor work put into it for it to grow, justifying this higher cost. You can find more information about the prices of a pallet of sod in our blog post.
  • Labor Intensive: It isn’t as simple as spreading some seeds around a dirt lawn to install sod. It requires proper installation by professionals, and when improperly installed, sod lawns can be a real eyesore as opposed to a beautiful feature of a home.
  • Restricted Grass Choices: Sod providers will most often grow the type of grass that is most popular in the area that they service. For example, if Zoysia grass is a popular choice in the area, you’re likely to see many varieties of Zoysia grass from your local sod dealer. But, sod grass will often be much hardier, and far lower maintenance than seeded grass, even after the seeded grass has become established.

Grass Seed or Sod: What Is The Right Choice For Your Lawn?

Now that you know how grass seed and sod stack up to one another, you can start to make an educated decision on which is the right choice for you. Is a higher cost, but less maintenance something that appeals to you? Then sod would be what you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a lower initial cost, and don’t mind regular maintenance, grass seed could be a viable option. Which type of grass you choose for your lawn is largely based on your budget, and how much time you’re willing to put into it. It is also important to assess & consider your yard conditions before selecting which type of grass you’ll plant.

For Sod In The Great State of Texas, Choose The Grass Outlet

At The Grass Outlet, we have a wide selection of sod to choose from for your lawn. We carry the most popular types of grass in the State, and we’re sure to have something that fits the needs of your home. For sod in the Lone Star state, trust The Grass Outlet.