If you're unhappy with a bare or patchy lawn, you're probably thinking of strategies to increase your grass growth. The fact is that you need new grass. The big question is this: do you buy sod with grass already on it, or do you invest in some grass seed and grow your own grass? Both strategies have their advantages and disadvantages. It helps to know the benefits and drawbacks of both sod and seed so you can decide which is best for your lawn. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of each choice.
The biggest advantage of sod is that you'll see results quickly. If you're sick of looking at your patchy lawn, or if you're on some kind of a deadline, then sod is probably the right choice for you. The grass is already there, so your yard will look great as soon as you roll out the pieces of sod on your lawn. All that you have to do to get ready is clear the space of old, dead grass and weeds, and prepare the soil with a good fertilizer. Then roll out the sod and presto! You have a lush, green lawn. You will have to keep the sod wet with daily watering for at least two weeks to avoid any drying out. After that, your grass should be firmly rooted and safe to water on a regular schedule.
The biggest disadvantage of sod is its price. It can cost as much as 20 times more than it costs to grow grass from seeds. You can expect the price to be on the higher end if you hire professional landscapers to lay your sod. If you really prefer sod but want to keep your costs down, your best bet is to do the installation on your own. Luckily, sod installation is fairly easy and within the range of abilities of most homeowners experienced in DIY landscaping. Sod is also generally pretty hardy, and it can withstand kids and pets that walk and play on the lawn. Contact a professional for more information on the pros and cons of installing sod in your yard.
If you want to save money or you just want the experience of growing your lawn from scratch, buying grass seed may be the best choice for your home. To plant grass seed, you have to follow the same general steps for preparing your yard as you do for seed, then spread the seed on the lawn and cover it lightly with mulch to protect it from birds and other animals that might mistake your grass seeds for snacks.
After the seed is planted, you'll need to irrigate the lawn. Irrigation takes some skill, because you need enough water to allow the seeds to germinate, but not so much water that the seeds wash away before they take root. This is the biggest drawback when it comes to using seed instead of sod. It takes more skill with landscaping and a lot more time – it will take up to four weeks of daily watering before your seed is ready to germinate. Additionally, you'll want to keep kids and pets off your lawn during that time.
One more thing to consider when you're thinking about seeding your lawn is the time of year. You can lay sod at any time, but seeding is best done in the late summer and early fall. Even when done correctly, seeding sometimes fails, especially in very hot climates. Landscapers often recommend sod for homeowners that live in southern states where the temperatures climb very high far into the fall season.
If you're not sure whether to go with seed or sod for your lawn, or if you want help to create a new, lush lawn, contact an experienced local landscaper for help and advice.