Lavery's Sod Farm, Inc.                           Call Today: (540) 268-1220

Sod vs. Seed

FACTORS TO CONSIDER
SEED
HYDROSEED
TURFGRASS SOD
Time of year to install
Not recommended for Winter or Summer, possible in Spring, best in Fall for most areas.
Not recommended for Winter or Summer, possible in Spring, best in Fall for most areas.
Year-round installation, even on frozen ground.
Soil Preparation
Same for all types of lawn installation: Deeply till soil, add necessary amendments and fertilizers, grade and level for smooth surface, remove all debris, edge around beds and sidewalks.
Same as seed...
Same as seed...
Water Requirements
Highest water needs- Bare soil will dry quickly. Water lightly for 3-4 weeks, keeping surface moist, begin to apply 1-inch of water per week after mowing.
Moderate to high water needs. Mulch will preserve some moisture.
Lowest water needs- Water at installation to a depth of 1-inch under sod, then light waterings for next 2-3 weeks depending on time of year.
Seed Quality
Extremely variable because of germination rates, weed and foreign matter content; unknown or unspecified varieties. Generally lower quality seed than used in cultivated sod production.
Extremely variable because of germination rates, weed and foreign matter content; unknown or unspecified varieties. Generally lower quality seed than used in cultivated sod production.
Typically highest available sod quality, certified, elite seed. May be certified to prove specific variety. Mixtures and blends used to suit area needs.
Weed Control
Multiple applications of chemicals usually required to combat competitive weed invasions until turf is well established. Straw layer may reduce some problems.
Multiple applications of chemicals usually required to combat competitive weed invasions until turf is well established. Mulch layer may reduce some problems.
No weed control should be required at time of installation. Proactive weed control practices should be executed as needed after sod is established.
Uniformity of Coverage
Seeding varieties, rates, germination times, wash-outs (erosion), traffic, feeding birds and rodents can create spottiness. Straw layer may reduce some problems.
Seeding varieties, rates, germination times, wash-outs (erosion), traffic, feeding birds and rodents can create spottiness. Mulch layer may reduce some problems.
Immediate 99 to 100% uniformity with use of mature turfgrass sod.
Runoff / Erosion
Heavy rains or sloping areas will cause seed, chemicals and silt to wash onto sidewalks and into sewer systems. Little if any protection. Straw should reduce erosion/runoff for several months.
Heavy rains or sloping areas will cause seed, chemicals and silt to wash onto sidewalks and into sewer systems. Little if any protection. Mulch may reduce erosion/runoff for several months.
Capable of handling heavy rains without erosion or damage. Sod on steep inclines should be stapled at installation for best resistance to heavy precipitation.
Visual Impact
Rough texture and open soil.
Colored mulches act to camouflage soil appearance.
Immediate beauty of a 'complete' and mature landscape.
Usability
Low traffic use 2 to 4 months after seeding with faster germinating seed. Normal to high use only after first year.
Low traffic use 2 to 4 months after seeding with faster germinating seed. Normal to high use only after first year.
Low traffic immediately. Increasing traffic levels within 2 to 3 weeks; normal to high use by 6 to 8 weeks.
Installation Costs
Lowest cost.
Low to Mid-level cost.
Highest cost.

Cost vs. Value
Higher management and maintenance costs, compounded by increased water and chemical applications, as well as delay of use, poor uniformity and visually unappealing are trade-offs for lower installation cost.
Higher management and maintenance costs, compounded by increased water and chemical applications, as well as delay of use, poor uniformity and visually unappealing are trade-offs for lower installation cost.
Installation costs offset by added values of timing, usability, uniformity and visual appeal. Longer term weed control and water costs should be lessened when sod is optimally managed.


Sod                                                                 Seed

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