Looking to grow a gorgeous green lawn but can’t decide if it’s best to sod or seed? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a detailed comparison to help you make the choice between sod or seed. Read on to discover if sodding or overseeding is the right choice for you.

What Is Sod?

Sod is pre-grown grass fully equipped with healthy soil and roots. Specialized farms cultivate and harvest sod in rolls or sheets for easy installation.

When you order sod, it arrives at your doorstep, pre-cut, trimmed, and ready to be unrolled like a carpet. Sodding comes at a higher price, but it’s also a much quicker solution to barren or patchy lawns.

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What Is Overseeding?

When you’re overseeding, you use grass seed to bring new life to your existing lawn. The process is much more involved than sodding because you’re cultivating the grass yourself.

Overseeding is ideal for enhancing the density and overall health of your grass. It can also introduce grass varieties that are more resilient against diseases, pests, and environmental stressors.

Sod vs. Seed

When making your decision between sodding or seeding your lawn, it’s important to understand the characteristics of the two. A sodded lawn versus a seeded lawn requires different growing conditions in order to stay healthy. The following chart outlines the differences between sodding and overseeding:

PlantingQuick installationExtended installation time
SunNeeds plenty of sun to growCan grow in sun, shade, and partly shaded areas
WaterRequires frequent wateringMinimal watering required. Options for drought-tolerant seed
Growth PeriodInstant growthTakes time to fully establish
VarietiesVarieties for warm and cool seasonsWide range of grass seeds to choose from.
PriceExpensive for large spacesCost-effective
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Should You Resod or Reseed Your Lawn?

A lawn that’s overcome with 50% or more weeds is a lawn that’s better off resodded than reseeded. Lawns that are in good condition with under 50% weed coverage can make an argument for reseeding rather than resodding. When weeds take over, there’s little room and little nutrients left for the grass.

This can be hard to overcome with reseeding because the weeds will continue to monopolize the soil. When you’re not dealing with weeds but instead, you’re faced with issues such as small dead patches of grass, then the budget-friendly solution would be to use grass seeds vs. sod.

Turf Seed vs. Grass Seed: Factors to Consider

Now that you know what’s required to sod or seed, it’s time to take a closer look at personal considerations.

Your choice of grass seed vs. sod can be influenced by where you live, your preferences, and your lifestyle. Let’s review some key factors between sod vs. seed:

Sod and seed thrive in well-prepared loam soil, which is a blend of clay, sand, and organic material. Another factor to consider it your Plant Hardiness Zone. Hardiness Zones are determined by the soil composition and climatic conditions in each region. Cool-season sod grows best in the Northern zones, whereas warm-season sod grows better in Southern Zones. Typically, you can find the Hardiness Zones for grass seeds on the packaging. If you’re unsure which zone you’re in, you can refer to the Canadian Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Every lawn has unique amounts of shade and sunlight that impact the health and overall growth of the grass. Lawns that are covered with shade are less likely to see sod flourish than lawns that receive regular direct sunlight. Seeded grass isn’t as vulnerable to shaded areas because it adapts to its original environment. Sod begins its lifecycle on a farm where it receives constant maintenance and experiences ideal conditions. As a result, it’s more likely to reject the changes in its environment after being transplanted.

Germinating grass seed in a lawn with a high concentration of weeds can be challenging. Weeds tend to monopolize all the essential nutrients and moisture in the soil, which prevents the grass seed from establishing healthy roots. For a beautifully green and full lawn, consider removing the weeded area entirely and replacing it with new sod. This will create a fresh start for the grass to grow without unwanted competition.

Sodding may seem like the easier option, but unrolling the turf is only one part of the process. To ensure the sod transplants successfully, the soil needs to be meticulously prepared. Seeding can take longer to install but it has a greater chance of success if the soil isn’t perfect. If the sod doesn’t establish its roots, it can become costly to re-do the entire process.

Are you thinking about fixing a small patch of your lawn that’s brown or sparse? Seeding might just be the solution for you. Sod involves laying down large rolls of grass, which can be a bit much for minor touch-ups. Seeding is not only more cost-effective for smaller areas but also allows you to target specific spots that need help.

Long-term maintenance for a sodded lawn is often easier than maintaining an overseeded lawn. This is mainly because sod is ready-made, whereas overseeding requires the existing grass to fill in over time. Sodded lawns are also more resistant to weeds and drought. Overseeded lawns require more watering and mowing to encourage germination. Overseed lawns may need to be reseeded every year to maintain a healthy appearance.


Related Article: COST OF SOD IN ONTARIO 2024

Final Takeaways

Ultimately, the choice to sod or seed depends on your needs, budget, and lawn conditions. Sodding can be more expensive than overseeding, but you get an instant lush lawn. Overseeding is effective for repairing damaged lawns and offers more variations than turf seed. Need help to decide between sod or seed? Contact IRS Gardening for more information.