Intro To Sod

Do you dream of a lush green lawn but don’t want to wait for it to grow from seed? Sod might be the perfect answer and we’re here to help!

First things first: What is sod? Sod is pre-grown grass that is sold in pieces or rolls and is installed by laying it directly onto prepared soil. It provides an instant lawn and, with proper care, can be rooted into your soil in about two weeks.

Sod vs. Seed

The most common question we hear when it comes to the great seed or sod debate is: which is better? The answer isn’t a simple one and can depend on several factors that vary from person to person. In order to decide which will work better for you, answer the following questions.

What is your budget?

Grass seed is less expensive than sod and can cover a much larger area at a lower price. The tradeoff is time, which ties directly into the next question.

What’s your timeline/how soon do you want an established lawn?

Sod can be fully established (with proper care) in as little as 2-4 weeks and (depending on grass type) can be installed virtually any time of year. Conversely, grass seed generally becomes established in 2-3 months and the best months for seeding are limited.

How large is the area you are planning to seed/sod?

This question links back to your budget. You can sod a smaller area easily and for a lower cost than you can a larger area. Figure out the square footage you need to cover and then you can calculate how much seed or sod you’ll need and figure out which fits your budget. Click here to see our easy sod calculation formula.

Are you looking to improve an existing lawn?

Sod needs to be laid directly onto prepared soil in order to root properly, which means that there can’t be any existing grass underneath it. If you’re looking to thicken up an existing lawn, over seeding with grass seed is the better choice. If you have bare patches of dirt in an existing lawn, sod can be cut to fit and laid in those patches.

How much labor can you put into care of your new lawn?

Initially, seeding and laying sod require similar preparation and care. Both will require you to kill off existing weeds (and any existing grass for sod), till and amend the soil, lay the sod/spread the seed, fertilize and water regularly. Once established both will require minimal care from you aside from basic upkeep and water during dry periods. As sod establishes faster, you will be able to minimize care sooner than with grass seed.

What type of grass are you planning to use?

While most grasses can be installed as seed or sod, some varieties are better suited to one over the other. For example, Zoysia grass seed is slow to germinate and grow; sod will establish faster which could make it a better option.

When are you planning to begin your lawn renovation?

Depending on the time of year, the choice of seed or sod can almost be made for you. If it’s almost summer and you’re looking to install a cool season lawn, sod will have a better chance of establishing than seed, especially if temperatures rise quickly. The same rule applies if you’re trying to establish a warm season lawn towards the end of summer.

Weather also plays an important role. Frequent or heavy rain can wash away seed before it has a chance to germinate. As sod is heavier and is already germinated, it’s better suited for installation during rainy periods.


Once you have answered all these questions, you can make your decision about which method is best for you.

If you’ve decided to lay sod, click the link to read our Sod Laying Guide on how to start a sod lawn as well as a formula to find out how much sod you will need.

If you’ve decided to seed your lawn, click the link to read our Lawn Renovation and Seeding Guide.