Sodding is a fast-acting solution that creates a lush lawn immediately. The process requires less work than seeding, but the upfront cost is higher. Whether you choose to sod or seed, proper care and installation is key for a beautiful yard.
Unlike grass seed, sod is already mature turf that has been grown, harvested and rolled for delivery. The sod is placed in a new lawn area, and it’s ready to be used within two or three weeks after installation. Because of the instant results, many homeowners prefer sodding over seeding.
When choosing sod, it is important to find a local supplier that has warm-season and cool season varieties that are well-suited for your specific climate. Having the right sod ensures that it will thrive once installed. Sod that is not suited to your weather conditions can die from lack of water and heat, or it may be infested with insects and diseases.
If you are sodding a sloped yard, the first thing to do is make sure the soil has been prepared. The slope should be graded and compacted to provide a stable surface for the sod. Then, the sod should be laid over it in a brick-like pattern with the seams staggered. It is important to use a good quality sod that has been cut no more than 24 hours prior to installation, as it begins to decompose and lose its freshness after that time.
Once the sod is in place, it should be mowed at a height of 2 to 2.5 inches, and a light application of a starter fertilizer with a high percentage of phosphorus should be applied. This will help the sod establish and grow roots quickly, but be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. Once the sod is established, a more balanced fertilizer can be applied at a rate of 300 pounds per acre.
Grass seed needs a lot of care and attention to be successful, but it also takes several months for the yard to become full and lush. It is much easier to take shortcuts with sod than with seeding, and you will pay for it later when your sod has weeds or other problems.
Considering the higher initial cost and the need for frequent upkeep, sod might not be the best choice for everyone. But, if you do opt for sodding, it’s worth the money to ensure that the project is done correctly.