If you are installing a lawn in your yard, using either grass seed or laying sod are both excellent options. Choosing between the two methods of developing a beautiful lawn is going to depend mostly on several factors. Luckily the advantages and disadvantages of each are fairly opposite and line up with the considerations you need to keep in mind.
Budget – The first thing to consider when choosing between using grass seed or laying turf is your budget for your lawn. Grass seed is relatively inexpensive to lay even if you go the recommended route and buy the top of the line seed. On the other hand, sod is much more expensive to purchase. If you choose to have someone else lay the sod itself, this is another expense that can add up fairly quickly. If your budget is pretty tight, the seed may definitely be the way to go.
Time – The next thing to consider is time – both what time of year do you want to install your lawn as well as when you want to have a usable and fully functioning lawn. Obviously, since sod is fairly mature when you receive it, it will develop into a fully functioning lawn much quicker. Seeding your lawn, on the other hand, will need to germinate and grow to its full strength over time. Installation time is much quicker for grass seed than for sod, however. This may not be a concern for you if you choose to have someone professionally lay the turf for you. If you are doing it yourself, however, just be aware that laying sod is much more time consuming and physically demanding than sowing grass seeds.
The time of year that you want to install your lawn is also important to consider as grass seed is best sown only in certain time frames depending upon the climate that you live in. Sod, on the other hand, can be installed most times throughout the year. If you absolutely can’t wait, expect to pay more.
Preparation – The preparatory work you will need to do to your yard for either method of developing new grass will be pretty much the same. The only main difference here is that if you have an area that is fairly steep or receives a fair amount of erosion, you may need to consider installing sod. Grass seed is vulnerable to erosion, wind, and flooding while it is going through the germination and early growth cycles and may not take very well in these types of environments.
No matter which method you choose, either one will develop into a beautiful lawn with the proper care and maintenance. If these quick tips still aren’t enough to help you decide which to use for your yard, you may want to consider having your plans evaluated by a professional landscaper in your area. Local agricultural extensions are also an excellent source as far as choosing the appropriate variety of grass to use for your specific locale to achieve the best results.