Seeding vs. Sodding

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Quick Tips

  • Seed or Sod? Consider area, time, budget
  • Seeding - less expensive, deeper root system, more varieties
  • Sodding - quick development, weed-free, instant accessibility

Whether you have just a few holes to patch or you need to start over, your options for starting new turf are seeding or sodding.  But which is right for you?

Establishing a New Lawn

When establishing a new lawn, a common question asked is, "Should I seed or sod?"  The answer to this question is different for everyone depending on the area in question, as well as how much time and money you want to invest into the project. 
The most significant difference between seeding and sodding is the time it takes to develop a mature turf stand.  Sodding is quicker; it’s simply transplanting mature turf. Seeding establishes turf from an earlier stage.  The following outline lists some of the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Click here for Seed and Sod Application Rates.



• More grass types and varieties to choose from 
• Less expensive than sodding
• Deeper root system
• There is no thatch layer present which may harbor unwanted diseases or insect pests


• Initial establishment takes longer
• Time of seeding is limited mainly to late summer and early fall
• Moisture is critical for the young seedlings
• Invasion of weeds into bare soil 
• The area is inaccessible until seed is fully established



• Instant gratification
• relatively weed-free in the beginning
• Can be laid any time during the growing season
• Sodded lawns control soil erosion on slopes and eliminate problems with mud while the grass is becoming established.
• Instant accessibility to the area


• Expensive
• Less selection or control over types of grasses (shade or drought tolerance)
• Labor intensive