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Grass seed vs. sod: Homeowners share their preference By Greenpal

Grass seed vs. sod: Homeowners share their preference

by Gene Caballero | May 19, 2024

Grass seed vs. sod: Homeowners share their preferenceGrass seed vs. sod: Homeowners share their preferenceFor homeowners, starting a new lawn from grass seed or sod represents part of the larger journey they're beginning: new schools, new town, new home, new lawn. They want to get it right, and, barring any requirements from a homeowner's association (HOA), getting a nice green lawn right often comes down to weighing the pros and cons of grass seed vs. sod. 

We interviewed 125 homeowners to learn which method users found better suited to laying the foundation of a new lawn – grass seed or sod? 

We'll explore their responses and the pros and cons of each. First, let's briefly compare grass seed vs. sod.

The differences between grass seed vs. sod

What is there to know about the differences between grass seed vs. sod? Well, seeding is less expensive than sod for one (more on that to come). Planting grass seed is pretty straightforward: use a broadcast spreader to disperse the seed across a lawn. Often used to repair bare spots in a yard or to overseed a lawn, grass seed allows homeowners to choose the types of grass best suited for their part of the nation. 

Sod, on the other hand, is grass that's already grown on a sod farm. Sod-cutting machines and harvesters cut the grass, which is then placed into a roll for transport. Professionals are the best at laying out sod, which makes it more expensive. But it's money well spent. 

Survey: Which one would you prefer? Grass Seed vs SodSurvey results

The survey results showed that most responses favored beginning their lawn with grass seed. We asked each respondent to vote once for their preference but also asked for one pro for their choice.

  • Grass Seed: 71 votes (56.8%)

  • Sod: 54 votes (43.2%)

Some said they preferred seed for its affordability, while others mentioned it allowed them more choices in grass type. Those selecting sod said they liked the instantaneous results and the ability to get their children and pets onto the lawn quickly. 

Benefits of grass seedBenefits of grass seed

Planting grass seeds is a straightforward but involved process. We asked the 71 homeowners who chose grass seed over sod what they would consider its top advantage: 

  • Affordability (46 votes)

  • Easier DIY process/prefer control (9 votes)

  • More grass choices (16 votes)

More votes came in for the affordability of seeding than any other category. While both grass seed and sod can be expensive, many homeowners said they spread the seed themselves — saving themselves a good amount of money in the process.  

Many said they spent a couple hundred dollars doing it themselves, while some homeowners mentioned they paid a professional and were still able to save themselves a grand or two compared to sod.

Buying grass seed also allows homeowners more choices. Some mentioned they liked having more control over the process as well.

Benefits of sodBenefits of Sod

Sod is already grown grass, so it's a much quicker process to create a lush lawn. It's also easy to use sod to fill in bare spots. Grass seed, however, takes time to germinate and grow into full coverage.

Even though sod doesn't require the same level of maintenance to establish itself as grass seed does, it's already there for the planting. But homeowners must still water, mow, and fertilize it to keep it in tip-top shape. 

We asked the 54 homeowners who chose sod over grass seed what they would consider its top advantage: 

  • Quicker (28 votes)

  • More flexible window of time (5 votes)

  • Limits weeds (4 votes)

  • Can use the lawn quicker (17 votes)

When seeding, it's much more likely that weeds will be a problem to battle than with sod. Homeowners also picked sod because it allowed their families and pets to get on the lawn much sooner than with seeding.

Sod vs. seed: drawbacks

We didn't ask homeowners to express their opinions on the drawbacks of grass seed or sod, but each definitely has its drawbacks. 

Grass seed, for one, takes a far longer time for the grass to cover the area as compared to sod. This is especially true when facing harsh weather conditions, less fertile areas, and high risks of soil erosion before the grass grows to cover the area and stabilize the soil. 

The chances of failure are much higher when seeding, especially for homeowners doing it themselves. It's a systematic, slow process. Plus, no one can use the lawn while the seeds germinate and grow. 

On the other hand, the bill for sod is higher, sometimes much higher. Sod is not widely available for all the different types of grass. Many times, professionals install sod since it's heavy, cumbersome, and a complex process not well suited for DIYers.

Quick Summary 

Aspect
Grass Seed
Sod
Survey Preference
71 votes (56.8%)
54 votes (43.2%)
Top Benefits
- Affordability (46 votes)
- More grass choices (16 votes)
- Easier DIY process (9 votes)
- Instant results (28 votes)
- Use lawn quicker (17 votes)
- Limits weeds (4 votes)
Key Advantages
- Cost-effective
- Control over grass type
- Immediate lush lawn
- Quick family and pet use
Drawbacks
- Longer time to establish
- Risk of soil erosion
- Higher chance of failure
- Higher cost
- Requires professional installation for best results
- Limited grass type options
Best Suited For
Homeowners seeking affordability and control
Homeowners needing instant results and usability

We discovered a variety of factors that go into starting a lawn, as well as the varied considerations, priorities, and experiences of homeowners. Regardless of which option is chosen, it is critical to manage a new lawn well. Seed vs. sod — it's the start of the journey. Ready to revamp your outdoor space? Find top landscapers on GreenPal now

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