Seed vs. Sod: Which One to Choose?

Seed vs. Sod: Which One to Choose.

A perfect lawn doesn't just happen. The glimmer of hope for a lush carpet of grass may begin before you even mow it for the first time. Choosing lawn type goes beyond selecting which turf grass is suitable to the growing zone and climate where you live. The Grounds Guys® can help you make another important decision -- whether to seed or sod your lawn.

Seeding vs. Sodding -- What's the difference?

  1. Seeding is growing grass by sowing seeds in place -- in the area where they'll grow.
  2. Sodding is transplanting squares or blocks of rooted turf grass to your lawn. The squares are held together by the roots of the grass, so you essentially lay them as you would tile or carpet squares in your home.

Seeding vs. Sodding -- How to choose which one?

  1. Choosing lawn type of seeding if you want to start a lawn from scratch at the least cost. You can also renovate an existing lawn with bare patches or thinning grass by overseeding, which is a slant on seeding. It means seeding over existing turf grass, commonly accomplished by using a slit seeder.
  2. Choosing lawn type of sodding if you want an "instant lawn." But only choose sodding if you're willing to care for the sod properly. You'll need to water it sufficiently until the squares of individual turf begin to grow together and become established.

Seeding a lawn


  • Less expensive than sodding
  • More options of choosing lawn type (more turf types to select)
  • Root systems develop in place, on site


  • Lawns take longer to mature and become established
  • Shorter windows of time for successful seeding (spring/early summer and late summer/fall, depending on where you live)
  • Rainfall can erode bare ground before seeds germinate and form roots
  • Seeds are vulnerable to hungry birds


  • Purchase top-quality seed
  • Loosen the soil by tilling and rake it smooth before sowing seeds
  • Apply a mulch of hay to protect the seeds until they germinate
  • Keep soil moist until the seeds germinate

Sodding a lawn


  • No exposed seeds for hungry birds to eat
  • Quicker establishment time -- an "instant lawn"
  • Sod can be laid during a larger window -- any time during the growing season


  • More expensive than seeding
  • Limited to fewer turf type choices
  • Lots of water needed initially


  • Purchase sod that has been cut no longer than 24 hours before delivery
  • Water the soil well before laying sod
  • Lay sod squares tightly, because it may shrink initially
  • Stagger squares so the seams line up like brick-laying

If you have questions about choosing lawn type, fertilizing your lawn or if you're unsure whether to seed or sod, call on The Grounds Guys. We can help guide you through the maze of decisions and move you toward the goal of a lush, healthy lawn.