If you’re in the market for a new lawn, you’ve come to the right place. Griffin Organics offers overseeding and sod installation as part of our lawn services. Which one is right for you? The answer to that depends on several factors, and it’s something you should consider as part of your spring lawn maintenance. Now’s the ideal time to sow cool-season grass seeds before the challenges that can arise with the summer heat. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of each seeding option.
Grass Seed Or Sod Rolls: How To Know Which Option Is Better
What Is Your Lawn Like Currently
Before you decide on what sort of lawn installation you need, you should assess the state of your lawn currently. Walk around your yard and see if you can spot dead patches, thinned areas, or areas of abundant weeds. If so, note how prevalent these problems are and what percentage of the yard they have destroyed. Even if you have all three issues, all is not lost. It may not necessitate tearing up the turfgrass completely and breaking out the sod rolls.
If more than half of your turfgrass is dead, brittle, or overrun with weeds, it might be better to throw in the towel and start completely over. You can patch things up with sod cuttings or targeted overseeding applications if the damage is not more than half of your turfgrass. The tipping point is 50%.
Option 1: Overseeding
Overseeding is exactly what it sounds like: dispersing grass seed over the ground in the same way you might use a hand-cranked spreader to scatter fertilizer. What’s nice about overseeding is that it can be spread over your existing lawn or bare earth – if you want to start with entirely new turfgrass.
Reasons To Choose Overseeding When Performing Landscape Maintenance
As mentioned above, overseeding is excellent because it mingles nicely with your current lawn. Starting over from scratch with a brand new lawn and looking at bare topsoil for a bit while the grass germinates can be intimidating for some folks. If your lawn is not extensively damaged, you won’t have to deal with such an eyesore – if you go with the overseeding route.
While overseeding has some variance in pricing – depending on which kind of grass seed you go with, even the high-end blends cost less than sod. So if your landscaping budget is tight this year, overseeding is probably the best option.
Multiple Options To Choose From
If you opt for overseeding, you’ll have more seed varieties to choose from. Sod is different and typically has fewer choices because it depends on what the sod farmers are growing. (Yes, sod is grown on farms just like other crops!) So why does having many options matter? Not all yards are created equally. For instance, your yard might have nary a tree or shrub and gets full sun all day every day. Or you might have a yard that is quite shady with many trees. Or maybe your home is on the side of a hill, and the backyard slopes quite a lot. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all grass seed. Some varietals need direct sun, while others would dry out quickly. Overseeding gives you flexibility when making these choices.
Reasons Overseeding May Not Suit Your Purposes
Overseeding Is Best Done Early Or Late In The Season
Unlike sod, which can be laid out anytime from spring to fall, overseeding has a narrower window. Ideally, it’s best to overseed in the spring or fall. This gives the grass a chance to establish in the soil before the summer heat and drought, or winter cold and wind, take hold. There’s no rule stating you can’t overseed in summer, but it may present some challenges for your lawn. In addition to the heat and potential for drought, there’s a greater chance that diseases or pests will hurt the new grass. If you overseed in spring, and the seedlings have had an opportunity to expand their root system, they’ll be able to withstand attacks from pests.
You’ll also need to keep an eye on the weather forecast. Again, this isn’t much of a problem if you’re thickening up your existing lawn, but without grassroots to hold the ground in place, rain can wash away the topsoil and create uneven areas in your yard.
Germination Takes Weeks
Grass seed can take several weeks before you have a new lawn, which could mean looking at a less than desirable yard. If you’re overseeding an existing lawn, you won’t have this problem, but if you’re starting completely over, you’ll have to put up with a barebones yard for a bit.
If you choose the overseeding route, you should expect more maintenance than sod initially. Both options need lots of water, but overseeding more so. Also, sod doesn’t create as big a weed problem as overseeding. Sod rolls will smother any weeds that may be hiding in the earth. If you’re starting from square one with overseeding, weeds will have access to that direct sunlight they need to grow, so you’ll need to be vigilant until the lawn has thickened up.
Option 2: Sod Rolls
Sod doesn’t rely on spreading seeds over the ground. Instead, strips of grass are cut from sod farms, rolled up, and delivered right to your door in a short time frame, so the plants don’t whither.
Reasons To Go The Sod Route For A New Lawn
No Waiting Period
Unlike overseeding, which takes several weeks before you’ll notice results, sod gives you results instantaneously! Note: you should avoid foot traffic on the new lawn for several weeks while the grass develops its roots, but hey, you can enjoy the greenery in the meantime!
Sod installation does not have the same narrow windows that overseeding does. If you decide in mid-July you’d like a new lawn, we can make it happen!
Prevent Soil Erosion
As lawns thin and die out, they can take the soil with them. The ground remains stable because the grassroots hold everything in place. If you’ve struggled with erosion issues in the past, sod might be a better fit.
Downsides Of Choosing Sod
Unfortunately, sod tends to be more expensive than overseeding. As such, this option may not fit everyone’s wallet.
As we touched on above, sod generally has fewer options than overseeding. So if your yard doesn’t have uniform sunlight or soil conditions, sod could be challenging. If you go with overseeding, you could scatter different seeds in different areas of the yard so that no matter how much light, shade, moisture, or pH level, the lawn is uniformly green and thick. If 80% of your yard is sunny, and you go with sod, it may be the case that 20% of the shaded area does not establish as well.
We Offer Lawn Care Services in Southeast New York
Whether your lawn needs patching up or a complete redo, the experts at Griffin Organics are here to help. We service these cities and more!