Benefits of Sod vs Grass Seed

When you are looking to improve the curb appeal of your home, one of the most important decisions you face after purchasing a home is whether to sod or seed the lawn area. While it may seem like a simple choice, at least on the surface, choosing the best option for your lawn can be complicated. Both options have their own set of benefits, so it can be difficult to decide which route to take. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of both sod and grass seed so that you can make an informed decision about which option is best for you.

What does “sod” mean?

Sod is a term used to describe the process of installing fresh, live grass on a lawn. When you sod your lawn, you are essentially laying down a new layer of grass that will grow and thrive in your environment.

Sod is a natural product and offers many benefits over synthetic turf or grass seed. Sod is a combination of soil, water, nutrients, and live grass plants, which are then cut into squares or strips for easier installation.

The main benefit of sod is that it is an instant way to improve the appearance of your home. If you are looking for a quick fix, sod is definitely the way to go. Sod can also be beneficial if you have a difficult soil type or if you experience heavy traffic on your lawn.

What does “grass seed” mean?

Grass seed, on the other hand, refers to the process of planting grass seeds on your lawn. When you seed your lawn, you are essentially creating a new lawn from scratch. This can be a good option if you want to choose your own type of grass or if you have a difficult soil type. However, seeding your lawn takes more time and effort than sod installation, and it may take several weeks for the new grass to germinate and grow.

Pros of sod

  • Time-effective: One of the major benefits of sod is that it can be laid down in a few hours, depending on how big your lawn area is. This means you don’t have to wait months until the grass seed germinates.
  • Better looking: If you’re looking for an instant lush green backyard, then sod may be the best option for you. It might cost more than seeding, but it will save time and hassle that comes with watering seeds every day.
  • Fewer weeds: Since weeds are already pre-removed from most sod farms, there won’t be as much weed as it would grow from seeded areas if left alone or not monitored properly. Weeds love to be left in those bare soil spots where seeds have not germinated.
  • No soil prep: Soil prep is the most important part of seeding, but with sod, this isn’t necessary. You can install sod right on top of your dirt, and it will grow healthy without any amendments required. The instant gratification you enjoy with sod is arguably the biggest benefit it has. You don’t have to wait for grass seed to take root and grow out of the soil. It’s a quicker solution than using grass seed, but it’s also more expensive.
  • Sod saves money. The cost of sodding is more expensive upfront than seeding, but it is less expensive over the long term. Seeding your lawn means ongoing labor costs until your lawn is established. With sod, you pay one price for an instantly beautiful lawn.
  • Less water waste: Because you don’t need to overwater newly seeded areas like you would with grass seed, using sod means less money spent on utilities and more efficient use of water in general. 
  • Less weed control: You need fewer chemicals or no added chemical applications to control weed growth.

Cons of sod

  • More maintenance and care than seed would require because you have to monitor your lawn regularly for the first few months after installation, which can be expensive if you don’t have time or resources available at home every week.
  • More expensive than seeding: Sod is definitely more costly upfront and also requires regular maintenance – so this may not be feasible for everyone who wants a beautiful lawn but doesn’t want the hassle of caring for it all year round.

Benefits of grass seed

  • Inexpensive: Grass seed is one of the cheapest ways to get a beautiful lawn. You can purchase quality grass seed for less than $50, and it will last you many seasons.
  • Easy installation: Unlike sod, seeding your lawn is a very easy process that most people can do themselves with just a few simple tools. All you need is a rake, shovel, wheelbarrow, and some seeds.
  • Less water waste: When watering newly seeded areas, you only have to give the seeds enough water so they can germinate – which means less wasted water in general.
  • Seed offers more control over your yard. You choose what kind of grass you’re planting, meaning it’s easier to get the perfect color and texture for your area. It also gives you more flexibility over where you plant it since you can just spread seeds over bare soil patches without having to worry about getting it in one piece like sod requires. This means there’s no need to worry about breaking up existing turf or using edgers when installing your new lawn from scratch.
  • No soil prep required: As long as your soil is relatively healthy, you don’t need to do any amendments before seeding. In fact, the only prep that’s required is loosening up existing soil so seeds can take root easily and grow better (for this step, use a rake).
  • Great for small patches: Seeding works best in smaller areas where you need to fill in bare spots with new grass. It also works well for lawns that already have some grass on them but still need repair work done around their perimeter or other parts of it.
  • You can get different types of grass: If you want more than one kind of seed mixed into your lawn, there are many varieties available at garden centers. Just make sure they’re compatible before buying any.

Cons of grass seed

  • Grass seeds have a harder time taking root in dry weather and hot temperatures because they need moisture in order to germinate properly. A lot of places have dry summers, making this a problem for anyone trying to establish new lawns during these times of the year.
  • It requires more water to establish and maintain.
  • It tends to need more fertilizer.
  • More susceptible to weed invasions.
  • Can be costly if you have a large area to cover.

So which is better – sod or grass seed?

The answer to this question depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for an instant improvement in the appearance of your home, then sod is definitely the way to go. However, if you are willing to put in a bit of extra effort, then grass seed is the better option.

With grass seed, you have more control over the type of grass that grows in your lawn, and you can also tailor the installation process to fit your specific needs. In the end, it comes down to what works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you seed grass on sod?

No, seeding grass over sod is not recommended. Seeding will only work if the soil underneath the sod is loose and has been tilled. If you do seed over your sod, the new seedlings will have a difficult time getting established and may die.

How much does sod cost?

The cost of sod varies depending on where you live and what type of turf you choose. Generally speaking, sod is more expensive than grass seed, but it can be a worthwhile investment if you want a quick and easy lawn installation.

How long does sod last?

Sod typically lasts for about two years if it’s well-maintained. However, as with any type of turf, proper care (including watering, mowing, and fertilizing) is necessary to get the most out of your sod lawn.

Can I reseed my lawn if I use sod?

Yes! If you decide to use sod, you can reseed your lawn in the fall or spring. Just make sure to remove the sod and till the soil before seeding.

What happens when sod dies?

Sod will start to die about two years after installation. If your sod has died, you can either replace it with new sod or reseed the area and grow a new lawn from scratch.

How long does it take for grass seed to germinate?

It typically takes between seven and 14 days for grass seeds to germinate. The exact amount of time depends on several factors, including soil temperature, type of turf (warm-season vs. cold-season), and moisture levels in the soil.


Like many home improvement projects, deciding between sod and grass seed (or any other ground cover) can be a tough choice. With so many things to consider, it is difficult to know what will work best for your situation. Unfortunately, there is no one right answer that applies to everyone; the key is knowing what factors are most important to you. Is cost the main concern? What about maintenance? Do you have any pets that may damage the new lawn?

Either one will do the job for you, and there are pros and cons attached to each. Do your research and find out which method best fits you, your needs, and your budget.