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The Times
  • Know the pros and cons of sod

  • Seeding and sodding both have their merits and limitations. Below, find out what you need to know about selecting the right method of turf establishment.

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  • Seeding and sodding both have their merits and limitations. Below, find out what you need to know about selecting the right method of turf establishment.
    The upside of sod
    Sod is wonderful if you require immediate erosion control. Once sod is in place, erosion is virtually eliminated. Sod is wonderful if an instant lawn is necessary, such as in a high-traffic or high-visibility area. Sod can be installed any time of year that the ground is not frozen. Sod is hardy and grows well when properly installed, so your chances of lawn failure are minimal. Sod is also weed-free and quick to use.
    Sod negatives
    Sod can be prohibitively expensive. If the area where turf is needed is large, cost is a real issue. Sod is also limited in selection. This means it is hard to customize the proper type of grass for the various areas in your yard. What grows well in full sun will not necessarily do well in full shade. Rooting sod can be difficult. Air pockets between the roots and soil must be eliminated thoroughly or the sod can die in patches.
    Seeding advantages
    Growing a beautiful and luxurious lawn is a cinch with seed. Good-quality seed is inexpensive. This is a huge advantage over sod. Seed comes in so many varieties that you’re sure to find the right seed for your area and its specific environment. This is important in areas that are tough to grow grass or apply sod. Seed is also simple to apply and maintain. Seeding your lawn requires a small time commitment as well.
    Cons of seeding
    According to the University of Vermont Extension, Department of Plant and Soil Science, if erosion is an issue, seed may not be the best choice. Seed is easily washed away in a rainstorm. Not only is this a waste of time, it is a waste of money. Once the seed is washed away, the erosion can continue, carrying away topsoil and even exposing roots of important plantings. Seeding also takes time. The area seeded is not able to be used and must be protected from damage. Seeding periods are also limited. It is difficult to seed during hot, dry weather such as the summer, and the cold winter weather does not support seeding. Another issue to consider is the amount of tending seeded areas need. The seeds must be kept constantly moist, or they dry out and become useless.
     
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