Have you ever asked yourself, what is sod, and do I need it? While grass seed has been the standard choice for years, many are choosing sod after doing research and realizing it is the better choice for their lawns.
Maybe you just bought a new house where the lawn is non-existent, or your lawn is older and in need of a makeover. If you start researching how to get that perfect green lawn and be the envy of the neighborhood, but your reading leaves you even more confused, don’t worry. We have you covered on all things lawn and how to create the perfect one for your home.
What is Sod?
Sod is a mix of grass and a small part of the soil beneath it. It is held together by the root system, stolons, rhizomes, and even sometimes a thin layer of biodegradable material. When harvested into rolls, sod is held together by its roots and a thin layer of soil.
Your next question is probably why do I need sod instead of just seeding my lawn?
What Would I Use Sod For?
- Establishing a lawn quickly
- Establishing a lawn where seeds would not be successful
- Prevention of erosion
These advantages can be significant for the environment. For example, knowing that heavy rain won't wash away your seed may put your mind at ease, especially if it has been a concern in the past.
What Are the Benefits of Using Sod in My Yard?
- Instant Lawn
- Time Saver
- Save Money on Water
- Low Maintenance
- Year-Round Installation
A Sod Lawn Produces an “Instant Lawn”
The most popular benefit of sodding is the fact that there is almost no wait to enjoy your new, very green, and gorgeous yard! When using sod, you are giving yourself a massive head-start towards using your lawn for activities such as playing or entertaining. In addition, sod is the perfect option to skip the long process of using grass seed to grow a lawn.
Sod Saves Time
When planting grass seed to grow your lawn, it takes a significant amount of time. The average growth process is around eighteen months! That is over a year of waiting to use your new lawn. However, sod is considered ready for all types of activity after only two weeks! Before you know it, you will have lawn games set up for entertaining every weekend!
Sod Saves Money on Your Water Bill
Who doesn’t love to save money? Newly planted sod should be watered twice a day for the first few weeks. A lawn with grass seed can require four or more waterings per day! If you are looking to save money, this is just another reason to choose sod. Saving water also has environmental benefits.
Sod is Low Maintenance
Your time is as precious as your money. Unfortunately, having a busy life can make it very difficult to maintain a nice lawn. Sod is low maintenance and doesn’t need any fertilization in the first year.
The only initial maintenance for your new sod is watering and mowing. It also covers the higher maintenance areas in your yard, so you don’t have to. Grass seed does not offer the same low-maintenance options and can be very time-consuming, especially when starting out.
Sod Can Be Installed Almost Year-Round
You can install sod just about any time of the year! If the ground isn’t frozen, sod can be installed and set up. If you live in a warmer climate without those frigid temps, you can install your sod and have your yard up and running in time for a holiday gathering. Grass seed, however, requires very specific timing to plant.
What Are the Different Types of Sod I Can Choose From?
It is well known that grass seed comes with tons of different options to choose from, but if you are choosing sod, you may be asking yourself if there are different sod options. Luckily, there are different types of sod based on the type of climate you live in.
- St. Augustinegrass
Sod options for warm-season grasses can withstand extreme heat, including temperatures upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is essential to choose your sod based on the year-round temperature where you live. The options above are better for southern lawns.
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Perennial Ryegrass
- Fine Fescue
- Tall Fescue
Sod options for cool-season grasses can withstand extreme cold, including temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit! It is essential to choose your sod based on the year-round temperature where you live. The options above are better for northern lawns.
Transition Zone Sod
- Tall Fescue
- Kentucky Bluegrass
The transition zone region is where cool-season and warm-season grasses grow equally poorly. Hot, humid summers and relatively cold winters are characteristic of this region. You don’t want all your hard work lost to the constantly changing weather where you live. Tall fescue is the most tolerant of both hot and cold climates and is ultimately the best choice in northern regions of the transition zone. However, bermudagrass and zoysiagrass are great options in the southern portion of the transition zone.
Choosing the correct type of sod based on the climate you live in is imperative to your yard's success. Knowing which type of sod is going to grow better during each season will allow you to make the right purchase and allow for optimal, visible results when installing your new sod. Knowing that you will have a great-looking yard year-round isn’t the norm when using grass seed.
Where Can I Buy Sod?
- Home Improvement Stores
- Local nurseries
- Sod farms
Sod is easy to locate as you can purchase it from so many different places. Though many places will not have sod in stock the day you arrive, they will be able to set up delivery for you and ensure that you are getting your new sod brought right to your yard.
If any of the benefits listed above have sounded like the solution you are looking for, then sod is right for you. Now that you have done your research, you can purchase the right sod for your house and work to become the envy of the neighborhood with that perfect green grass that took only a few weeks of work to get.
Though less initial work than grass seed, sod still comes with a lot of initial maintenance, but if you take care of your new sod, the payoff is filled with benefits you will enjoy for years to come.