Sod, Seed, or Hydroseeding: Which Option Is Best For Your Lawn?

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Establishing a New Lawn

For many homeowners, having a healthy, lush lawn is part of the all-American dream. Luckily, with modern advances in lawn care methods, it is easier than ever to achieve the ideal lawn. Whether you are trying to establish new turfgrass, or are looking to update your current lawn, here are three different options available:

Seeding

Traditional lawn seeding is the most affordable method for establishing new turfgrass. It also offers the most variety when it comes to choosing your desired turf species – though you may still want to consult an expert since some grass species are better suited to specific regions and soils. When you seed your lawn, your turfgrass begins building a strong root system.

How to Establish a Lawn with Seed

  1. Timing is essential when planting new grass seed. Do not assume all seeds are best planted in the spring. While some turfgrass species are suited to spring planting, others are not.
  2. Test the soil. Poor soil conditions can negatively impact the growth of new grass seed. If you find your soil is not suitable, you may need to use lime or fertilizer to help your lawn grow.
  3. Prepare the soil. Spread topsoil, remove rocks and debris, add in organic matter, and apply lime and fertilizer if needed.
  4. Rake the surface. The soil should be spread evenly and mixed with the organic matter and fertilizer before adding the seeds.
  5. Seeding. You can sow the seed using a drop spreader or scatter it by hand.
  6. Rake again. Lightly rake the newly seeded soil until it is evenly spread. Don’t use too much pressure or you may wind up with bare spots in your lawn.
  7. Cover with a thin layer of additional soil to keep the seed from washing away or drying out.
  8. Water frequently to promote seed germination and help the lawn establish more quickly. Just be sure to water only enough to keep the topsoil moist, but not soggy.
  9. Mow the lawn once the new grass blades reach 3 inches in height. Avoid all other foot traffic on the lawn until the soil is no longer visible.
  10. Fertilize after 6-8 weeks to keep your new grass full and lush.

Disadvantages of Traditional Seeding

While traditional seeding methods can save you money, there are still some disadvantages to consider. The time of year for seeding can be limiting depending on the species of grass seed chosen. It also takes longer for lawns to become established and requires consistent watering. If you are planting in the spring, weed invasion can also be a problem.

Hydroseeding

Hydroseed is a mixture of mulch, seed, fertilizer, soil amendments, and water that is sprayed onto your property by a professional using specialized equipment. It is more expensive than traditional seeding but yields a higher germination rate. Using this method allows your lawn to grow more quickly and fuller than a lawn established using conventional seeding.

Establishing a Lawn with Hydroseeding

The soil in your lawn should be prepped similarly to the way you would if you were going to seed using traditional methods. Test and prepare the soil, making sure to remove rocks, weeds, and any grass still present before the hydroseed mixture is applied. Once the area is prepped, a professional will spray the mixture over the lawn with a hose. The thick, wet mixture sticks to the soil, sheltering the seeds from getting dried out by the sun and blown away by the wind.

After the mixture is sprayed, you will still need to water the hydroseed for the next couple of weeks. The hydroseed needs to be kept consistently moist, but not oversaturated, to ensure healthy growth. Again, mow the lawn only when at least three inches of grass growth is visible. Try to avoid any other foot traffic on the lawn until it is more fully established.

Disadvantages of Hydroseeding

Overall, hydroseeding is a very cost-effective option, considering the higher germination rate than conventional seeding methods. However, like traditional seeding, the time of year hydroseed can be installed is limited, and it also has moderate to high water needs.

Sod

Lawn Care SeattleSod, or turf, consists of rolls of pre-grown grass that get laid out in sections on top of bare soil. It is usually grown by farmers and harvested once the grass has matured. Sod is the most expensive option but provides instant results.

Establishing a Lawn with Sod

Sod can be installed by a professional, or you can do it yourself, but it does still require prepping your soil the same way you would for seeding. You’ll want to be sure the area is free of rocks, weeds, and remnants of previous grass. Once the soil is prepped, roll out the sod, and you’ve got an instant lawn. Foot traffic should still be kept to a minimum for the first two to three weeks as the roots take hold. After that, you are free to enjoy your new lawn.

Disadvantages of Sod

Though using sod yields instant results, it is more expensive than hydroseeding and conventional seeding and can cost even more if you have it installed by a professional.

Which Option is Right for Your Lawn?

When it comes down to it, the two main things to consider are budget and time. If you don’t mind waiting and have a lower budget, you may need to try seeding your lawn the conventional way. You might also need to overseed after the initial seeding to fill in any sparse areas.

If you’ve got a little more money to spare, hydroseeding is an excellent choice. It will still take some time for the lawn to become fully established, but not as much time as traditional seeding takes. Hydroseeding will also yield a fuller, more lush lawn than with conventional seeding.

If you have the money available, or if you don’t want to wait for the grass to grow, sod is your best option. Turf and sod farms take the time and effort to ensure they are producing the best sod using quality control practices. So even though the upfront cost is high, it is often worth it for the high quality, instant lawn that sod offers.

Country Green Turf Farms

Since 1988, Country Green Turf Farms has been providing quality turf solutions to Seattle, WA, and the surrounding areas. The knowledge and experience of our staff help you achieve a healthy, lush lawn with our high-quality products and services. Whether you are looking to establish new turfgrass, or update your current lawn, Country Green Turf Farms can help. Call us today or stop by our store for expert advice!

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