For many homeowners the choice between establishing their lawns from sod or seed may seem pretty insignificant. What does it matter? Grass is grass, right? What difference would it make to grow grass from seed or throw down some sod? To answer this common question, I would like to turn to the master gardener, Mother Nature, for reference and example. Things seem to work out well for her.
The Natural Way
For instance, imagine the last time you took a hike or drove through the countryside. What kind of plants did you see? Did you notice where those plants were growing? Have you ever wondered why a particular plant grows in particular place? If you pay attention and take a moment to observe plant arrangement in a natural setting, you will soon notice that each plant is uniquely adapted to that spot it’s growing. The shade tolerant plants are always found under trees, the sun lovers are always out basking under the open skies, and the thirsty crowd the water’s edge. This same arrangement can be found within our grasses. Some species do better in shade, some need full sun, and some take lots of irrigation. Would it make sense to try to force one type of grass to grow in all situations? Absolutely not. The grass would do okay in some places and die in the rest.
But that is exactly what we do when we install sod. Sod is a convenient and fast way to establish a lawn, but it is basically a one-size-fits-all product. Sod lawns usually contain only one species of grass and no different varieties of that species. This is known as a monoculture, which can make your lawn more susceptible to drought, disease, and stress. But by sowing grass seed we can customize our lawns for the perfect grass in every area. Shade grass for the shade, water-tolerant types for those slow draining areas, full sun grass for full sun, and drought tolerant for those areas that irrigation can’t cover.
Establishing a lawn from seed, especially a high quality seed blend such as our Sun & Shade Grass Seed Blend (containing four different species of grass), mimics the way grass grows in nature. There’s not just one species of grass growing in a meadow. There are usually several types growing among each other. If it works for Mother Nature, it works for us.
Planting Seed Saves Money
Other benefits of using seed blends over installing sod include a lower cost in comparison to sod. Read more about that here.
What About Sod?
Finally, what is it that makes sod more compelling for some homeowners? Let’s face it, sod provides that ‘instant’ factor the same way fast food and television give us instant gratification. But by exercising the virtue of patience, following the example of our natural world, and using some common money saving sense, it isn’t hard to understand that establishing a lawn from seed is a far better method than quick-fix sod installation.