View Full Version : Laying Sod Vs Seeding
12-15-2012, 08:49 PM
First I just want to start by saying how great this site is and how much useful information everyone has. You guys are all great. Thank you.
My question is this:
When laying down sod, what is the proper procedure in doing so? Do i level the ground first, then lay down a layer of soil, then roll out the turf? and how thick of a layer of soil? What do I do about the seams in between the turf? do I overlap or just roll it out really tight? And also, what is the best time of year to lay sod? I was told that early fall so the roots can develop before it gets cold. And early spring, so the roots can develop before it gets hot. This seems to make sense....
Also, What are the benefits of seeding over laying turf? Again, I was told that seeding will take a bit longer but it will be beneficial and withstand the heat and cold better in the long run. And that sod will look great right away, But will not take to the heat/cold as well as if you had seeded. If anyone could give me tips it would be much apreciated. I know I could just look this stuff up on google, but I figure all of you on here are more experienced with a lot more great insight and certain tips that are better coming from people that have been through and done this before.
So in the end, is it better to sod or seed? and I think I already know that seeding is cheaper. But if the client wants a nice lawn right away, then who am I to argue. Thanks again.
12-16-2012, 01:05 AM
Well I hope I can help you out a little bit. I am no expert but I do know when laying sod, have all the ground prepared first. Have the ground level and have fresh good soil on the ground. It is also good to put down some fertilizer on the soil before you lay sod. Once the ground is ready then you can lay the sod. The best way to do this is just like laying out bricks. Stagger the seams. Once all that has been finished water the sod, then water again. I cannot stress about watering. That is the most important part. I have seen too many people lay sod then not water it, and it dies in a week. The best time to lay sod is usually the spring or fall. The summer works but you must baby it and water a lot! I have heard you can do it in the winter and by the spring time it will already have established roots to grow full and thick. I can show you a video I have found helpful.
I do not know any tips about seeding though. I would also like to know what you chose to do.
12-16-2012, 01:06 AM
12-16-2012, 09:57 AM
I would recommend seeding because I am not an expert on sodding if you can't do it well just seed. By a bag of scotts lawn seed. Next you put some straw on the ground and get some water and water once a day. Be careful though because when you first plant it see on the bag and it says the recommended heigth. Do not cut with a rider because that will ruin the new turf use a push mower and put it on 6th heighth to cut it.
I hoped this helped you somehow
12-16-2012, 11:27 AM
With seed you'll usually need fertilizer, and this can get expensive. I suggest using this method for really large areas that may or may not already have some growth.
Sod is very easy to work with, easier than most people assume. Sod can also be less expensive depending on how big the job is; however, big sod jobs can be a pain in the arse.
Check out the supplier to see how much their sod costs, and take down the measurements of the cuts they make. Do the math when you have it all figured out.
Hope this helps!
12-16-2012, 02:12 PM
First it would be helpful to know where you are. What climate? Part of the country. Just so someone from a similar climate can chime in.
I have never liked sod for a few reasons.
Usually grown on absolutely perfect conditions, not the same as you will have on your job site. Also I have seen sod only last 10-15 years before developing problems like disease or other turf species invading which can happen I guess to every turf.
The benefits of course an instant lawn, but costs a lot more than a seed lawn.
Seed lawn benifits, a lot more varieties available then sod. Sun vs. shade you choose. Your sod producer will not have many options in that respect.
If your going to all that trouble to prep for sod you have already done the grunt work for seed.
I won't offer sod, only seed.
Procedure, prep soil add organic matter. We have soils available with an organic blend. Rake smooth, add seed, add starter fert. Use a 50 gallon water roller to ensure soil, seed contact (this method is old school, but works!) add seed starter pellets to retain moisture. Water, water, water. I recommend to my customers keep it moist at all times but do not water till it puddles.
Hope this helps. There are a ton of great seed blends, make sure you put down the right rate for seed and starter fert.
12-16-2012, 09:53 PM
Awesome. Thanks for the great tips guys. Im in Southern British Columbia Canada. So lots of rain. Lol.
12-17-2012, 12:40 PM
Have you decided which method you want to go with?
Also, take some pictures of what you do so we can see :)
01-07-2013, 12:01 PM
I rounded up my entire lawn when I first moved in ten years ago and tilled up the dead weeds and grass. Then smoothed out the entire thing with a hard rake(lol)... IMPORTANT... For good drainage you should angle the lawn from the house to the street or natural drainage areas away from the house. The angle is roughly a declination of 2-3 inches every 10-12 ft. So created a level with sticks and twine then measured from the line down to get my angle then raked from the lowest part first back towards the house to build up. I filled in as needed down at the curb area. There will be settling beyond anything you roll, there is no escaping that unless it's a clay type soil. Rolling it out is highly important, make sure you dont mogul the area around bushes and such. Everything else on laying the sod staggered and water what seems to be alot but not too much. You can end up floating your sod or giving it disease from too much water till it gets established (about 1 month or 2 depending). Air and ground temp and usually decide that more water when its warmer and less when it's cooler. The sod should stay somewhat mushy at the beginning. I rolled mine out 1 time after laying to help it establish easier. It has done great.
1) Leveling is key with angle for drainage
2) Water plenty
3) Unless using completely organic material for treating the soil I would wait before introducing chemicals to a non-established lawn(about a month or two). Give it a chance to do what it does. Remember nature has been around a lot longer than us and our chemicals have, it knows what to do :)
4) I would put the sod down during a time period for 75-85 degree temps and spring rains come in. Not sure when that is in B.C. it's mid to late april here. Remember that sunlight is necessary also, so it should not be during a monsoon type time period. Constant cloudy days one after the other wont be helpfull.
Advantages are that you can offer the customer choices of certain desirable hybrids to the native grasses that will accomplish more to the ends of what your customer desires... Example in my case is the local sod company here came up with a hybrid grass that mixed a northern turf grass and the bermuda that grows naturally out here. The end result was a small bladed very dense cold season grass that greens early and stays green a little late before going dormant in the winter, yet this grass is very hearty for droughts and insects or diseases.
The customer gets to see results quicker and will be able to own responsibility for their part, while you get to continue giving service and quality care while it establishes and beyond. It can be viewed as like raising a child together...(lol)
Any questions or help if I can be of any help I will. I will no doubt have questions for you or others as I learn also...Good Luck buddy!!!
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