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When it comes to developing a great lawn, grass seed and sod are both equally viable options, though each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing between the two depends largely on a few factors, not the least of which is budget as sod is by far the more expensive option. Other considerations are location, season, and the amount of time you can commit to nurturing your new lawn.
Grass seed is less expensive than sod and is installed much quicker. It may also be a more viable option in shady areas where grass is difficult to grow. In fact, you can purchase blends of seed that are specially designed for difficult to grow areas. However, it cannot be used immediately and requires attention while growing. Grass seed also poses the potential for problems such as weed development and patchy bare areas. Additionally, it is difficult to grow in areas where erosion is a problem and can only be planted at certain times of the year.
Sod is more expensive to buy and install, however it becomes a useable lawn much quicker. Planting it is essentially creating an instant lawn. Though it must be ordered through a local sod farm or professional landscaper and cost is often a disadvantage, there are many advantages to using it. Some of these include fewer if any weeds, no risk of erosion, and a wider range of appropriate planting times. Still, sod may be difficult to grow in very shady areas.
Whether you choose to create your lawn with grass seed or sod, proper care during development will yield the same results. Preparation for both is basically the same and care will need to be given to your new lawn as it grows. Grass seed will require more frequent watering while the seed establishes and traffic will have to be eliminated for several weeks. If you are unsure which is better for your location, consult a professional landscaper.