Seeding Vs. New Sod Lawn Tips

Seed and sod have their own distinct advantages. Seed provides a larger array of grass varieties but sod is quicker to establish. Knowing the correct way to incorporate either one into your yard is essential to having a healthy lawn.

Killing Weeds

Use of a nonselective herbicide containing glyphosate to kill existing grass before establishing a new lawn is important to prevent new grass from being choked off by weeds. Two applications of herbicide, 10 days apart, with watering in between, destroys existing weeds. Herbicide applied to the lawn requires time to wear off before laying down seed or sod. Check the label of the herbicide to determine how long the herbicide stays active. Different chemicals have varying waiting periods.

Soil Preparation

Soil preparation is required for both seed and sod to make the ideal conditions for planting. The University of Vermont suggests removing all debris form the yard and tilling the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Fertilizer is applied at this time so that it is thoroughly mixed into the growing surface.


Seed requires planting in the late summer for warm season grasses and the fall for cool season cover grass such as fescue and rye. High quality seed with a good germination rate ensures the best coverage. Spread the seed over the lawn in two directions, one half of the seed north to south and the other half east to west, according to Colorado State University. This overlaps the seed and prevents patches. New seed is fertilized with a starter fertilizer, which is available at most garden centers.


Sod requires planting as soon as it is delivered, and should not be cut more than 24 hours before delivery to your home, according to the University of Minnesota. Laying sod longer than 24 hours after delivery weakens the grass and inhibits establishment. The lawn requires moistening before the sod is laid, and it should be set down in a staggered pattern, like brickwork, across the lawn. Sod requires deep watering, to a depth of 6 inches after planting, and watering for the next 10 to 14 days to establish roots.

Keywords: seeding lawn tips, sod lawn tips, seeding vs. sodding

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.