‘Should I stay or should I go?’ The great British punk band The Clash famously asked that question more than 30 years ago and it kind of echoes a question I’ve heard all the time during my three years with CSL Group: Should I seed or should I sod?

It’s a question asked by our clients as well as my neighbours whenever they wind up with a patch of dead grass or a lawn overrun with weeds.

The simple answer is this: most often, sodding is best when you have vast areas of open soil; if you have smaller patches, seeding can often be the better and more cost-effective option. However, there are plenty of factors to keep in mind when making the decision between sodding and seeding. Here’s a look at some pros and cons of each:

Sodding pros

  • Provides an instant weed-free lawn
  • Thrives in sunlight
  • Establishes faster than seeding – about 4-6 weeks

Sodding cons

  • Kentucky bluegrass sod, the most common type of sod in our area, does not do well in the shade
  • More expensive than seeding
  • Heavily labour-intensive to install – it must remain wet at all times until it establishes itself, or it will die

Seeding pros

  • Much more cost-effective when compared to sodding
  • Irrigation is not required
  • A variety of grass species can be used, which provides greater disease and insect resistance, plus greater tolerance against drought, shade and wear

Seeding cons

  • Much soil preparation is required before seeding in order to avoid weeds growing over the area before the turf grows in
  • The whole process takes longer than sodding – seeds germinate for 21-28 days and you won’t see full results until 8-10 weeks from the time of sowing, under ideal conditions
  • Though irrigation isn’t required, lack of water will slow the process, so it works best when done in early fall

At CSL we don’t have a hard ‘seed or sod’ policy. Our experts make the decision on a case by case basis after carefully analyzing the area and the soil. In some cases, we may even recommend a combined approach.