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Thread: Seed or Sod

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    Seed or Sod

    I have an area in our back yard that is unfinished. It is full of weeds that i've kept cut since we moved in three years ago. I'm at the point of wanting regular grass like the rest of the lawn that looks good and can be maintained in the regular schedule. Mu problem is I have never had success plant seed to start new grass in a new area. By the time I kill the current weeds, grade the area, till the area and keep it wet I'm not sure i will have the success I'm looking for. On the other hand after those steps are completed I could lay sod and we'd be in business.


    Thoughts or Advice?



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    Re: Seed or Sod

    If you've had problems in the past and want instant results go with the sod.



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    Re: Seed or Sod

    What is the size of the area?



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    Re: Seed or Sod

    It all depends on whether you want instant results and can spend a little money, or you can wait and put a little time in and grow from seed. If you should choose to go with seed, the optimal time to do so is in the fall. Since you've gone this long, whats another 4 months? There is less competition from weeds and the fall is the recommended time to do so. If you choose seed, be sure to throw in some starter fertilizer with it, something along the lines of a 13-25-12, or maybe some milorganite. Best of luck!



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    Re: Seed or Sod

    If you've had weed problems in the past you probably should go sod. With seed you've got to cover it and really be careful to keep the weeds from taking over the grass. Mature grass will handle weeds just fine, but immature grass can and will be taken over very easy if you don't put anything down to cover it.



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    Re: Seed or Sod

    I'd go with seed because of cost and getting the blend that is best for your situation. Both sod and seed require nearly the same site prep.

    ISU "Sod Scientists" should be somewhere on campus to take your questions, too.

    Anyway as previously noted, fall is the best time for seed but spring is second. Sod and seed will get the same results if done correctly over time.

    Things to keep in mind that for best results:

    1) Soil tilth (composition of organic that makes it soil "fluffy").
    2) Fertility (mostly P, K, N and Iron etc.)
    3) PH (6.5 to 7.0)
    4) Moisture
    5) Sunlight
    6) Traffic, compaction, abuse

    You may have to adjust or amend soil to get into workable ranges of any of the above. Not unusual to need to add a few inches of rich top soil to sites. Seed requires starter fertilizer and sod may just need regular fertilizer.

    Optimize these and you will have grass. I would consider a more drought resistant blend (not pure Blue Grass, more fescues which have a slightly bluish tint). The reason for more drought resistant is if watering is ever limited by decree.

    Sod and seeds require all the above. Sod comes with a thin layer of soil and established rooting which makes for quicker establishmnet. However sod requires just as much watering as seeding (though seeding requires more frequent and "gentle" watering to assure less seed wash away).

    Study the site, check what you need, plan your tack and good luck!



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    Re: Seed or Sod

    We laid sod down in the front and had the landscapers seed the back. Two years later you can't tell the difference and we have not had a weed problem whatsoever. However, we do have a popup sprinkler system so we can get water to it evenly and regularly.

    Sod is your best bet if you can keep it evenly watered regularly. I would have someone come in during the fall and seed it with a drill. Seed to soil contact is critical and spreading on top may not give you a full stand needed to compete with weeds. These other guys are much more enlightened on the topic just my two cents.

    I would also use a hearty grass. Bluegrass is common but we used a fescue mix (I think??) which has seemed to be much more durable.


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