Hydroseeding vs. Sod: What’s Better for Your Lawn
Spring is just around the corner, and you want your lawn to be adorned with lovely greens and other pops of color when it happens – but in order to get that lively spring lawn, there are a few maintenance responsibilities that need to be taken care of first.
You’ve probably heard about hydroseeding and laying sod, but what does that actually mean for you and your lawn?
What is Hydroseeding?
Hydroseed is a mixture that you’ll spray on bare soil to make your grass grow! It contains seeds, mulch, water, and fertilizer. The mixture usually includes two types of seed: blue grass and rye. Dark green and blue grass is the preferred variety, usually taking 22-30 days to germinate and 2 months for full growth.
Hydroseeding is typically used to seed grass on commercial sites (highways/motorways etc.) The grass will begin to appear faster than with the regular seeding method, however you will not have the same-day lawn that sodding is able to provide.
The cheaper option of the two, hydroseeding, requires that all organic material such as existing grass and weeds be removed before the mixture is applied. It also requires an excessive amount of water. Technicians will tell you to water your newly hydroseeded lawn up to two to three times per day.
The hydroseeding mixture includes a dye that helps the technician spot which lawn areas have received treatment and which are yet to be treated. Its bright, unnatural green color is easy to spot from far away. It will fade on its own in as few as 2 days, but until then, you’ll have a very tacky looking lawn.
What Is Sod?
You’ve probably seen your neighbors sodding their lawn at some point — especially if your neighbors are the type who want their lawn in pristine shape as fast as possible!
Sod is grass that has already been grown on a farm. It is then removed by cutting a half inch or less under the roots and rolling it up like a rug. These rolls of grass are then laid out at the destination, creating an instantly perfect lawn.
The cost is comparable to hydro seeding. You can expect to pay roughly 40 cents more per square foot, labor and delivery included. When sodding, pieces are fit tightly together to achieve a dense, even lawn. There are no bare spots in a sodded yard; that would require extra work, like hydroseed or seeding for example.
Sod is the quickest way to get your lawn in tip-top shape. It will need to be watered 2 to 3 times every day to for the roots to be firmly established in the new soil, but you will have your lawn right away, with little preparation.
Most varieties of sod are quite hardy. When properly installed and maintained, it will take root very quickly compared to seed. While sod does require daily watering, there is a reduced risk of failure caused by neglect, loss of seeds to birds, or loss from wind or erosion.
Cost and Convenience
When you buy sod, you’re paying for all the materials and labor that went into growing established grass. That includes seeds, water, and fertilizer as well as the work of planting and harvesting. All of this makes sod the most expensive way to start a lawn.
Hydroseeding costs around 70 percent less than sod. With this method, you’re only buying the mixture containing seeds, fertilizer, mulch, and binding material that will be sprayed onto the ground. You then invest your own labor into tending the grass as it grows, which cuts down on the overall costs.
Sod is typically grown using a single species of common turf grass seed, such as Tall Fescue, Kentucky Blue or Hybrid Bermuda. If you opt for sod, you’ll need to decide which species is best for your lawn. With hydroseeding, however, you can choose to mix several species based on factors such as color or environmental friendliness.
You can install sod by yourself or choose to hire a contractor. It’s possible to lay sod any time of year, though late spring or late summer are what we suggest.
Hydroseeding must be done by a contractor with a truck designed to spray the mixture onto the ground. Anytime from March to October is acceptable, but the hotter the weather, the more you’ll need to water the soil.
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