The Age Old Question: Sodding or Overseeding?

grass with sunlight
Written by: LCMM , October 6, 2016

For centuries, weekend warriors have been baffled when it comes to the fall season and if they should overseed or lay sod down on their lawns so that next spring will bring them new grass growth. These are by far the two most popular techniques for spring growth

But whenever you have two useful techniques, the human side of us will ALWAYS want to know which one is best? Or, which one is right for my lawn care needs. Let’s take a deeper look…

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What is Overseeding?

First of all… What is “overseeding”?

Overseeding is when you add new grass seed in areas of your lawn where signs of thinning are becoming very apparent.

When’s the Best Time To Overseed?

No matter how amazing your grass was this summer. After a hot and harsh season, you actually need to start thinking about the spring. One of many ways to address this is to “reseed” or overseed the lawn late in the year to get the grass ready for the fall, in turn, getting your lawn ready to sprout new and beautiful green grass come spring.

Overseeding is a great and inexpensive way to remedy thinning grass due to the above factors. Studies have shown that overseeding is a great way to introduce new assortments of “turfgrass” into a lawn that has reached maturity. Overseeding has been proven to be most effective when applied to grasses that are considered cool season grasses such as:

  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • ​Fescue
  • Ryegrass

For maximum results, overseeding is usually combined with lawn aeration. This is when you or a company you hire, goes over your lawn and pulls out many small chunks of soil to help your lawn breathe better and take the seed better. Yes. Lawns too need to breathe like humans do. Also, you should not just overseed whenever it is convenient for you. In this process, timing is everything. Schedule a fall lawn maintenance with a professional lawn service before this cold weather sneaks up on you and the overseeding season is lost for a year. Your spring grass won’t turnover like you had envisioned with this important step.

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What is Lawn Sodding?

Sodding is when you physically cover all of your lawn with a real grass outer layer or a piece of grass turf. This is similar to a woman wearing a wig, but this outer layer will weave itself into your current grass permanently over a period of time.

When’s the Best Time to Sod?

Why would anyone lay down sod? There are many reasons to lay down sod. One reason it is laid down is for brand new properties that only have dirt all around them and need instant green and lush grass to help sell the property. Sod is not just exclusive for dirty piles needing grass. Sod can be added to a lawn that already has grass on it, but has lost its luster and is badly thinned. Also, adding sod to an existing lawn will give your lawn instant “curb appeal.” It is also very low on maintenance being that it was already treated and seeded properly. It’s basically “grass on the go” as it is always ready to be laid down.

Preparation Work

Laying down sod would seem like it takes half the time that it would take to overseeding and aeration. However, the prep work which involves cutting the sod rolls like a piece of garment makes the process of overseeding and sodding about the exact same.

The cutting, shaping and the laying down of the sod properly is very important. In order for your new sod to grow the way it was intended, it has to be able to make contact with your soil so it can root properly and be sturdy. You can lay down sod over thin grass when you’d like. However, for maximum results, we suggest that sod should only be added if your lawn is super thin, or in very bad shape. If not, you may have to buy extra dirty to spread over your entire lawn and then lay the sod on top of the dirty over your old existing thinned out grass. This will help the sod take root and be strong one day soon.

Which is Better, Overseeding or Sodding?

The truth is, neither are better than the other. It all depends on the state of your current existing grass. It also depends on how much money you want to devote to this process. Overseeding and aeration combined are generally going to still be cheaper than sodding an entire lawn. However, correct sodding could get you the results you’re looking for much faster than overseeding, but will run you a little more cash.

If you would like help in determining if your lawn is a better candidate for overseeding or sodding or wondering how to add sod to an existing lawn, the lawn care expert here at Black & Green are here to help you with years of experience in lawn care.

Please give us a call today! 651-356-9193

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