Top 3 Disadvantages of Grass Seed & Why It’s Not Always Cheaper Than Turfgrass Sod

Want a new lawn but looking to save money? When it comes to choosing to establish a lawn with grass seed vs. sod, many people choose to seed because it’s cheaper, initially. However, growing grass from seed is not as simple as it sounds.

There’s a lot of misconceptions about planting grass seed and caring for newly planted lawns. If not done correctly or maintained well, not only will your yard look bad, but it could cost you more money down the road.

Although both new lawn options, sod or seed, have their pros and cons, we’re going to share three disadvantages of planting grass seed. From timing to aftercare, learn why seeding isn’t always the best or cheapest option.

Disadvantage #1: Sowing Your Lawn from Seed is a Slow Process

Did you know that it could take up to 12 months before your lawn is fully established from planting grass seed?

Sowing a lawn from seed takes far longer than installing turfgrass sod. With proper installation and care, sod typically takes only 8-12 weeks to take root and fully establish itself to the point where the lawn becomes usable.

After planting your grass seed, it can take up to four weeks for germination, depending on the weather or other conditions. In cooler weather, germination goes even slower. What’s worse is that not all the grass seed may germinate, so you’ll find bare patches where you’ll need to seed again.

In this case reseeding, or overseeding your lawn might be necessary, which will also cost more money. This, of course, is not an issue with turfgrass sod since it’s fully developed before installation for an immediate lush, green lawn.

Disadvantage #2: Planting a New Lawn from Seed is Prone to Weeds & Animal Issues

Did you know that weed seeds are spread by the wind and in bird droppings? Weeds are a significant issue with newly planted lawns. Bare soil is the ultimate place for weed seeds to settle in and germinate. Eventually, if left unmanaged, weeds will take over the area before your grass seed ever has a chance to begin growing.  Weather and time of year are critical factors to successful seeding.  The optimum time to seed in our upstate New York area is August through mid-September.

Another issue you’ll face is animals, especially birds because they love to eat grass seed! You’ll see them happily roaming the area you seeded and chow down. Even neighborhood cats will destroy your newly planted lawn using it as a giant litter box. This means that you will need to find a way to protect it from your local critters.

Protecting your newly seeded lawn could also create more of an expense. You may require fencing or netting to keep out animals and down the road, and herbicides for weed control.

Disadvantage #3: Growing a Lawn from Seed Takes a Lot of Hard Work & Time

Planting grass seed is messy and challenging work. From tilling and raking to leveling and watering, plan on getting dirty and sweaty! That’s just half of it. Once planted, your newly seeded lawn will require a lot of care and maintenance during its growth. As mentioned above, growing a pleasing lawn from seed can take up to a year.

You’ll also need to consider the cost of inputs and equipment for seeding and maintaining the grass as it grows. Grass seed is the less expensive option upfront often creates more expenses down the line.

Installing turfgrass sod is faster, easier, less messy, and provides you with an instant, beautiful lush lawn. It may cost more in the short term but what it saves you in time, labor and inputs is worth every penny.

Sod is one of the most environmentally responsible materials you can add to your home or business. Healthy turfgrass controls erosion, decreases runoff, restores soil quality, purifies air and groundwater, and converts carbon dioxide into oxygen. It also reduces dust and noise, adds visual appeal, and increases property values.

Saratoga Sod Farm is a proud grower, supplier, and installer of natural turfgrass sod to commercial and residential clients in NY & throughout the Northeast. Get in touch with us today regarding pricing, installation services, or any questions about sod!