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  • Writer's pictureNagels Nursery Landscape

Seed Versus Sodding

We love this article from University of MN Extension on seeding vs sodding. If you are in need of sod, please contact Nagels Nursery.

The pros and cons

The most important difference between seeding and sodding is the time necessary for developing a mature or durable turf. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each establishment method.



More grass species and varieties to choose from

Can be less expensive than sod. (This depends on how many times you have to reseed)

Stronger root system development initially and long term

No layering of soil types to cause rooting problems (rooting problems occur if laying sod over hard compacted soils)

This can be helped by adding and tilling in compost.


Initial establishment is takes more time

For best results, time of seeding is limited mainly to late summer and early fall

Heavy rain can wash seeding out.

Forcing you to start over. Especially if yard is not flat.

Gutters will need to be tiled out. Slopes may need an erosion blanket.

Timely moisture is critical for the young seedlings It takes nearly a full season to achieve a mature and durable lawn

Weed pressure can will be greater If soil is poor success will be limited.

Most construction soils are not very good and many people end up sodding a year or two later.

Seeding takes a lot of luck and good weather.



Rapid establishment and relatively weed-free in the beginning

Good for slopes or areas prone to erosion

Can be laid virtually any time during the growing season"Instant" lawn.

Usually can start mowing within two weeks.

Sod comes with up to an inch of topsoil


Less flexibility in choosing species; most sod in Minnesota will be Kentucky bluegrass. But Fescue sod is available. Can be more expensive Labor intensive to install

Potential layering of soil types that causes rooting issues

Watering more critical if laying sod during summer months.

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