sod or seed? the answer is here

Guest post from Suzanne @ Inspire; to breathe

Oh yards! Trees, grass, and flowers: so many opportunities for beauty, and so many opportunities for…disaster. I have been reading Suzanne’s blog, Inspire; to breathe for a while now and have been continually impressed by her positive attitude and her sense of style. Now, I am also impressed with her lawn savvy (and her ability to catch a bunny in an action shot, see below.) I am happy that she has taken the time to give us the skinny on sod vs. seed. Enjoy!


When I heard Jocelyn was doing a Home Improvement Month I got excited because it is the perfect excuse to get even just one thing done off the never-ending (actually much-ignored) project list.

But then reality hit – really the only project around our house these days has been landscaping. And it hasn’t been voluntary.

PIne Tree

Until last fall this big honkin’ pine tree was smack in the middle of our backyard (we used to say you could see it for miles, it was so tall). One September afternoon a freak storm blew through and we watched that massive trunk snap. Not the best day.

Tree Stump

The rest of our fall was spent digging out the stump, carting away wood chips, and shopping for new trees and privacy screen shrubs. Lots and lots of planting went on.. Winter came.. And we were so glad to have handled the tree situation and put it behind us.

Growing Grass

Suddenly spring arrived and we realized that the giant patch of dirt wasn’t going to grow grass on its own. Apparently that’s our job. Our big dilemma was choosing between seed (we already had it and knew how to use it) or sod (big mystery, more expensive).

Grass Seed

For several reasons (mostly the “we have it already” one) we opted for seeding, and here’s where the moral of the story and the point of this post comes in: when you are faced with a large patch of grass-less yard that you want to grow grass in, use sod. It’s that simple. We actually ran a side experiment by using pieces of sod in a different spot of the yard after we planted seed in the big patch. The sod is green, beautiful, thick, healthy, and everything you could want out of grass. The seed patch, however, is thin, growing weeds about as much as it grows grass, keeps needing to be re-seeded, and the bunnies think it’s one giant yard-sized buffet.

Bunny Eating New Grass

See that big horizontal line in the grass (above)? Below the line is all newly-seeded baby grass (bunny buffet) and it’s not as pretty in person as it is on screen. Just trust me on that one.

Now that we’re this far along, we’re sorta locked in to finishing it out with seed, which means we’ll be adding more in the fall again. Not the end of the world, but I’ll count this as one big weedy lesson learned. I’m hoping that our misfortune in the grass-planting arena becomes your gain, and that your pine trees live forever. Believe me, it’s better that way!

Keep On Trying

Thanks for having me here today, Jocelyn! Happy Home Improvement Month! I’m off to go hug my house and sing love songs to our baby grass. You never know, it could help.


Thank you, Suzanne, for this helpful info. I must confess I have no experience with seed or sod, but I am going to file this away for future reference.

What about you, Dear Readers, are you besot with sod? And along the same lines, have you hugged your lawn today? Have a great weekend!

Categories: DIY, Garden

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6 replies

  1. After a long day at work a few years ago in the spring, I came home to my maple tree in my front yard. It had pulled phone/cable/electrical wires from the side of my house. I had just moved in and didn’t have a saw in sight. If it wasn’t for my neighbors, I would still be hacking that thing into bits.

    • Ugh! That seems like such a big job – when we moved in we had a big stump in the middle of our front yard, so something like that must have happened before we got here – we just left it – not it’s a weed-covered little hump. Nice to hear that you have kind neighbors! 🙂

  2. This is seriously good to know – I buy a new bag or sprinkling type of jug full of seed every spring to fill in some thinning areas of our lawn, but end up being afraid to use it, thinking it will be a lot of work and just not grow. I see it does!!

  3. Hee hee, “Sprinkle sprinkle little grass, how I wonder where you are…”

    If you seed the lawn I will aerate (I really want those lawn aerating shoes…).

  4. Every year I vow that it will be the one that we eradicate the weeds and fix the lawn. Every year I pull a few weeds and toss a few seeds, and then get too overwhelmed. I think the chickens are eating the seeds too. Nothing will ever change 🙂

  5. We actually just laid sod! We were going back and forth between seed and sod but were to impatient to wait for the little seeds to grow (and I can’t sing, so that of course would not have helped in our situation). Anyways, about 4 hours later, BAM, we had a yard! It was like insta-yard. It really wasn’t all that difficult to lay either! Just the hubs and I and two kids. Now, if it will just stay green!

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