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Old 04-28-2020, 12:41 AM   #1
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Sod or seeds


2/3 of my backyard is covered by dirt and weeds. I would like to get it graded and covered by grass. It doesn't need to be done overnight. I've gotten quotes for around 3,000 for 6 pallets of sod installed.

Grass seed obviously would be cheaper and I am willing to wait several weeks for it to grow, but do want to ensure a decent looking lawn that lasts.

What do you suggest?
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Old 04-28-2020, 04:43 AM   #2
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Re: Sod or seeds


Either will work although seed does come with the risk of weeds coming up with the new grass. Sod is pretty much instant, seed will take awhile. IMO it's more a question of budget and patience [or lack of]
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Old 04-28-2020, 06:53 AM   #3
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Re: Sod or seeds


Quote:
Originally Posted by nytimes770 View Post
Grass seed obviously would be cheaper and I am willing to wait several weeks for it to grow, but do want to ensure a decent looking lawn that lasts.
Where are you located ?

If you are in New York, you either have to get on it real, real soon, or wait till fall. New grass is not like July and August in your area.

Willing to wait several weeks ? If planting seed, after one year, it will be filled in moderately. But lots of weeds will come up with it too. If you keep up with the weed control, it will look good the second year. Might take a little longer if you are not so diligent with the weed control.

I have not used seed in ages, just too much trouble. But this is a DIY site, so a lot of us will suggest you can do it yourself. Kill off existing weeds first. Rototill and do any grade changes. Make sure when they deliver the sod that they place the skids close to where it will be used --- those dang rolls of sod are heavy.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:30 AM   #4
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Re: Sod or seeds


@nytimes770 , we really need to know where you are.

If in NY State, is it upstate or in "the City"? The climates are similar but have some very critical differences. Likewise for places like Virginia, etc.

I concur with @SPS-1 and @mark sr , but more information is needed.

I'm in California now, but I lived in NE Ohio for many years, and did a few lawns there.

One thing I will say, is get out there and murder the weeds. The best thing is to water them heavily then wait a few days and fertilize them with Miracle Gro or similar liquid fertilizer THEN wait a couple days and hit them with something like Roundup or other product with glyphosate in it.

Also, whether you go with seed or sod, you'll also need to pay attention to things like grading, etc. If you don't, you may end up with water features after rains where you don't want them, like right at an underground cellar door. (Like the house mommy daddy and baby brother shared in Cambridge Ohio 50+ years ago.)

I see you've been here a while, hope we can help.

And, hope you're well with plenty of provisions . . . . .
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Old 04-28-2020, 03:31 PM   #5
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Re: Sod or seeds


I am in western NY. If I plant grass in April or May, it is ready to mow in 6 weeks and blends in with the rest of the lawn by fall.
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:31 PM   #6
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Re: Sod or seeds


Keep in mind that the same amount of prep work is needed for either; choosing sod does not mean you do not have to do anything prior to laying it.

I would start with a soil test. Them four weeks out, spray everything with roundup or similar. Two weeks later, re-spray anything still alive. Two weeks after that, roto-till and add any amendments the soil test indicated. Then you seed or sod.

Best time for the seed or sod in NY is after the peak heat of summer is over in August to early September.
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Old 04-29-2020, 08:39 AM   #7
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Re: Sod or seeds


If the area has been weedy a long while, and seeding is planned, I strongly suggest watering and feeding to try to get seeds to sprout and killing the sprouts with roundup, too.

Sometimes it takes more than one go-round with that.

Also I vigorously concur with @stick\shift about the need for surface prep, etc. Sometimes there is little need for that. Other times, there's a lot of need (e.g., lots of holes) and measures will need to be taken to provide a long-term stable and relatively even surface. Failure to do that can lead to all kinds of trouble, including, in the case of a friend of mine, a lawn so bumpy he almost tipped off his riding mower, and scalped half his grass.

Also, @nytimes770 , maybe provide a picture of the weeds, too? Some are harder to kill than others. If, for example, you have nutgrass, special measures should be taken.
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Last edited by DoomsDave; 04-29-2020 at 08:44 AM.
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